In an effort to streamline content and better your experience, I will be changing my URL of this site to The name may seem familiar to you, it is the name of my upcoming photography book Photographic Lighting for Everybody This change will occur next week and will have new content once a week to keep you up to date with the book and keep you informed of it release, content and up to date information to help you improve your photography.

To make this blog more interactive I will be including tutorials, sneak peaks ( sections of the book) and will be fielding any questions you may have about the content and advice on how to improve your photography. So stay tuned and please chime in and share this blog with your family and friends.

It is a strange time we are living in with the Cover-19 Pandemic, all of our lives have been changed, now is the time to reflect, be informed and be kind to one another. We will get back to social engagement and in some ways will be a bit wiser. It is a good time to learn new skills, FaceTime and be with the ones you love. Peace and I look forward to sharing photos and stories with all of you…

Since we are all observing the guidelines of preventing Covid19 and staying inside I thought I would share part of my book with you. The book Photographic Lighting for Everybody is not yet in Print, although you can preorder on Amazon, I am hoping to have some copies in hand by the end of April.

Now why the annoying Proof Copy Only in the background…well if you are interested and when I do receive the actually book I will offer the book in part as a PDF for Free and exchange for a review on Amazon..

I think this is pretty good start to a book…I can’t wait till I can actually put on in my hands…If you interested in purchasing on directly PM me at, with your address and I will send you information about costs, where to send payment etc..once payment is sent I will ship one out inscribed within 2 weeks..but remember the book is still at the printer and will be out by mid April…Get on mailing list and you will be one of the first to know when it is out…

Pre Order on Amazon….

PS Photos in the book were taken in Montana; Colorado; Ohio and Nepal…:)

It seems as it was years ago that I started this project. My goal was to write a book that was accessible to everyone that wants to improve their photography regardless of their age or experience. I also realized that the smartphone is a great tool to record and interpret our modern world.

As an photo educator for over 20 years I really learned a lot from teaching and from my students. I learned to distill complex photographic theory into, what I hope to be, an easy to understand description of the foundations of capturing light on a DSLR or Smartphone. I still get exciting when I am demonstrating photo concepts and they have this ‘aha’ moment in their eyes.

I am excited to finally see the front; back and inside cover of the book…What does this mean? Well it is out of my hands and onto the printer, my publicist even asked for my address, I suspect to send the complete book to my home…

I also am privileged to watch them create and grow as a visual artist, like Cris Crisman who wrote a lovely review of the book. He was one of my early students at the University of Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts. He has blossomed into a wonderful visual artist, who recently published his first book ” Women’s Work”

While on topic I wanted to thank my former studio mate and friend Bill Bernstein for also reviewing my book. Bill is a great portrait photographer who was Paul McCartney’s tour photographer for 5 years… Finally I would like to thank one my mentors, national geographic photographer, educator, film maker and just an all around nice guy Bob Sacha, who was one of the first to read and review my book…I mean he did say he wished he had read this book 20 years ago..:) thanks Bob

Finally, if you are interested in purchasing a book directly from me and signed PM me…with all your info..I am setting up a purchase site on photoshelter which will be up and running in March …

Back in the day when I was running my studio in NYC, I learned that when work was slow I would plan a trip. Without fail I would get a call for an assignment that would happen while I was gone. I would go on the trip anyway and when I would come back work would pick up again. Stay with me.. So last November, only two months ago my family and I took a trip to Nepal. We had been planning this trip for years and needless to say was very excited when the day finally arrived.

Picked by the ASMP as one of the three best images in 2019

One of the reasons I love to travel is to get out my routines and environment. I had been working feverishly for months completing my next book ” Photographic Lighting for Everybody” due out this Spring on Amherst Media. In addition I had been teaching a new course at RMCAD and burning out. I also love adventure and new experiences to inspire my visual inclinations. I needed some additional images for my upcoming book and Nepal seemed like a good place to find them.

Pokhara , Nepal sits on Phewa Lake and overlooking the lake, and a good trek is the Peace Pagoda. On the way up to the Pagoda we took a small boat across the Phewa Lake, It was a peaceful ride there a hard trek up and up and up to the Pagoda but. well worth the trip. On our way back I looked back at Phewa Lake and notice the sun was trying to fight through the late evening clouds and the empty boats were illuminated ….it was a photographers gift from the gods…I took a couple of shots, knowing I had something special and when I got back to the States and opened up the image on my computer, my heart skipped a beat. I came across an email from the ASMP asking for submission from 2019 for the Best of competition and said, ” why not?” Submitted the image and to my surprise the judges agreed…I am going to start selling my prints that have won awards in a couple of months via PhotoShelter so stay tuned…..

