Posts Tagged ‘People’

Get Started with Photography Books

July 14, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for July 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Digital SLR Handbook, by John Freeman

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Excerpt: How to Photograph Dogs and Cats Together

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

Excerpt: The Importance of Exposure

The Art of People Photography

Excerpt: Posing Basics

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

Sign up for the Photobird newsletter.

Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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Posing Basics

June 30, 2009

Photo © Copyright Michael Van Auken

The text and photo in this article are excerpted from The Art of People Photography by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Copyright © 2007 by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

To read more about this book, read the article in the Photobird Daily entitled “The Art of People Photography“.

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Posing Basics

Position your subjects so that they create pyramid shapes or triangles. Put people in small clusters. Stay away from the firing-squad approach (everyone standing straight in a row). And, don’t be afraid to leave a little space between your subjects.

If any of the subjects are to be seated, the art of communication is critical; you’re not just a photographer any longer, you’ve graduated to director. You want to make sure your subjects don’t sit flat on their backside. Instead, have them turn or shift so that they sit on their bottom thigh (more on their side than on their bottom) and have them lean forward, toward you, so that the majority of their weight is behind them.

If your subjects are standing, have them turn approximately 45 degrees away from the camera, separate their feet, and push their front hip away from you while turning the front foot toward the camera.

Remember, you can always break the rules, providing you understand them up front. For example, there may be times when you’re going to set up a “group hug” and create the infamous bunch-of-grapes pose, perfect for a message that screams “We love you, Grandma!”

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The text and photo in this article are excerpted from The Art of People Photography by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Copyright © 2007 by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Reprinted by permission of Amphoto Books, an imprint of Watson-Guptill Publications. All rights reserved.

To read more about this book, read the article in the Photobird Daily entitled “The Art of People Photography“.

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Before you buy The Art of People Photography or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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Get Started with Photography Books

June 16, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for June 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Digital SLR Handbook, by John Freeman

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

Sign up for the Photobird newsletter.

Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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Get Started with Photography Books

May 19, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for May 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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E-mail this article to family and friends.

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

Sign up for the Photobird newsletter.

Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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Get Started with Photography Books

April 21, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, such as by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you’re one of the winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for April 2009, you can buy the books with your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our links to Amazon.com on this page or anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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Get Started With Photography Books

March 10, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you want to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, including by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available from Amazon.com, and if you win the Photobird Photo Contest for March 2009, you can use your $50 Amazon.com gift card! The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our Amazon.com links anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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Get Started With Photography Books

February 10, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you’re looking to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, and HDR photography.

After you’ve learned everything you can from books, you can learn even more online, including by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The list of books is separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available as prizes for the two winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for February 2009. The contest is free to enter. Enter here!

If you’re looking to purchase only one photography book to get started with, I recommend either Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Understanding Shutter Speed

Before you buy Understanding Exposure or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our Amazon.com links anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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5 Tips for Natural Looking Portraits

February 4, 2009

Photo © Copyright Natalie Norton

There’s different types of portrait photography and each has their own unique style and approach. For example, corporate portraits are usually starchy, serious, and professional-looking. Fashion photography is also serious-looking, but more artistic and has unique creativity applied to each photo. Fashion photography usually focuses more on the location and the clothing than the model. Glamour photography is like fashion photography, but less artistic and has more focus on the model than the location and clothing.

Casual portrait photography is like none of those because it focuses on the subject’s personality and tries to bring out those traits in the photos. Casual portraits are the most natural of the ones I mentioned above, but they can also be the most challenging because most people are not comfortable nor able to be natural when someone is taking their picture right in front of them.

The Command “Act Natural!” Doesn’t Work

If you’re sitting across the table from me and I pull out a huge DSLR camera to take your picture and say “Okay, now act natural!”, you’ll probably duck away from the camera and cover your head. That’s actually a natural reaction, but I don’t want a photo of the back of your head with one hand covering your face and the other hand trying to cover my lens.

Therefore, to get natural-looking portraits of people who usually try to avoid getting their picture taken, here are some helpful tips from Natalie Norton, a wedding and portrait photographer, in an article at the Digital Photography School.

(more…)

Get Started With Photography Books

January 13, 2009

Photography books are helpful when you’re getting started with photography and need the fundamentals.

Photography books are also helpful when you’re looking to learn more about a specific type of photography, such as portrait photography, night and low-light photography, or HDR photography.

