If you’re hungry to learn more about photographic lighting, you’ve probably run across the popular instructional books from Amherst Media. A few years ago I checked out Michael Grecco’s The Art of Portrait Photography from the library. This book has been out of print for a few years, and online prices for it are ridiculous. If you do some digging, I bet you can find a copy for a reasonable price — it’s worth tracking down.
Grecco is a well known celebrity photographer, who often shoots conceptual location portraits. He has a unique lighting style that relies on tightly controlled light on his subjects. You will want to by some grids for your strobes after reading this book. Grecco uses a 3 degree grid on his subjects quite often, and also employs a custom fresnel which was gutted and replaced with strobe innards. A good mix of studio and location work is covered in the book, and the hand drawn lighting diagrams are quite effective.
What got me thinking about Michael’s work was a blog post over on Death to Film which has a short interview with Grecco, and a super cool time lapse video of Michael shooting a portrait of Martin Scorsese on a New York rooftop.
Grecco just came out with a new book called Lighting And the Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Celebrity And Editorial Photography, which I plan to purchase soon. His website is michaelgrecco.com.