The Portrait Photography Course: Principles, practice, and techniques: The essential guide for photographers

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  1. Maki Hirose says:
    25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This book will give you a huge head start. A must buy!, June 3, 2011
    By 
    Maki Hirose
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Portrait Photography Course: Principles, practice, and techniques: The essential guide for photographers (Paperback)
    Chances are if you are looking at this book, it’s because you ran a keyword search using a combination that include the words: portrait, and photography. The thing is, most of the other books you have found are probably general overviews of photography which is something you probably have under your belt already. You on the other hand are interested in finding out more about both the aesthetic values involved specifically when photographing people as well as the technical side to achieve the image. In your ordinary photo book, it’ll teach you how to use your camera and the science behind it, but it most likely lacks in specifics when it comes to a certain topic in photography such as portraiture. A working photography professional now, I had to figure out everything about photographing people, on my own, when I was studying photography at university. That is, as you can imagine, easier said than done. It took me many many years to become very comfortable with both the subject as well as the technical aspects involved. Portraiture is an evolving craft which is what keeps the field exciting and fresh, but having read this book, I wish I had it when I was first starting out in photography. The book is filled with choc full of examples from current working professionals as well as technical notes on how the photographs were created. The book begins with the history of portraiture from the times before photography, moving swiftly to current real world examples. By the end of the book you are introduced on going professional with your work. Very few books out there cover such broadness in a particular field of photography. With this book you will have years of a head start in portraiture. Give it a try and I have no doubt you’ll find this book to be a keeper on your bookself for years to come.

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  2. 12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Will require multiple readings and a lot of study and thought, September 17, 2011
    By 
    Joe I

    This review is from: The Portrait Photography Course: Principles, practice, and techniques: The essential guide for photographers (Paperback)
    This book starts out defining it’s subject; portraits, in great detail. Portraits were being produce long before photography ever evolved. A cave painting found in Angoul’me, France (dated 25,000 BC) is thought to be the oldest known example of a portrait. In 1623 Prince Philip IV of Spain commissioned a portrait that he felt was so flattering the he ordered all other likenesses of him collected and destroyed.

    When the camera was first invented (First American patent was issued in 1840 photography to Alexander Wolcott for his camera), it took a skilled craftsman to take the photograph, but middle class citizens could afford it. Photography today has progressed to the digital camera and will move on to animation, three-dimensional imaging and handheld communication devices.

    The book covers a lot of technical data, explained through the use of samples, examples, drawings and carts; all very clearly presented. There are not only the expected chapters on choosing equipment, lighting, composition and context, but chapters on computer basics, which covers the needed computer equipment and digital capture formats, but the basics of LightRoom(tm) and Photoshop(tm).

    And all of that valuable information can be found in just the first 5 chapters. Chapters 6 and 7 cover Studio photography and Location/Environmental photography; both complex subjects that each have their own unique advantages and challenges.

    Chapters 8 and 9 walk away from the technical side of photography. Chapter 8 contains interviews with 6 professional photographers. The interviews broadly outline the careers of Art Kane, Richard Renaldi, Emily Shur, Kristen Ashburn, Karen Cunningham and Sarah Wilson. Each of these professionals specialize in a different form of portrait photography.

    Chapter 9 discusses what it takes to `Go Professional.’

    This is a book that will require multiple readings and a lot of study and thought; but that is what a good book is all about…

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  3. Amisella says:
    4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Smart, clear, solid, December 7, 2011
    By 

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    This review is from: The Portrait Photography Course: Principles, practice, and techniques: The essential guide for photographers (Paperback)
    I’m an intermediate photog and found this to be a valuable addition to my library. After reading this book, I now know that other sources are too general in their counsel (to a reader’s detriment). The info in this book is utterly eye-opening in some cases. Its great for home brew photography, and takes you into sophisticated work for the ultra serious. The clarifing information is so useful, but much would be lost on a beginner. Don’t start your photography journey with this book. Pick it up a year later after a class or two.

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