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Learning to Light

Beauty is in the eye of the cheque book holder

  • Dean Collins

The quote above is from a recent episode of the LightSource podcast, where Kirk Voclain shares his secrets with Bill and Ed. Kirk identifies his inspiration for lighting to be the late Dean Collins.

I originally heard about Dean Collins courtesy of David Hobby’s Strobist site. I’ve come to trust David’s recommendations, so when he was enthusiastic about the Dean Collins DVDs they were an instant purchase.

Having watched the four DVDs through, the way in which I see is altered. Not just when I’m looking through the viewfinder, but in day to day life.

I notice more about lighting. Looking at other’s photography, I’m seeing how things are lit. These were skills I was starting to develop thanks to David, and Dean’s videos took things rapidly to the next level.

I’ve noticed is that it isn’t just the situations that I’m controlling the light where things have improved - my photography in general has improved. My hypothesis is that by learning how to control light, you also develop better vision for how light falls. This means that my natural light photography has improved as a result of learning the basics of studio lighting.

For me, Dean Collins is the best teacher of lighting I’ve come across. The modern teachers of lighting I found that are good? They learnt from Dean Collins.

If you are just getting into lighting, start by reading through the Strobist site and listening to the LightSource back catalog. Once your interest is piqued, the Dean Collins DVDs can provide the next step up.

Bonus Link

The Lighting Journey - 7 stages of learning about light.