Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on October 14, 2012
First, something about me to put the review in perspective. I am a serious amateur photographer and a photography student. I understand the technicalities of f-stops, shutter speed, ISO and White balance quite well. Thus my expectations from a book are not the same as someone who's just casually interested in Photography. Lastly, I'm also a big fan of Bryan Peterson; I've read almost every book he published and am currently taking classes at his online school.
Enough said about me, now about the book. Having read his "Understanding Exposure" and "Learning to See Creatively", I absolutely admired the author's ability to explain a complex concept in simple words along with the aid of compelling photographs. Not in this book! I do not know if it's because I purchased a Kindle edition (images were smaller ?) or because portrait photography is not my primary interest, I did not find the book as gripping as I expected from the author. The concepts presented in the book were neither different from the other books I mentioned above nor were they particular to portrait photography. Without giving away the details, all I can say is concepts like "filling the frame", "vertical composition" or "lighting" are generic and not specific to portraiture.
I am the kind of person who doesn't put down a book if it's interesting or is from his favorite author. In this case, the later was true. However, I felt that the book is unnecessarily drawn out. Whatever the author wanted to achieve by authoring this book could also have been achieved in much fewer words only if he stuck to the primary subject of the book, portraiture. This book could easily be titled "Beyond Portraiture... and Some More Stuff From My Other Books". I must admit though that I enjoyed reading some interesting anecdotes the author shared from his long photographic career.
All in all, if you have read the 2 books by the same author that I mentioned in the start, look elsewhere.