If you are getting caught up in photography and want to ride the minimalist (Strobist) wave, as good a place to start as any is Kirk Tuck’s Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography. Along with the Strobist blog and lighting guide, this is a detailed, useful, practical, concrete, and helpful guide to getting to the next level of photography without investing in cumbersome and expensive equipment. For more details about my experience with the Strobist approach and the accompanying difficulties of being visually impaired, check out my earlier post, Didactylos’ Strobe.
As Hobby puts it on the Strobist Bookshelf:
This one is 100% small flash, and spends plenty of time of gear, synching and light mods. It is more of an introductory book than the titles above, and better suited for less experienced shooters who want a good look at how to gear up with small flash and how to start using it.
Minimalist Lighting has two main sections. The first is a great guide to the equipment one needs to do minimalist lighting. From batteries to flashes, stands to reflectors, bags to clamps, you will find the items you need to get the job done.
The second major section of Minimalist Lighting is a series of case studies, most with lighting diagrams. These are very useful in visualizing how minimalist photos are made. Each case study is also proof that great photos can be made without old-school equipment. These case studies are mainly from Tuck’s assignments, both magazine and corporate. These shoots are all on location ans all done lit with portable flashes. With the diagrams each set up is easy to understand.
I would have liked to see more case studies, more-detailed lighting diagrams (with larger fonts) and photos of the lighting set ups. I highly recommend this book. Read it after you go through Lighting 101 at Strobist.com and you will have a great sense of minimalist lighting equipment and techniques. You can follow up with Tuck’s flickr group, Studio Lighting On A Budget or Not, and the Strobist flickr group.If you find this post useful or interesting, please consider buying me a cup of coffee.