It’s been a while since I last posted. The reason is the book I was working on took a little longer than I expected. I am happy to say I finished the second edit and it is back to my editor for the final proof, sort of . The next step is I get a copy with all the images and text and do a final final edit. Phew….Since then a lot has happened.

I have taught my first online Art Foundation course for RMCAD and I am preparing two new courses , Digital II and Portrait, for the upcoming term. As I mentioned earlier completed the second draft of my upcoming book and most importantly went to Nepal with my family for three weeks. The trip to Nepal allowed me to take more photos and some of them will be appearing in the next book. I will be sharing some of the amazing stories and photos in my upcoming blog.

To be included in my book and how I shot this and used post production in Adobe Lightroom is a scene of Lake Phewa in Pokhara, Nepal

I am in the process of uploading my images and building a new website on Photoshelter. If you want a preview of the site click on the link. My goal is to start selling my prints and books on this site. When it is set up will be able to order my books directly from me and personalized with an autograph …So stay tuned…I am looking forward to 2020 and I hope you are too.

Sincerely Steven

So I am trying to settle on a title for my book that is coming out next Spring (2020). For those who say ” wow that’s a long time from now?” Publishing books ( my sixth one) are not very spontaneous . Once the first draft is completed, it goes to the editor and the marketing department. The marketing department then creates a campaign, the editor slogs through my writing ( I love my editor). It takes time…but back to my first question. What to call the book?

Taken in the historic Roxy Theater in Missoula Montana…Music Producer Jake Birch…taken with one Light…learn more in 2020

Capturing Light: Improving Your Photography Creatively Through Light 

Is what my marketing person came up with at first glance, she’s good, thanks Katie. I sort of like it since that is really the essence of this book is to explain the ” tricks and methods” to improve your photography with simple and yet effective lighting . I should know since I have been problem solving lighting situations for over 30 years ( Yikes, am I that old?) Anyway let me know what you think? Please share this post and sign up to learn some of tried and true methods of creating fabulous fotos ( I know it should be with PH). enjoy your day and happy photographing…. Steven B.

Time for a breather. You get to the point where you just want to stop and I did, for a short time. Then I decided to give it a second read and add more information…then I stopped…and decided it was time to send it to my editor at Amherst Media

An illustration from the book showing the effectiveness of using complimentary colors in styling a photograph. One of my favorite Model/Dancer/Actress Johanna Ciampa is photographed in the studio wear an Ami Davis scarf in Missoula, Montana composited with a shot I took at Lookout Mountain in Denver Colorado.

Tomorrow I am fortunate enough to teach a new class at the Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design, lighting 1 (RMCAD). I say lucky because after working on this intro to lighting book for the last year I feel I have a lot of new discoveries to share. Now that the first draft is completed I will have more time to write in this blog. So please share and comment and ask…Happy Shutter bugging Steven

That’s me climbing up Mount Sentinel in Missoula, Montana with about 70 pounds of gear on my back. It is part of the story I explain on ” how I got the shot” in my upcoming book, who’s title is unnamed for now.

My publisher Amherst Media books wrote to me tonight…..

We look forward to publishing your awesome book.

Normally that would be great news, but the truth is I haven’t sent them the manuscript yet. I am almost finished with the first draft and I have to admit it is coming together.

The way I work is similar to the way I write…instincts, observation and execution. I knew I wanted to write about light and how photographers, can improve their images. I wasn’t sure how to pull it together. I have always been fascinated by light even before I started taking photos. It’s quality, ever changing properties and how it could beckon you without knowing.

So after teaching lighting to students for over 15 years and recognizing the difficulty of seeing the light, I decided to formulate a way…to break it down and build it up that everyone could understand. At least that is my goal of this book. I have even invented new terminology to try and explain complex ideas…my own Zone System….So maybe my publisher knows something I don’t know.

The fun thing about teaching and writing is there is always inspiration. In the class, I am inspired by my students ” who show up” and writing this book about lighting. I am always thinking about how to best explain complicated concepts. In this blog I am taking a an excerpt from my up coming book ” Capturing Light: Improving Your Photography Creatively Through Light”   working title.

In discussing the function of the Shutter on a camera I was trying to come up with creative examples of how to use the shutter. One of the things I love to do is called Painting with light. In brief, painting with light is when you hold the shutter open for as long as you want bringing in light to the camera sensor/film, with the camera on a tripod, you can keep the shutter open ….well until your camera battery dies. I go more into detail about painting with light in my book but keeping this post ,short here ya go: I used the LUME Cube to paint with light in the following image. The camera on a tripod and the shutter set for 20 seconds and the lens at f22 I point the Cube at the tulips and outlined the vase and the flowers. That’s it:)

Here I kept the shutter open for 20 seconds and used a LUME Cube to paint/trace around the black milk glass.
The Final Shot…

Got to run ….but let me know what you think and please share…sharing is caring 🙂

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