Review of photography book called: People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs
This is a photography book review of Chris Orwig's People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs.
This is not your traditional portrait photography book. It is not all about making your subject look their prettiest like most portrait books. It's about connection and depth with your Subject.
It has 30 exercises that you can go through at your own speed as you wish. It's not like a novel where you read the whole book all at once. You read a chapter, go out and try the exercise, then go back to the next chapter and a new technique.
Each chapter encourages you to have fun and for me that's what photography should be about. I always encourage people to develop a child-like curiosity as they learn and develop their ability to improve their photography.
It is really like a course in portrait photography packed into a book. There is only a page or two of text before each exercise. It is not full of do-it-this-way and don't-do-it-this-way only instructions.
This is not about fancy equipment, studio lighting or flash photography techniques. It's about natural lighting, environmental, candid and street photography.
It's not about shutter speeds and apertures. It's for photographers who want to take better pictures of people with more emotional impact.
If you want to see a video of the author, here is a video from Youtube. Chris really has a passion for photography.
This is a review of the book "Off-Camera Flash Techniques for Digital Photographers," written by Neil van Niekerk.
This book specifically covers techniques for lighting with a separate flash that is not part of or directly mounted to your camera.
Using off-camera flash is by far the easiest technique to advance from beginning or amateur to advanced or professional portrait photographer status. One of the quickest benefits to off-camera flash is NO MORE RED-EYE! The second big benefit is more natural-looking, professional portrait lighting.
Also very helpful and what many photographer's don't help you with is avoiding common photo mistakes. This is one of the portrait photography books that gives photo examples of mistakes and how to fix them. For me this is a great learning tool.
Most of the book revolves around using just one off-camera flash, which is easier to learn and popular with many photographers who don't own more than one external flash.
Also, he does not delve into complicated lighting set-ups which makes it more appealing to amateur photographers as well as professional photographers like myself, who want to focus on working with posing and expression.
Most of the situations in the book are for outdoor photography. There is good coverage of manual vs. TTL settings as well as ambient vs. flash lighting.
Two warnings: You should have at least a basic understanding of a few concepts in photography such as aperture and shutter speed. Another reason that the photos are terrific is that he uses beautiful models to illustrate everything. But if you like to look at beautiful models, you're in luck. ;-)
Book review of "50 Lighting Setups For Portrait Photographers"
Cover of "50 Lighting Setups for Portrait Photography"
Although some might say that the book's title is misleading, I still recommend this portrait photography book as a valuable resource for lighting and for portrait photography.
There is a section in the front of the book that covers basic lighting setups, like Rembrandt and butterfly lighting, followed by valuable ways to modify the lighting.
The ways to modify portrait lighting are infinite and this short section touches on a few of the more well-known methods.
The author then goes on to touch on electronic flash and several tips on how to use it.
The real value of this book for me is the 50 examples of actual portraits taken and the photographer's thought process in creating them. The lighting diagrams are the traditional, overhead, two-dimensional sketches that don't show the height of the subject or the light sources.
Two modes for learning portrait photography lighting are; trial and error by experimenting on your own, and studying portraits of other photographers. Books of portrait photography are a good way to do the later.
Portrait photography lighting is not learned over night. The best professional portrait photographers are constantly learning to use light to modify their subject in a pleasing or unique way.
This makes my list of valuable portrait photography books, particularly good for amateurs.
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