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How to Photograph People by Demetrius Fordham

Obregon Obregon

Is from: Southold, US
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Obregon Moderator Donor Ribbon. Awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Awarded for his in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.  Charter Member
Mon 04-Apr-22 10:06 PM
I felt something was wrong with this book, almost from the start. Then I realized it was a problem beyond photography. It was the book’s taxonomy.

I don’t often wax scientifically or philosophically. Yet I recognize that we categorize ideas (as well as species) so that we can better understand them. Basically this book created a taxonomy without a purpose.

Most of the main chapter is divided into describing types of portraiture. Section headings for that chapter include, for example, studio portraits, environmental portraits, bodies, and action. Yet, there is nothing in each section to really distinguish one type from another, and to make the so-called distinctions useful in portrait photography. Fordham regularly tells us that it is important to communicate with the subject. He doesn’t establish how. He says that lighting is important, but he doesn’t really us anything about lighting, except to say he likes the look of northern window light. He talks about how he finds inspiration, like reading, but while the books he cites are interesting, I didn’t find them inspiring for the portrait photographer. I’m still wondering how to derive inspiration from Holden Caulfield’s angst-ridden adventures. He tells us the best way to learn portrait photography is to take plenty of pictures. I find it hard not to be sarcastic about this advice.

This book seems more like a poorly disguised portfolio of the author’s pictures. I found most of these pictures unexciting and repetitive. If you want an instructive, thought provoking portfolio, get yourself a book by Richard Avedon.

#1. "RE: How to Photograph People by Demetrius Fordham" | In response to Reply # 0

Tue 05-Apr-22 12:58 AM
thanks for the heads up, I wont add that one to my library
mklass mklass

Is from: Bremerton, US
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#2. "RE: How to Photograph People by Demetrius Fordham" | In response to Reply # 0

mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, ... Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Ribbon awarded for his most generous donation in 2017 Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the 2017-2018 fundraising campaign Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006
Tue 05-Apr-22 03:21 AM
Tell us how you really feel, Conrad.

Thanks for the straight-forward, honest review.

Mick
"The difference between a professional photographer and other photographers is the pro doesn't show you the bad shots."

Web Site: http://www.mickklassphoto.com
My Nikonians Galleries: https://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php/cat/500/ppuser/117796

See my portfolio.

demetriusfordham demetriusfordham

Is from: US
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#3. "RE: How to Photograph People by Demetrius Fordham" | In response to Reply # 0

demetriusfordham Registered since 11th Apr 2022
Mon 11-Apr-22 10:45 PM
Hi Conrad,

I was put onto your review by a friend and fellow Nikonian and I just wanted to thank you for reading my book, and for your feedback. I do feel that I addressed the points you brought up about lighting and communicating with subjects, but I'll look back on those sections more carefully and see where I can make improvements. In regards to The Catcher in the Rye, I only meant to suggest that different characters and perspectives can give you a better understanding of humanity which can help when creating art that is centered around other humans. I do encourage readers to seek out Richard Avedon and other greats in the section "Study the Masters."

Thank you also for your feedback on my pictures, I am committed to keep trying to shoot better pictures, always. I looked you up online and I think your photographs of birds are beautiful, I recently got into birding while living in Australia and perhaps could learn a thing or two from you.

Demetrius

G