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Portrait Photography: Secrets of Posing & Lighting (A Lark Photography Book) Paperback – April 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: A Lark Photography Book
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Pixiq (April 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 157990548X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579905484
  • Product Dimensions: 11.5 x 7.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This book was very instrumental in deciding what I need to get without wasting a lot of money.
little-net
Having now read much of it, I'm still fairly satisfied with its coverage but I'm very disappointed with how poorly it is written and edited.
Showbear
She said it was a great book to start with and recommends it to those starting out in photography.
kimm65

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Pixelle Mom on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I spent many hours hunting for a book dedicated to studio portraiture (with a focus on strobes), but this was the only one I found. All other books used hot lights and were examples from the 70's. Yuk. This book is awesome! Mark begins by covering the different equipment used in the studio and on location including different types of strobes, flashes and attachments for focusing or diffusing light. He writes about posing people and gives tips for every part of the body from head to toe with photo examples. He offers flattering poses and light set-ups to camoflauge undesireable body flaws. He covers different types of lighting setups and describes how to acheive them. I would have liked more detail in this area, and possibly some diagrams of the setups used. He covers posing children, adults and families. He explains how to use existing lighting indoors and out on location. The majority of the book is for indoor studios with strobe lighting. It was exactly what I was looking for and I am very pleased.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By D. Laronde on January 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a professional photographer I am always looking at the numerous books that are published on photographic lighting, particularly portrait lighting. This book is the best book that I have found on this subject. It won't tell you anything more than you would get from reading a vast collection of books and figuring it out for yourself after going to numerous seminars and convenstions but this is the only book that I have found where someone has put what really is a collection of simple material all together for you.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Anton Karidian on May 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is excellent.

Firstly, unlike many books on portrait photography, he doesn't assume that you the reader knows what he's talking about when he throws around terms (e.g. power pack, monopods, snoots, parabolic reflectors, softlights etc.) -- he actually shows you clear photos of the equipment used.

Secondly, in a very systematic way demonstrates all the various effects of using the many pieces of equipment. Furthermore, he inspires by showing in a catagorical why the interesting/beautiful examples in addition to the usual "textbook" poses and lighting effects. His style is traditional but still has a fresh modern look.

My only quibble is that he doesn't discuss (and very few books on portrait photography does) about the relative placement of backdrops, camera, lights -- or how much light output is required when shooting with medium format vs SLR etc.

There is very little discussion on digital post production which is okay by me since there are a more than enough books out there that cover Photoshop.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Sircom on March 1, 2007
Format: Paperback
Mark Cleghorn's portrait photography book is one of the few that is both comprehensive and up to date. Too many books either focus on the dated "rose sniffer" picture, or stick to the lighting diagrams and studio work. This covers interior and exterior shots, posing and all with a contemporary feel.

It does have a strong European/UK slant. We tend not to bother too much with defining the differences between broad and short lighting, or whether loop, Paramount, Rembrandt or split lighting fits the bill, and often go for the simple softbox key, evenly lit white background approach. Cleghorn covers this stalwart of European commercial portraiture, but also covers more advanced and complex lighting arrangements, but perhaps doesn't cover what American portrait photographers would consider 'the basics' as thoroughly. This is more a problem of the language of portrait photography not being as universal as we might imagine, rather than any lack on Cleghorn's part. Usefully though, he uses real people, not models, so the final images are perhaps not as polished as some, but more attainable.

If there is a criticism, it's that the book starts with a strong four/five light portrait setting. This is for entirely good reasons (it acts as a benchmark for later lighting, and allows explanation of what the key, fill, rim and background lights actually do). However, it might prove daunting to those who are at the 'My First Softbox' level of studio lighting. I also think some aspects regarding the business end would be an advantage in a guide like this, although that would also make it even less appealing to those living outside of the UK, perhaps.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By little-net on July 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have been looking for a book that would help me to understand equipment and the usage before going and buying any. This book was very instrumental in deciding what I need to get without wasting a lot of money. I recommend this book for someone that is beginning and has a lot of questions without a mentor to help them. Worth buying if you want to start a studio.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By B. Jackman on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
I own many books on posing and lighting, and this book is by far my favorite. It spends time on both posing and lighting. It starts with the basics of light and modifiers, and then builds up to setups, looks, poses, etc. Lots of nice full color pictures that do an excellent job of demonstrating what they are trying to teach. This book was a major help to me as I tried to improve my portrait photography. If you feel lost in the world of lighting and portraits, this book is a must have.

It is by far the best in its class.
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