On Camera Flash by Neil Van Nierkern

On Camera Flash – A Book Review

By Neil Van Niekern

Hello there, this post is aimed at photographers and people wanting to grow as a photographer and is aimed mainly at people photographers.

In a previous post I have talked about several websites that I love to visit on a weekly if not more frequently basis – well one of these is a site I call Planet Neil – thats the old name for it, his new site name is simply Neilvn – To get to the photographers section of this site you can simply go here –http://neilvn.com/tangents/

Neil is one of a small bread of photographers who are willing to not only tell you but show you EXACTLY how he works his magic – you could spend hour upon hour on his site and fill your brain with everything you ever wanted to know and a whole lot more about photography and more importantly lighting – especially lighting with small flash lights – something that is know by the name of another site – Strobist – Strobists are people who light using little camera flash’s.

Everything you can find in Neils book is also found on the website but I still brought the book – I buy lots of books and training DVD’s and have decided to start reviewing them based upon nothing other than my own interpretations of them.

So the book is called On Camera Flash by Neil Van Niekern – I am sure you can get it from amazon etc – I dont have an affiliate code so am not trying to sell you anything – just Google it.

I was pretty surprised when the book arrived, I was and I dont know why expecting a book about A5 sized or paperback sized.  Its a full A4 (8×12) size with nice big print, great photos and lots of information inside.

The book walks you thru using your ON CAMERA FLASH to the max, if you apply what you learn in this book your photos will improve by at least 100 % – its that simple.

The book is written in such a way that a newbie or professional alike will get something from it – its not a technical book and apart from one technical diagram and paragraph on the Inverse Square Law – If you dont know what this is – READ THE BOOK ! – this alone will make your photos so much better !

Why did I buy the book when I could get all the information off the website ? – well I like to read, re-read, and the highlight, bookmark and read and read again bits that interest me, I want to be able to access sections I want any time but most importantly to me is that I get a better understanding from a book than the same text on a screen – combine this with the fact that I tend to read in bed to help me unwind.

Another factor of why I like books is I keep some in the car and every now and then when I get caught up in a traffic jam I can fill my time productively rather than just drumming on the steering wheel and going nuts.

As you may or may not know  I am a professional wedding photographer, I make my ONLY income from  taking wedding photos.   I have been doing this for years so you would think that just using your on camera flash is simple – wrong ! – there is so much more to it than just that.

Did I learn anything from the book ?

Thats a great question, Yes is the answer in a nut shell – what I learned I have put into practice and its paid off for me but I wont give away those bits, you should buy the book if you want to know what they are – remember I have been a pro full time tog for the past  6 years and semi pro for 10 years before that as well as working for news papers etc.

What else did I get from the book ?

Another great question – If like me you send a lot of time learning new things you sometimes forget the older things that used to work well for you, the book made me go back and reevaluate what I was doing and what I had forgotten – it was not so much about leaning, it was about re learning.

What was bad about the book ?

Another great question,  There was actually nothing too wrong with the book, I found it a little limiting but then I have progressed onto using several lights at one time using the Nikon CLS system – If you remember the book is called On Camera Flash and with this in mind its a GREAT book

Rating – 9 out of 10 – again if you only have one flash and you want to learn how to use it to the max then I dont know of a better book out there

Is it worth the money ?

Yes, the true test for me on how good a book is – is what I call the toilet test – because I spend so much money on books, courses and dvd tutorials I tend to sell them on after one read or one viewing.  The truly great ones I keep and normally keep them by the loo – that way I always have something great to read when I have some spare time on my hands 😉 if you know what I mean – On Camera Flash did not get sold on – its a keeper.

Remember to check out Planet Neil – the website address is http://neilvn.com/tangents/



David Purslow

DarrenMay 8, 2010 - 9:38 am

Niel’s tangents web site is fantastic! There’s so much information there. Have u looked at prophotonut.com? Another good source of info, not that u need it! ;D

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