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Posing and Lighting Techniques for Studio Portrait Photography Paperback – September 1, 2000
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A significant flaw in the book is the editing. There are several mistakes with sample photos - photos mislabeled and some photos mistakenly shown multiple times rather than the photos that the text refers to. This will leave some people who have not done much studio work scratching their heads when their tests look nothing like the examples in the book. Fortunately, most of the samples are correct and the errors are fairly obvious as long as the reader is paying close attention.
Another drawback are the lighting diagrams. They are so far from being "to scale" that their usefulness is greatly reduced.
And lastly, there are many many cases where the author goes into great detail describing equipment and techniques that would have been much, much better done with a simple accompanying photograph of the apparatus. Basically the only photos in the book are the portraits (most of them quite nice), but almost every chapter is just begging for some small photos of the equipment being talked about.
Unfortunately, this does not translate into being a good instructor.
While Mr. Allen clearly knows his stuff, his lessons are wordy, incomplete, and not well thought out. The portraits used to illustrate a point seem to be mostly chosen from his file cabinet rather than shot to illustrate that point. In some instances, examinations of the portraits reveal themselves to be shot in a method other than what is described.
Most of the fault, however, lies with the publisher, Amherst Media. The lighting diagrams are completely out of scale and sometimes wrong.
It is exhaustive to try and match, for instance, such elements as Image 22 and Image 23 with Diagram 11 and Diagram 12 on pages with no numbers with the accompanying text on pages 36 and 37.
On the good side is a wealth of excellent portraits in a plethora of styles and methods and a few true nuggets of solid advise that will be truly useful to the aspiring portrait photographer.
All in all, it is not a BAD book, it is just that for the money, there are many that are a lot better.