By Don Marr
Amherst Media, Inc., $34.95, 127 pages
Photography is all about light. It’s what makes a dull subject pop and gives a portrait its edge. Don Marr, in his book Available Light: Photographic Techniques for Using Existing Light Sources provides a lighting boot camp for photographers who want to take greater control of their images. Suitable for all levels, this book is particularly useful for beginners looking to achieve a greater degree of professionalism. Marr’s writing is clear, and exceptionally easy to read. The images he uses throughout the book are beautiful and illustrate his points well. Diagrams of the lighting setups he explains in the text are simple to understand and very handy. The book aims to instruct how to use available light to its best advantage, so few light modifiers are used. It is all about the light, camera and subject. Though Marr’s subjects are usually people, the concepts work for nearly all subjects. Project ideas at the end of most chapters help readers apply the theories and techniques discussed. With surprising wit, Marr teaches how to take control of light no matter what the situation, whether shooting in a sunny park or in a mall.
Reviewed by Andrea Klein