book review: Creative Flash Photography, by Tilo Gockel
Tilo Gockel (website: FotoPraxis), is a German photographer who some might remember from guest articles that has appeared on Tangents. His article on innovative product photography on a budget – Diver’s Chronograph, was particularly impressive when you compare the results with the home setup. You might also know Tilo from various impressive posts in the Strobist group on Facebook. Prolific and innovative.
The subtitle of this book is the best description of what you’d find inside: Great Lighting with Small Flashes: 40 Flash Workshops. Over the course of 290 pages, this book breaks down numerous techniques into digestible chunks – 40 chapters discussion subjects which range from portraits to product photography and macro photography.
What is particularly impressive me about Tilo’s work and this book – the variety in subjects.
The author concentrates on speedlights and affordable accessories. So the techniques are well within the reach of every photographer.
The material in the book is easily accessible – the techie stuff is also distributed in each chapter as Tips, Tricks and Notes. There are also side-bar articles and In-Depth notes within each Workshop chapter, where topics are discussed on their own. There are also notes on any Photoshop techniques he used in post-processing an image.
- Creative Flash Photography: Great Lighting with Small Flashes – Amazon (USA)
- Creative Flash Photography: Great Lighting with Small Flashes – Amazon (UK)
A short breakdown of some of the topics to show the extent of this book
– Portraits for Business Professionals
– Gobo projections using flash
– How to produce lots of light with multiple small flashes
– Using colored gels with flash
– Key shifting to produce punchy light
– Underwater shoot with a model
– Macro photography with flash
– Dark-field lighting to photograph coins
– Still Life with Bounce flash (and yes, the BFT gets a mention!)
– shooting for eBay, (incl how to create a reflection)
– Photos for Catalogs
– Photographing reflective subjects
– Simple and complex lighting setups for food photography
– High-speed flash – milk and chocolate splash
– Dark-field high-speed flash product photography
This is very much part of the appeal of this book – the author’s enthusiasm for photographing such diverse subjects. I highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to progress beyond the basics and stretch what they do. This is all within your reach!
- Innovative product photography on a budget – Diver’s Chronograph, by Tilo Gockel
- Flash photography tips, by Tilo Gockel
- Tilo Gockel’s website: FotoPraxis
- Other photography book reviews
As mentioned at the start, Tilo has been featured as a guest on Tangents. Also, one of the times I hung out with Tilo when he visited New York with a photographer friend, resulted in this post on Tangents: using interesting available light & white balance options. I have to mention this for transparency. I know the author. Nice guy. And I am impressed with his work … which beautifully illustrates this book. I should also mention that I bought my own copy of this book, because I had high expectations of Tilo in this regard.