Book Review #6

Speedlights & Speedlites: Creative Flash Photography at Lightspeed. (Sec Ed). By Lou Jones, Stephen Ostrowski & Bob Keenan. Published by Focal Press.

First off, the disclaimer!

At the time of purchasing this book I knew nothing of the authors. I do not know the authors & I do not personally know anyone that has published books on photographic lighting.

This review is based on my own opinion and no payment has been received.

I was looking for a book on lighting because I was undertaking a film noir project & wanted to learn more about getting the best results from my flash gun. (now guns!).

The title and the rear sleeve suggested to me that this was going to be an instructional book. A very brief look at a couple of pages showed some lighting diagrams, so I assumed this book would be suitable for getting me started.

I was quickly disappointed as I realised the book was not going to meet my expectations.

I think the title is misleading in that I found the images uninspiring and for the most part not particularly creative. However, although the images used may not be considered masterpieces, they do illustrate the authors intensions. Combined this with the lighting diagrams and the overall layout, I can see why some may find this book useful.

The book was a little repetitive in telling the reader to get the flash off camera and stating how convenient ETTL/TTL is to use.

There are a couple of pages on batteries and light modifiers that were interesting but this felt very much like an add on to fill a couple of pages at the end of the book.

I can’t say that I read any groundbreaking tips and hints in this book.

The big question is: Would I recommend it? To be honest, its one of those yes & no answers.

Its not what I would call an essential read and I would suggest asking your library to get a copy rather than buying one.

It certainly wasn’t worth the £23 I paid for it and I’m not sure I would consider it value for money even if it was only £8.

My money would have been better spent if I had put it towards the fee for a one day flash lighting course.

While the authors may well be competent photographers, have a wealth of knowledge & experience, regrettably this is not a book that I will be keeping for future reference.

Kind regards,

Jim Jimmy JamesB

2 comments

  1. Sounds a lot like some of the very disappointing books I used to buy. Always hard to judge, just by a cursory inspection. Amazon reviews sometimes help, but £23 quid is a hefty price, even if it was good.
    Cheers mate, Pete.

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