© Eddie Tapp

Studio & Location Lighting Secrets
for Digital Photographers

Rick Sammon and Vered Kashlano

Wiley Publishing, Inc.

Studio and Location Lighting Secrets for Digital Photographers

Published by
Wiley Publishing, Inc.
10475 Crosspoint Boulevard
Indianapolis, IN 46256

Copyright © 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Indianapolis, Indiana

Published simultaneously in Canada

ISBN: 978-0-470-52125-0
Manufactured in the United States of America

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About the Authors

Rick Sammon

Rick Sammon has published 34 books, including his latest four: Digital Wedding Photography Secrets, Rick Sammon’s Digital Photography Secrets, Face to Face and Exploring the Light—all published in 2008! His book, Flying Flowers won the coveted Golden Light Award, and his book Hide and See Under the Sea won the Ben Franklin Award.

Rick has photographed in nearly 100 different countries and gives more than two dozen photography workshops and presentations around the world each year. He also hosts five shows on kelbytraining.com and writes for PCPhoto, Layers magazine and photo.net.

Nominated for the Photoshop Hall of Fame in 2008, Rick Sammon is considered one of today’s top digital-imaging experts. He is well-known for being able to cut through Photoshop “speak” to make it fun, easy and rewarding to work and play in the digital darkroom.

When asked about his photo specialty, Rick says, “My specialty is not specializing.”

You can catch Rick at Photoshop World, which he says is a “blast.” See www.ricksammon.com for more information.

Vered Koshlano

New York City-based professional photographer Vered Koshlano (www.byvk.com) specializes in fashion, beauty, glamour and studio photography.

Combining her experience as an actor in front of the camera with her technical know-how, Vered produces technically exquisite photographs that convey the feeling and mood of the subject...something that she strives for in each and every image.

Recently, Vered teamed with award-winning photographer/ author Rick Sammon (www.ricksammon.com) for a book (Rick’s 34th) on studio lighting: Studio Lighting Secrets. Throughout this book, you’ll see dozens of photographs taken in Vered’s studio, illustrating different lighting techniques as well as tips on how to work with models and create different moods in a photograph. Posing, makeup and props—other Vered specialties—are also covered.

Recently, Vered was a featured instructor at the Lepp Institute of Photography and was commissioned by Canon USA for a series of portraits featuring well-known photographers/ artists for its Print Master program. She is also Rick’s co-host in his Wiley Publishing how-to DVDs: Canon Digital Rebel XS, Canon Digital Rebel XTi and Basic Lighting and Portraiture.


Acquisitions Editor
Courtney Allen

Project Editor
Jenny Brown

Technical Editor
Alan Hess

Copy Editor
Jenny Brown

Editorial Manager
Robyn Siesky

Business Manager
Amy Knies

Senior Marketing Manager
Sandy Smith

Vice President and Executive Group Publisher
Richard Swadley

Vice President and Publisher
Barry Pruett

Book Designer
Erik Powers

Media Development Project Manager
Laura Moss

Media Development Assistant Project Manager
Jenny Swisher

Rick’s Acknowledgments

In Vered’s acknowledgements that follow, she begins by saying, “It’s not easy being an artist.” I agree one hundred percent.

To this I add: It’s not easy being an author. Once you put something in print, that’s it—forever. Kinda scary for someone as sensitive as myself. I am my strongest critic, and I have been known to change my mind a time or two.

It’s also not easy working with another person on a creative project … simply because every artist and author has his or her own creative expression and way of doing business. For example, at the time I get up in the morning to work, Vered is just going to bed!

When I began this project with Vered, she was my co-host on several Wiley how-to photography DVDs. The first thing I said her was, “I hope we are still friends when this project is completed.”

Well, not only are we still friends, but it turned out that Vered was the perfect partner for this book. She not only supplied wonderful images and information, but she was also extremely accommodating and flexible during the entire process. So my first “thank you” goes to Vered, who is sleeping while I write this at 5:30 am.

There are many others who helped me along the path to producing this book, which is my 34nd.

The guy who initially signed me up with Wiley is Barry Pruett. Barry has a quality that every author needs: faith that someone actually wants to hear what (s)he has to say! Thanks to Barry, I have four DVDs with Wiley and now three books.

For all of these Wiley books, Courtney Allen, a super-talented acquisitions editor, helped me big time—with everything you see between the front and back covers. Not an easy task, to say the least.

More help was on the way at Wiley’s end!

Alan Hess, my technical editor, added his expertise and made sure no one receives the wrong information here. Thanks Alan!

I also want to thank Jenny Brown of Brown Ink for her excellent work as Copy Editor and Project Editor; Erik Powers of Creative Powers for his phenomenal job at designing and producing the book; and Mike Trent for his work on the front and back cover design. Thank you all for your eagle eyes and artistic flair … and for patience working with me!

Someone who has been helping me for 59 years also worked on this book. My dad, Robert M. Sammon, Sr., who is almost 91, actually read each and every word, using his wordsmith skills to improve my words! I could not have done it without you, dad.

