Foreword: The book was sent to us by Amherst Media (the publisher) without any kind of deal bearing on the outcome of this review.
In these days you can find tons of books about photography lighting, some are good and some are not so good, I have a few personal favorites who range either from the technical side (like Light Science and Magic by Hunter, Biver and Fuqua) to the not so “paint by numbers” type (such as Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait by Michael Grecco). These books are complementary while one explains the hardcore basics and all the theory you need to know, the other covers how all that theory you are learning should be applied creatively.
Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach for Digital Photographers, by Don Giannatti, is a book that aims to complement book Light, Science and Magic; in the sense that you are getting to see examples of how theory is applied in practice, but also the explanation on why the author is doing what is doing in each of the examples he provides, the logic behind the creative process of choosing the lighting setup that was used for the photo, the concept that the author or the client wanted from the photo and how the setup used re inforce this concept.
The book isn’t for people who are fresh starting to try lighting for photography (but the author itself says it is meant for people with some advanced skills in lighting) even when the book has a good part explaining the basic nature of natural and artificial light.
The examples provided in the book range from personal projects, photos from the seminars he imparts and commercial assignments he does too, with setup photos and an in depth explanation of everything you need to know, also the book is easy and fun to read without recurring to the “for dummies” mode of literature.
I would recommend this book for those who have been practising what they have learnt from Light, Science and Magic and want to mix creativity with their photography, also to the professional looking for some inspiration, however the book as the author states isn’t for someone who is just starting, you will be better served with Light, Science and Magic first and after mastering what you read in that book get this one.
Don’s book now is alongside my two favourite books and it will be a great source for reference info I may have. I can totally recommend this book.