8.5 x 8.5in
- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Genre
- 3. Equipment and Setup
- 4. Working with Natural Light
- 5. Composition6. Posing and Working with the Subject
- 7. Color
- 8. Storytelling
- 9. Post-Production
- 10. Index
The Enthusiast’s Guide to Portraiture is one of the most unique portraiture books that I have read- and for a reason that may not immediately seem beneficial. This book does not look like most portraiture books in that the plethora of images that decorate and illustrate this text are not the images commonly seen in such books- the images here are shots that nearly anyone could capture with nearly any interchangeable lens camera (and perhaps some point and shoots). In other words, this truly is a book for enthusiasts- not for those seeking tutorage by one of the world’s top portrait artists.
Most portraiture texts show off images that are remarkably complex in execution- the “how to” description is littered with descriptions of multiple Profoto flashes, unique and extravagant sets/locations, and the highest-end lenses and camera bodies. The Enthusiast’s Guide to Portraiture is quite different- Foster’s focus is on the technique and creativity one brings to the shoot. There is mention of gear, post-processing and varied settings, but Foster has written a text that puts creative portraiture into a realm available to anyone.
This is not to say that there is not a tremendous amount professional advice here- Foster is well-versed in photography, composition, color choices, posing and more. His “rules” are acknowledged as guidelines that serve for standard shots, but he also encourages exploration and creative interpretation.
If there is a negative to this type of book, it’s in the details that have been intentionally left out. Several pages about post-processing are primarily words of advice for organization and suggestions to seek details elsewhere- but portraiture is heavily reliant of this part of photography. Gear, as well, does play a major role in the quality of images that can be captured.
This text is far from a be-all-and-end-all- it’s best seen as an introduction to shooting portraiture with the gear that an enthusiast already owns. But that is precisely where portraiture starts, and in that light this is a superb book for a beginner who is familiar with his camera and looking to understand the principles of portraiture that create effective and power images of people.
eandjdr (verified owner)
as ever excellent “The Enthusiasts Guide” by RN. Very condensed and informative. I enjoyed enormously and definitely recommend