After you’ve absorbed the contents of the book, you can learn even more online, including by searching the Photobird Daily.

Here’s a chronological list of photography books that we’ve written about here in the Photobird Daily. The books are also separated between beginner’s books and advanced books.

All of the photography books are available as prizes for the two winners of the Photobird Photo Contest for January.

If you’re looking for a photography book to get started with, I recommend Understanding Exposure or Photographer’s Exposure Handbook.

For beginners:

Photographer’s Exposure Handbook

PhoDOGraphy, by Kim Levin

Hands-On Digital Photography, by George Schaub

Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson

The Art of People Photography

Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson

Baby Face

More advanced:

Fashion Photography, by Bruce Smith

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

Night & Low-Light Photography, by Jill Waterman

Mastering HDR Photography, by Michael Freeman

Before you buy Beyond Portraiture, by Bryan Peterson or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our Amazon.com links anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait

November 18, 2008

If you’re considering taking your portrait photography to the next level, consider Michael Grecco’s book Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait. You may have already seen the other people and portrait-related books we’ve written about previously, including Beyond Portraiture by Bryan Peterson and The Art of People Photography by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen. Be forewarned that Michael Grecco’s book will encourage you to spend money on lighting equipment if you don’t already own it, and should also help inspire your creativity.

Michael Grecco’s book Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait seems to have at least three distinctive parts to it. About a third to half of the book is dedicated to illustrating lighting diagrams that Michael Grecco has used on specific shoots. Another third to half of the book are case studies and other storytelling about specific celebrity shoots Michael Grecco conducted. And in the remaining parts of the book, Michael Grecco shares his tips and perspectives on photography and lighting for various situations. If you enjoy reading about all that goes on behind-the-scenes to get the artful celebrity shots Michael Grecco is known for, along with tons of beautiful, inspirational photos, then Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait is for you.

Michael Grecco’s book Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait is highly rated on Amazon.com with 27 reviewers giving it an average of 4 stars. Most of the ratings are 5 stars, with more 3 stars than 4 stars, and one 2-star rating as of today. Most people rave about the beautiful photos and the tips, and those who gave the book fewer stars seemed to have been hoping for more instructional material in the book.

Instead of a step-by-step instruction manual, Michael Grecco’s book Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait seems to be more of an inspirational photography book with Michael Grecco’s perspectives on shooting, and his descriptions of the challenges and obstacles overcome with each shot. The book doesn’t really have any step-by-step instructions and merely describes how the photos were achieved. To be honest, however, I can’t recall any photography book that actually has step-by-step instructions, unless it was describing software or making a craft. I think I know the reason why.

As a photographer, you’re supposed to be the creative one, instead of relying on someone else to tell you what to do. Granted, it would be helpful to learn how to achieve certain photographic looks, but there’s only so much you can learn from a 250-page book with full-page photos. For instance, you can’t learn to play basketball by reading a book. Some people even have trouble with cooking, even though cookbooks have step-by-step instructions. As with many skills, photography needs to be mastered by trial and error. Lots of it. Photography books and online materials give you the inspiration and can point you in the right direction, but they can only go so far and can’t replace actual experience. Workshops can be very useful because they’re hands-on, and I’ve heard of people getting jobs as photographers’ assistants just to learn the tricks of the trade.

At less than $20 on Amazon.com, Michael Grecco’s book Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait provides a great bang-per-buck return on your investment. It may not have all of the instructional details you need, but it more than makes up for it in inspirational photos and behind-the-scenes creative dialogue. It’s a beautiful book either for you or as a gift for a budding photographer you know.

Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait is published by my favorite book publisher, Amphoto Books, which also publishes Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. Understanding Exposure is listed as a prize each month for the Photobird Photo Contest, but the winners actually get to choose a book. Winners may choose one of the books listed on the page at http://amphotobooks.com ; click the book covers and if “Amphoto” is listed under the ISBN number at the top, then the book is available as a prize. The following books are also available as prizes:

Enter the Photobird Photo Contest for your chance to win Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait!

Before you buy Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait or anything else on Amazon.com, please click one of our Amazon.com links anywhere on Photobird.com. For each product you buy after your click, we receive a small referral fee, at no additional cost to you. Your clicks and purchases allow us to continue to publish the Photobird Daily and the Photobird Learning Center. Thank you for your support!

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