The Complete Idiot's Guide to Portrait Photography

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028643687
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1902
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents


1. Not All Cameras Are Created Equal.
What Makes a Camera a Camera. Not All Cameras Are Created Equal. The Digital Revolution. Be an Informed Shopper.

2. Lenses: Windows to the Camera's Soul.
The Secret Language of Lenses. Different Lenses Offer Creative Flexibility. Digitally Speaking.

3. Film: A Portrait's Celluloid Palette.
The Big and Small of Film Formats. Safe at Any Speed. Film Types. The Cost and Convenience of Art. The Digital Equivalent.

4. Exposure: Letting the Sun Shine In.
Measuring Light. The Eighteen Percent Solution: The Gray Card. Auto Exposure. The Fine Distinction Between Light Meters. Bracketing. Exposure Values. What to Do If Your Subject Is Unevenly Lit.

5. Filters: Controlling the Light Fantastically.
A Trio of Filter Types. Filters for All Films. Working Magic with Special Effects Filters. Filters for Black and White Film. Understanding the Mechanics of Color Film. Filters for Color Photography. Filters and Light Metering. Digitally Speaking. Caring for Your Filters. Confused Yet?

6. Flash Photography: Shining Light on Your Subject.
Know Your Flash. Guide Numbers Reflect Flash Power. The Hot Shoe. Synchronization-Stepping in Time. Types of Electronic Flashes. Recycling Time. Softening the Flash. Off-Camera Flash. Fill Flash.Keeping the Red Out.

7. Accessories: Don't Leave Home Without These.
Lens Accessories. Three Legs to Stand On. Make Sure You've Got the Power. Troubleshooting. Shoulder Straps. Camera Bags. Maintaining Your Equipment. On the Road.


8. Overcoming the Challenges of Available Light Portraits.
Light Quality. Light Character. Open Shade. The Color of Light. Direction-Letting the Sun Shine In. Racing the Sun. Sunrise, Sunset. Backgrounds. Shooting Indoors Using Outside Light. Window Light. Shooting Indoors Using Available Light.

9. Setting Up a Home Studio.
The At-Home Studio. Have Equipment, Will Travel. Positioning Lights. Types of Portrait Lighting. Just in Case. More Than One. Solving Problem Shoots with Lighting. Storing Your Equipment.

10. Prop-ing Up Your Portraits.
Portrait Styles. Props. Bringing Backgrounds to the Fore.

11. Accessorizing Your Portraits.
You Are What You Wear. Hats. Be Complementary. Change Is Good. Jewelry. The Lowdown on Shoes. Take a Close Look. Do's and Don'ts Review.

12. Put on a Happy Face: The Importance of Hair and Makeup.
Gender-alizing. Don't Be Heavy-Handed. The Natural Look. Be Prepared for Touch-Ups. The Best Makeup Looks Like No Makeup. Grooming Tips for Guys. Hair-I Want It Long, Straight, Curly, Fuzzy. How to Avoid Making a Spectacle of Spectacles.


13. Posing: Putting Your Best Face Forward.
Natural Settings Provide Comfort. Establishing a Rapport. Portrait with a Purpose. Body Language Speaks Volumes. Evaluating Your Subject. Features The S Curve. Putting It All Together.

14. Composition: The Total Picture.
Getting a Creative Edge. Rules of Composition. Center of Interest. Rule of Thirds. Framing. Keeping Backgrounds in the Background. Camera Placement. Diagonals and Lines. These Rules Are Meant to Be Broken.

15. Groups: The More the Merrier.
The Group Mentality. Smiling. Keeping Everyone in the Light. Camera Angle. Choosing the Right Lens. Depth of Field. Clothing. Use Your Environment. Positioning.

16. Scene Stealers: Taking Portraits of Kids and Pets.
Be Prepared. Choose a Style. Not All Kids Are Created Equal. Giving Kids the Right Time of Day. Say Cheese! Posing. Props. Perceived Action. Pets Can Have Portraits, Too.

17. Shooting Tips: How to Make Everyone Look Their Best.
A Camera Never Blinks. Facial Features. Behind the Camera.


18. Finding a Good Photo Lab.
Choosing a Photo Lab. Film Type Matters. Common Problems to Watch Out For. You Get What You Pay For. Anticipate Problems Before They Happen.

19. Development: From Film to Prints.
Dropping Off Your Film. Giving the Lab Proper Instructions. Exposure Instructions. “Real” Black and White. Enlargements.

20. Photo Finishing and Imaging.
Staking Out Your Space. Step-by-Step Processing. Disposing of Your Chemicals. Safety Tips. Digital Imaging. Choose Your Software. File Formats. Acquiring Your Image. Working with Your Image.

21. Displaying Your Portraits.
Photo Albums. Framing Your Photos. Presenting Your Framed Portraits.

Appendix A. Glossary.
Appendix B. Recommended Reading.
Appendix C. Camera and Accessory Manufacturers.
Appendix D. Professional Services.
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