Book Reviews

Book Review: Nick Fancher’s Pointers on Lighting with Color

August 1, 2018

By Jim Cornfield

Photos © Nick Fancher

Fantasy portrait treatments are among the aesthetic and practical techniques Nick Fancher covers in his sound, beautifully illustrated Chroma: A Photographer’s Guide to Lighting with Color, available now.

Chroma A Photographer’s Guide to Lighting with Color
by nick fancher | rocky nook | 240 pp.

Photographers with a solid academic grounding in the physics of our craft, who also have the daring and imagination to occasionally bend the rules, are rare. Nick Fancher is such a person, an imaginative shooter who, as author and educator, simultaneously demonstrates his nerve and his ideas. This ability is the driving force in his recently released Chroma: A Photographer’s Guide to Lighting with Color.

Fancher’s Chroma takes on lighting in a way that much of the literature on this same topic seems to skirt—specifically, the color of light from artificial sources.

The whole discussion is anchored in a chapter on color theory, which many of us haven’t thought about in years, even if we knew anything about it in the first place. Fancher stresses the twin bullet points of additive and subtractive color—respectively, the color of light and the color of pigments. Together, they comprise the cornerstone of his lucid, well-illustrated approaches to utilitarian lighting challenges, like balancing color temperatures between artificial and available light sources in the same shot. An equally tantalizing motif of this book is Fancher’s application of color theory to impressionistic portrait and fine-art imagery. No matter where your photographic priorities fall, you’ll want to borrow some ideas from Chroma, and soon.

Price: $34.95