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Portrait Photographer's Handbook Paperback – August 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Series: Portrait Photographer's Handbook
  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Amherst Media; 3rd edition (August 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158428207X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1584282075
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This guide offers excellent advice on how to master the complex art of portrait photography."  —Shutterbug

About the Author

Bill Hurter is the editor of "Rangefinder" and the author of more than 12 photography books, including "The Best of Wedding Photojournalism," "Group Portrait Photography Handbook," and "The Portrait Photographer's Guide to Posing." He lives in West Covina, California.

More About the Author

Bill Hurter has been involved in the photographic industry for the past 30 years. He is the former editor of Petersen's PhotoGraphic magazine and most recently, the editor of both AfterCapture and Rangefinder magazines. He has authored over 40 books on photography and hundreds of articles on photography and photographic technique. He is a graduate of American University and Brooks Institute of Photography, from which he holds a BFA and Honorary Masters of Science and Masters of Fine Art degrees. During his career he covered Capital Hill, including the Watergate Hearings, and worked for three seasons as a stringer for the L.A. Dodgers. He is married and lives in West Covina, CA.

Customer Reviews

You will certainly learn a lot.
P.M.
I would recommend this book for any photographer who wants a general understanding of portrait photography.
Tyler Stembridge
The book is up to date and gives a great deal of insight on portrait photography techniques.
Michael J. Jackson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 141 people found the following review helpful By Maine Character on March 5, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I waited a few months for the 3rd edition to come out, and now wish I hadn't, due to how it tries to put three books - an introduction to digital photography, a portrait handbook, and a book on Photoshop techniques - into 120 pages. Each of those subjects is far too in-depth to cover well in one book and, even as it is, it's poorly done.

Chap. 1 - Equipment and Basic Techniques
A good intro to lenses, depth of field, meters, umbrellas, etc.

Chap 2 - Good Digital Working Techniques
Here's where it starts to go off track, basically giving you a beginner's manual on digital photography, including info on formatting your cards and backing up your images.

On top of that, the Shadows/Highlight tip on page 25 is flat-out wrong. First it has you create two copies of the layer, apply Shadows/Highlight, and then apply a layer mask, when in fact the Shadow/Highlight tool is designed so you don't have to use a copy or layer mask. And when it says to paint white on the faces "to conceal the underlying data," painting with white actually reveals it.

The Camera Raw examples are also useless, as when it shows the resolution bumped from 2000x3000 to 4000x6000. Any beginner reading this is going to think that's the way to go and end up with a huge file that will only bog down their computer with useless resolution. It even says, "by converting the file from Adobe RGB 1998 to a wider-gamut color space (ProPhoto RGB), the file can be easily enlarged to 4000x6000 pixels." Color space and resolution have nothing to do with each other, and 99% of the people reading this book wouldn't want to do either of these adjustments.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Davidsharples on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I bought this book a couple of months ago with the preconception that it would be just another step-by-step approach to portraiture,I'm so glad I was wrong,this book gives a fantastic insight to the world of portrait photography with masses of information both from the author and contributing photographers including none other than Monte Zucker.I find this book a valuable scource of reference and inspiration and I open it and look through from time to time when I'm short on ideas for an upcoming project and it does n't disappoint.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Sprout on September 1, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have purchased many photography books from Amazon in the past several months. Unfortunately, while the advice in most of them useful, the sample pictures are often very poorly done, lack variety or real inspiration. This book, however, is full of gorgeous portraitures that clearly demonstrate poses, lighting techniques, etc., while still being very nice to look at. The author gives shot details in the caption of each photo, and there is a very nice range of different styles and techniques that have given me a lot of ideas on what I'd like to shoot for myself. The text itself is clearly written and the inclusion of illustrated diagrams really helps visualize proper set ups for lighting.

The only caveat is that there are some glaring editing/layout problems in the introduction. The first page includes a couple paragraphs of the introduction, and the page it's supposed to continue onto starts the entire introduction over again. It took me a minute to figure out what was going on! But other than that, excellent book, wonderful and useful pictures, clearly written text, gorgeously laid out. I definitely recommend it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ric Trexell on January 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All that needs to be said is this is a great book, whether you are a digital or film photographer. I took the NYIP course a few years ago and this is like a mini addition to that course in the area of portraits. There is a lot of stuff to learn from it, such as how to position different people that have a smaller eye, a fuller face, a longer face and just about anything you wouldn't have thought of. I also bought the portrait book by Monte Zucker, (his last before his death) and that covered some of this material but I think this book did a better job. Not to discourage you from getting that book also. Another thing I liked about this book is that he deals a little with how to make the subject relaxed and what you might say that would cause a person to question their looks. A good amount of lighting is covered and positioning of hands and little things that might throw off an otherwise great shot. I can't think of a book I have bought that I came to the conclusion half way through it that I had bought a great photography book, except this one. Digital photographers will like the section on Photoshop and how to fix problems. However it is not a Photoshop how to book but it does cover it better than Zucker's book by far. Don't be without it. Ric.
P.S. I just looked at the review I wrote and noticed Amazon has it with the older version of this book. The one I have does not have the blonde on the cover and is a darker cover. I don't know why they went back to the old cover but that one might not have anything about digital photography in it. Make sure you get the newer one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Tim Vanbergen on July 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I struggled with getting the pose and light right for a long time. Most of my shots were, well, like I'd do at home with the family. After employeeing some of these basic elements of posing and lighting, my images look like they were inteded to be - professional. The reading is easy, but for a beginning professional photographer, the tips were ground breaking for me.
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