Two more Sammons get my heartfelt thanks: my wife, Susan, and son, Marco. For years, they both supported my efforts and helped with the photographs. Thanks Susan and Marco for all your help and love.

Westcott, producers of an extensive line of lighting equipment, played an important role in producing this book as well. They supplied studio and on-location gear for several of the shoots. A big thank you goes to Kelly “Wonder Woman” Mondora for all her support over the past year. Westcott’s David Piazza and John Williamson, with whom I’ve worked at trade/ consumer shows, get my thanks, too. You guys rock!

Bogen’s Kriss Brunngraber also helped big time with this book, supplying us with the best tripods and stands for lights in the world. Thanks Kriss, you da man!

Much appreciation goes to Joe Brady, field marketing manger, MAC Group, for supplying the text and PocketWizard photos for the Unleash Yourself chapter and to Alan Hess, the wonderful tech editor on this book who suggested that we mention that PocketWizards also work with Nikon flash units. And thanks to Jenny Brown, my editor, who suggested that you can also use PocketWizards for wildlife photography. Me? I supplied the other photos in this chapter.

In the Student Studio Lighting Experiments chapter, you’ll see some wonderful work by several student photographers at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. I’d like to thank these individuals for sharing their work and lighting secrets. I’d also like to thank Hallmark’s Vern McClish and Lisa Devlin Robinson for coordinating the student’s work for this book.

The photographers who contributed images and tips to the With a Little Help From Friends chapter also get a big thank you. Their works is amazing, and I encourage you to see more of it on their web sites.

Other friends in the digital-imaging industry who have helped in one way or another include Mike Wong and Craig Keudell of onOne Software, Wes Pitts of Outdoor Photographer and PCPhoto magazines, Ed Sanchez and Mike Slater of Nik Software, Scott Kelby of Photoshop User magazine and Chris Main of Layers magazine.

Rick Booth, Steve Inglima, David Sparer, Peter Tvarkunas, Chuck Westfall and Rudy Winston of Canon USA have been ardent supporters of my work and photography seminars … so have my friends at Canon Professional Service (CPS). My hat is off to these folks, big time! The Canon digital SLRs, lenses and accessories that I use have helped me capture the finest possible pictures for this book.

Jeff Cable of Lexar hooked me up with memory cards (4GB and 8GB because I shoot RAW files) and card readers, which helped me bring back great images from my trips. Thanks Jeff.

And not to be forgotten, my photo workshop students were, and always are, a tremendous inspiration for me. Many have shown me new digital-darkroom techniques, some even used in this book. I find an old Zen saying to be true: “The teacher learns from the student.”

So thank you one and all. This book could not have been produced without you!

Vered’s Acknowledgements

It s not easy being an artist. Although it may be satisfying on a personal level, getting ”out side” approval means a lot-and not just from a financial standpoint. If no one applauds at the end of the show, the actor is likely to be devastated...no matter how good he thought his performance was. So when Rick asked me to do this book with him, I was more than just happy

I have known Rick for a few years now, and we collaborated on a couple of his DVD projects, so I knew working with him was going to be fun. But as Rick says: “Having fun is hard work!” Turns out, this is true. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for bringing me on board for this wonderful adventure!

Rick has been working with Wiley publishing for a long time, and when he suggested me as co-author on this book, they simply trusted that he found the right person for the job and welcomed me graciously!

A big thank you goes to Canon for making amazing picture-taking machines that allow me to make beautiful images effortlessly, so I can concentrate on the creative side of the project rather then be a “heavy machinery operator.”

Speaking of Canon, I have been very fortunate in meeting a few wonderful people who, throughout time, have offered their support, technical guidance and trust in my abilities: Mr. Hitoshi Doi, David Sparer, David Carlson, Corinne Cortez, Steve Inglima, Chuck Westfall, Rudy Winston and the guys entrusted with the expensive toys, including Joe Dolora, Steve Losi, Frank and Paul from Canon Professional Cervices (CPS). I am proud to be part of the Canon family!

In these times of digital everything, photographers wouldn’t do very well without the digital darkroom afforded to us by companies such as Adobe (Photoshop and the whole creative suite), OnOne, Nik, BreezeBrowzer and lots of other software manufacturers that make it easy to mange and publish our digital work—a big warm thank you to you all!

A special thank you goes to Westcott for generously lending us top-of-the-line lighting equipment to experiment with. (I love everything!) Kelly is my wonder woman!

I thank all of our photographer friends who took time out of their busy schedules to share a lighting tip with our readers. Make sure you look them up and keep learning.

Finally I would like to thank the talented people (makeup artists, hair and wardrobe stylists, models and assistants) who collaborated with me to make wonderful images!

After writing 34 books, I’ve run out of family members, friends,
workshop students and research foundations for a dedication.

So this one is for the person who said:
“He who writes lives forever.”
Unfortunately, that person is dead.

—Rick Sammon

For my wonderful parents Rina and Zalman Koshlano, who still wait
for me to become a doctor, and to the one soul that’s a part of me,
my beloved Jonathan: “Separation is but an illusion.”
—Vered Koshlano