best photography books

book review: Gregory Heisler – 50 Portraits

Gregory Heisler is an undisputed genius when it comes to photographic lighting. If ever you get the opportunity to attend a seminar by him, do yourself a favor. The story behind each portrait, and the motivation and the struggles to create those images, don’t just make for entertaining anecdotes – and Gregory Heisler is an entertaining speaker – but the stories are insightful. Educational. But not just educational in a do-this-do-that explanation of technique. It’s much more than that.

In this book he has collected 50 of his his best portraits he has taken during his career, and he discusses the thought-processs behind each image. He offers insight in how he came to take specific images, and how he decided why to set up up certain portraits in certain ways. Gregory Heisler’s humility, and the way he allows glimpses into the frustration and disappointments along the way – the struggles to get to iconic images – all this is told in entertaining and thoughtful way. There is also much to learn here.

This is a book to devour, and then dip into again and again. What truly impressed me about Gregory Heisler, is how innovative he is. He seems to want to steer clear of repeating formulas that work, and come up with portraits based on ideas that are challenging and full of risks.

Something I also found refreshing are the “Thoughts on Technique” at the end of each photograph’s description. Here he discusses technique – but not in the statement of bland numbers, but again, always with the thought-process in mind. And this is where the value lies in what he shows us – the way his mind works. The why and the how.I highly recommend this book.It needs to be on your shelf! For a mere $25 you have an amazing collection of images and words in hardcover, from a man who is endlessly inventive when it comes to photography lighting! That’s incredible value for money. This is a book to immerse yourself in, again and again, and feel inspired by.

 

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photography book: Direction & Quality of Light

Yes, it’s here! It’s available now. And I’m very proud of this book.

Since my previous two books, and with so many years of maintaining the Tangents blog, and doing numerous workshops and presentations, my “voice” has matured. My photography has improved. With all that combined, I really believe the material in this book is very strong. Essential even.

As I’ve told friends – I wish someone had told me everything that’s in this book, at a much earlier time in my development as a photographer. I feel it would’ve made so much difference to my understanding of the vital element of photography – light!

Right after I understood all the essentials – depth-of-field, shutter speeds, composition, timing, and all of that – instead of getting caught up in specific areas such as flash & off-camera flash & studio lighting … I wish that at the time I had truly grasped that it is all about the direction and quality of light. With this book, I try my best to share those “aha!” moments with you.

With that, I do believe this book can make a difference to your photography.
I believe that strongly in it.

The book might be at your local bookstore, but it’s definitely available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And if you like to, you can order an autographed copy directly from me. Of course, you can also order the book via Amazon.

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boudoir photography

Baby portraiture is an unexpectedly difficult branch of portrait photography. You have to work around the baby’s schedule, and then there is the added challenge of making a baby which doesn’t move much, an interesting subject. It’s not like this little kiddo is going to hop, skip & jump around. With that, everyone can use some advice and guidance to get an edge on the baby, and take some pressure off as the photographer.

First of all, I have to mention that I have a slight bias here – the author, Mimika Cooney is also originally from South Africa. So there is some pride in someone “local” doing great and becoming successful … and write an (excellent) book.

book review: boutique baby photography, by Mimika Cooney

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boudoir photography

Boudoir photography seems to have a surge in popularity in the past years. More and more interest by photographers – and it’s no wonder. As much as boudoir is a fascinating genre, it is also quite challenging.

The pressure is on *you* as the photographer to get the best images you can of someone who is most likely feeling quite vulnerable. So not only are your lighting skills and posing skills and your general skill as a photographer tested … your people skills really need to kick into gear too. Boudoir photography is personal photography on so many levels.

book review: boudoir photography, by Critsey Rowe

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