This is a useful book authored by Richard Yot to help artists understand light.
It's 176 pages and is pretty comprehensive. The chapters are split into three categories. The first looks at the basic lighting fundamentals, which are the basic principles of light and shadows, their qualities, colours and how we perceive surfaces. The second looks at lighting with people and environment. The last looks at specific uses of lighting for staging and composition, setting mood and giving the illusion of time and place.
The text is clear and detailed. There are lots of photos, 3D computer generated images, a few drawn art, and some film stills in later chapters.
It's interesting to read about things we see daily and don't really think about why they look that way. Examples like why some wet surfaces are darker, how the colour of the sky changes throughout the day, finding the true colour of shadows.
It's not a tutorial book so you won't learn any techniques. It's a theory book that highlights those principles so that you can make use of them to create more realistic and believable work. The principles can be easily applied to other medium.
This is not the only book around on light. If you're more of a traditional artist, I recommend checking out James Gurney's Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. Many of the topics are similar bot James Gurney's book added colour schemes and other subjects more useful to artists.
If you're into digital lighting, check out Jeremy Birn's Digital Lighting and Rendering (Amazon: US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | JP | Book Depository). I no longer have this book so I can't remember anything much except that it's also a very good book. Not sure about similar topics.
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