Dean Collins On Lighting
Dean Collins On Lighting
A Creative COW Training Product Review

Mike Gondek examines Dean Collins On Lighting: Live at Brooks Institute of Photography 1991
Mike Gondek
Mike Gondek
Orland Park, IL USA

©2007 Mike Gondek and All rights reserved.

Article Focus:
CreativeCOW leader, Mike Gondek examines Dean Collins On Lighting: Live at Brooks Institute of Photography 1991 and published by Software Cinema. Although, this was presented in 1991, Mike believes the content is timeless material.

The Content

Dean Collins presented this at the Brooks Institute in 1991 and the content is timeless material that I believe will continue to be important in decades to come. Whether you are a student or professional photographer, there is something for everyone on this DVD.  At times the pace may be fast for a hobbyist photographer, and even a professional may pause the disk to think something over. Phrases like losing stops or opening the aperture are thrown at you very quickly, but the well planned presentation of slides by Dean Collins will bring new ideas and push your photography to new levels.

Dean covers topics such as how to light the black leggings of this model, so that the spectral highlight defines the edge without them fading into the black background. Dean Collins teaches you to not only see the light, but to control it to creating images that are a masterpiece as if created by a renaissance artist.

In this next example Dean will show you how to do multiple exposures. In the first exposure he gets the detail of the car and driver, and discusses every setting in you will need to know to achieve similar results. He then gets a fog machine to add the spooky lighting on the headlights, to the second exposure that he combines to get the amazing shot shown below..


The Production

The slides are exceptionally well organized and presented. Dean has taken slideshow presentations to a new dimension, in that every slide was in perfect order and presented at the perfect time, on multiple screens. How someone did not accidentally advance one of the screens to the wrong slide is beyond me. Dean often discusses color and exposure issues, and though this presentation was videotaped, you can clearly see the points he is making in the before and after slides.

Dean very wisely uses multiple video screens. In the example below a car as the subject is on his left, and on a line drawing showing the lighting setup on the right. The lights on the line drawing illuminate a yellow beam as he is talking about them, so there is no confusion as to what light he is discussing.


Dean also discusses the many tools a professional uses in his trade and where you can get materials to build your own homemade ripstock nylon screens. Thought much of this discussion may not be feasible for a hobbyist photographer who cannot store all this equipment, it may be useful to make your own muslin screen with by dunking some fabric into a garbage can with RIT dye.


Final Thoughts

Dean Collins On Lighting
Live at Brooks Institute of Photography 1991
Author: Dean Collins
Publisher: Software Cinema
1 DVD--1.75 Hours

Dean unfortunately passed away at an early age due to cancer, but his brilliance lives on through software cinema. The topic of lighting is rarely discussed in such detail, and many other authors dance around the topic. Dean shares valuable experience directly with you on this DVD in great style and a down to earth real sense of humor, we can rarely enjoy today.


I give 5 cows to Live at Brooks Institute of Photography 1991.




There is also a 4 DVD set with over 6 hours of content called “The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting” which you may interest you if you are looking for even more content.





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