BareFeats "BARE facts on MAC speed FEATS!"

PHOTOGRAPHY: The Best of Dean Collins on LIGHTING

Originally posted October 21st, 2006 by Special Features Editor, Bet-TAY Morgan.

From the beginning, The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting DVDs captivated my attention. I've always wanted to see a professional photographer in action inside a studio and on location and these DVDs delivered the goods! Dean Collins produced this series of classes in the 80's on professional photography techniques using examples and terms that anyone can understand and put into practice.

Pick the best of all the VHS tapes that Dean Collins ever produced and that's what you find inside the DVD box entitled, "The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting." The four DVDs  contain six hours of lighting techniques that are invaluable to any photographer. The DVDs include fundamental and advanced lighting techniques that can be applied to standard or digital photography. Lessons range from lighting techniques in portrait, product and fashion photography on both small and large sets. Dean Collins teaches in-studio and on-location about set up and reasons for lighting when creating the image. Included in the re-release are commentary and overview by Skip Cohen, Rangefinder Magazine’s publisher and author, Tony Corbell, noted photographer and author, and Julieanne Kost, Adobe’s official Photoshop Evangelist.

(These DVDs are not instructional QuickTime Movies, they are VHS tapes that have been transformed to a high-quality DVD format. They are soft looking like old VHS tapes, but the sound and visuals are still instructional.)

Just One Battery Powered Flash
From all the photo sessions taught by Dean Collins, the one that really captivated my attention was the DVD that demonstrated his philosophy of lighting by simply using only ONE battery-powered flash. These techniques are the basis for all photography lighting and he shows that you don't have to have to spend big bucks on complex lighting equipment to produce fabulous photographs. 

A Pair of Nike's Transformed By Light
The other DVD session that was especially instructive was a simple pair of Nike shoes that were brought to life in an innovative way. I've already begun to apply his techniques to my own photography work in the studio and in my uses of Photoshop CS2.

Dean Talks You Through Each Step
Dean talks you through the entire process of creating the photography shoot. It's like he's explaining his thinking process while you're working right along side him in his studio. His cameras seem antiquated compared our modern day digital formats, but the techniques are basic and timeless. 

Like Color Basics, Lighting Fundamentals Must Be Learned
In the studio, on locations, and simple line drawings explain the why and wherefore of each lighting set-up. Each step is demonstrated to show how each lighting angle builds to the next. Whether you are a seasoned or amateur photographer, this is a series of DVDs that should be in your library.

"Dean Collins always emphasized that the cornerstone behind great photography is a deep knowledge of lighting," said Gary Burns, director of operations at Software Cinema. "We felt that educating a new generation of photographers through the re-release of Dean’s timeless lighting series was the perfect way to honor him. Furthermore, each purchase makes a positive contribution in the fight against childhood cancer."

Software Cinema’s The Best of Dean Collins 4 DVD Collection is available now for $179 (with a 20% off special currently offered) and can be purchased by going to

About Dean Collins
In the early 1980s, Dean Collins founded Finelight Publishing with partner Gary Burns and refined the publishing of photo lighting materials over the years, while conducting seven world tours. He was in demand as a speaker on every continent, and was often called upon to photograph heads of state, many of the world’s best athletes as well as some of the most famous entertainers known. He developed several easily understood methods of controlling light and understanding its behavior, single handedly raising the level of competency and quality among a generation of professional photographers. The lighting in his photographs captured the attention of many. He produced many hundreds of virtual seminars and live "Training Camps”, as he called them, bringing together the brightest teachers, the biggest brand names in photography, and enthusiastic crowds of practitioners in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Dean Collins battled cancer for 3 years and passed away at his home in San Diego on February 2, 2005. He was 51 years old.

Since the loss of Dean Collins to cancer, Software Cinema has become proactive in the support of cancer research. In Dean’s honor, the company now partners with CureSearch, the largest pediatric cancer research organization. CureSearch unites the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and the National Childhood Cancer Foundation (NCCF) through a shared mission to cure and prevent childhood and adolescent cancer through scientific discovery and compassionate care. For every Dean Collins DVD purchased, Software Cinema will donate $5 to CureSearch.

About Software Cinema
Headquartered in San Diego, California, Software Cinema is a privately-held company and strategic partner of Adobe Systems focused on interactive learning for the digital imaging industry. Through Training Camps, Programs on Disc, Workshops-On-Demand and Video Presentations, Software Cinema brings proven techniques from the top names in the industry for fundamental and advanced education. For more information, please visit

© 1995-2007 Rob Art Morgan | "BARE facts on MAC speed FEATS" |