photography book review

book review: Creative Flash Photography, by Tilo Gockel

Tilo Gockel (website: FotoPraxis), is a German photographer who some might remember from guest articles that has appeared on Tangents. His article on innovative product photography on a budget – Diver’s Chronograph, was particularly impressive when you compare the results with the home setup. You might also know Tilo from various impressive posts in the Strobist group on Facebook. Prolific and innovative.

The subtitle of this book is the best description of what you’d find inside: Great Lighting with Small Flashes: 40 Flash Workshops. Over the course of 290 pages, this book breaks down numerous techniques into digestible chunks – 40 chapters discussion subjects which range from portraits to product photography and macro photography.

What is particularly impressive me about Tilo’s work and this book – the variety in subjects.

The author concentrates on speedlights and affordable accessories. So the techniques are well within the reach of every photographer.

The book starts off with a description of the gear he uses, as well as basic technical stuff you need to know before getting into the heart of the book.

The material in the book is easily accessible – the techie stuff is also distributed in each chapter as Tips, Tricks and Notes. There are also side-bar articles and In-Depth notes within each Workshop chapter, where topics are discussed on their own. There are also notes on any Photoshop techniques he used in post-processing an image.



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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.The book takes a wide approach to the topic, including maternity photography, newborn portraits and portraits of toddlers and kids. If you think about it, baby photography isn’t an isolated subject.

As a photographer and business person, it should be obvious immediately that there is a long-term relationship that can and should be developed with your client.

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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book review: Classic Modern Pinups, by Robert Alvarado

When I first heard news that Robert Alvarado was (finally!) publishing a book of his best pinup photographs, I was excited. I’ve been a huge fan of his work ever since I first came across his portfolio on Model Mayhem and several other photography forums. I even attended a workshop where he explained his lighting and posing of the models, as well as his Photoshop techniques.

Drawing inspiration from the classic pin-up artist like Gil Elvgren and Vargas, Robert Alvarado had steadily fine-tuned his skills as a photographer in this style. Alvarado photographs beautiful women in this stylized way, and then finessing the images with Photoshop to give a glossy air-brushed look … lending the images a look that is definitely and recognizably his.

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book review: Speedliter’s Handbook, by Syl Arena

Speedliter's Handbook

Syl Arena has steadily made a name for himself amongst photographers with his blog, Pixsylated. Followers of his blog would’ve noticed that Syl was on hiatus for several months in 2010, while busy writing a book on Canon speedlites. Having spent the most part of a year on writing, you’d expect something great. And it is. In short, I think Syl might just have written the definitive work on flash photography with speedlites.

If you’re a Canon shooter, this book is essential. If you’re a Nikon or Sony or Pentax shooter, you’d still do very well with this book. Within its 376 pages, 812 photos and 26 chapters, all the essential stuff is covered, and more.

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