UPDATE, JUNE 2024: Strobist was archived in 2021.
(Here is what I am up to now.)


New at Amazon: Minimalist Lighting, by Kirk Tuck

Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography is a new book by Austin-based commercial photographer (and long-time Strobist reader) Kirk Tuck.

For those of you looking to grow the small-light thing into a practice of shooting for editorial, corporate and advertising clients, Kirk's book serves as a road map in his effort to show you his lighting gear choices, philosophy and techniques.

The book begins by chronicling Kirk's own transition from Big Lights to using small flashes for his assignments. From there it grows into a full discussion of specific small flash gear and demonstrated lighting styles.

Minimalist Lighting is not a book on theory. It is nuts-and-bolts book with lots of examples, setup shots and lighting diagrams. Kirk also gets into DIY, talking about things like lighting with shower curtains, making your own high-capacity battery packs and waterproofing flashes with baggies.

He covers all the bases on various synching options, stands, clamps, light mods -- and a section on wireless TTL. There was even a piece on how to secure a flash to a wall using one of those little AS-19 flash feet and some tape. (I had never thought of that, actually.)

There are lots of books on light and lighting. But to my knowledge, this is the first one that specifically addresses so much of what you can do with small flashes while shooting in a corporate/editorial style. It's all about learning to use smaller-power light sources to "go with the flow" of the ambient of a scene, rather than just nuking the whole thing with a gazillion watt-seconds.

If your thing is shooting skateboarders at twilight with their hair engulfed in flames, you'll probably want to wait for the next train. Minimalist Lighting is not about cutting-edge, push-the-envelope visual stuff. Kirk's style is clean an personal, with a corporate look that keeps him busy as a professional shooter in Texas.

But if you are looking for a book to show you exactly how one man is making it happen, and to fill in the gaps in your own skills, Kirk will be happy to show you his way. This is a book for photographers who want to learn how to light clean and corporate, without buying (or hauling around) a ton of lighting gear.

Minimalist Lighting: Professional Techniques for Location Photography, is published by Amherst Media. It lists for $34.95, but will be selling on Amazon for $23.07. There is also an additional 5% pre-order discount if you purchase before the book ships, which is estimated to be on May 1st.

Kirk's Website:


New to Strobist? Start here | Or jump right to Lighting 101
Got a question? Hit me on Twitter: @Strobist
My current project: The Traveling Photograher's Manifesto