Dean Collins was early into adopting the digital revolution. I’m not certain that he gave up his 8×10 view camera and leaf shutters, but his predictions about the future of digital were pretty much spot on.
In this video he again preaches about the need to control specular, diffuse and shadow regions of the photograph. He recognized that even in digital photography, capturing the best possible image would make post processing more enjoyable and effective.
He predicted that there would be a huge market in digital manipulation and photo composites, something that he was working on even then, in 1998. Definitely way ahead of his time.
I look back on these Dean Collins videos and find that they are still applicable to the photographs I make today. I spend a good deal of time attempting to control contrast, specular highlights and shadow detail. I employ a number of techniques that I initially learned from his videos, such as strobes/flashes, scrims and reflectors. Dean’s videos explain the use and purpose of these techniques in simple, easy to understand terms.
If you are just trying to get into the glamor, advertising or product photography industries you can do yourself a great service by getting a copy of The Best of Dean Collins on Lighting videos. Dean demonstrates many light modifiers, natural, studio and location lighting. He also demonstrates some novel techniques such as moving a background rather than photographing something in motion and firing studio strobes multiple times during an extended exposure to get sufficient light at a small aperture.
For another take on “the Dean of Photography’s” ability to teach lighting like no one else, take a look at the Strobist’s review of the videos.