Focus On Photographing People : Focus on the Fundamentals (Focus On Series) book cover
1st Edition

Focus On Photographing People
Focus on the Fundamentals (Focus On Series)

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ISBN 9780240814698
Published April 18, 2011 by Routledge
148 Pages

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Book Description

Taking good photographs of people is a combination of many factors: What is the best light for the subject? How should they stand? What aperture should you use for maximum impact? This easy-to-follow, highly visual guide to portraiture explains the technical and aesthetic considerations of creating great images. Step-by-step instruction, tips from an experienced professional photographer, project assignments and gorgeous photography make learning how to take good photos of people quick and easy. Aimed at beginners or amateurs toting a DSLR and wanting pointers on how to make their people photography really shine, this book offers the basics on composition, lighting, posing, street photography and post-production techniques in a fun andconversational manner.

Table of Contents

Introduction; Equipment; Photography Basics; Composition and Making People Look Good; Getting Creative: Street Photography; Photo Editing; How to Learn More; Subject Index

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Haje Jan Kamps has been a freelance writer and photographer as well as an editor. In addition to his popular do-it-yourself photography blog,, Haje is known for his creative inventions such as the macro extendion tube he made from a pringles can.


"Portraiture is one of the most popular types of photography and this book by Haje Jan Kamps focuses on the most important topics. The author begins with an introduction to portraiture and the equipment needed to achieve your goals. He discusses everything from camera and lens to outfitting an entire studio. He then covers the basics of good portraiture and how to go beyond the automatic camera settings to achieve better photos. He also teaches the basics of good composition such as the familiar rule of thirds and when it's better to break the rules. Moving beyond the basics, Kamps explains how to add creativity to your photos, especially street photography. Next, the author discusses editing software, common problems and their fixes."

"The author talks about the need to engage your subject and bring out their personality. In doing so, his own personality and warmth shines through. I felt I was getting valuable photographic advice from a trusted friend. Despite the book's title much of the book is dedicated to fundamentals of photography (exposure, selecting modes and settings, focusing, composition and post processing). While they are of course important to people pictures, these topics may be a repeat for more advanced photographers seeking the inside secrets of Photographing People. Nonetheless, there are lots of little nuggets buried in these pages as these topics are presented with a "People" bias. The section on street photography is very refreshing and contains some excellent tips on all aspects, even how to cope with unexpected confrontations. Overall, a very nice read targeted to the beginning to intermediate photographer that wants to improve those day-to-day people pictures."--The Ottawa Photography Meetup Group Newsletter

"I read Focus On: Photographing People in a week. A lot of the stuff I did know already, but there were quite a few things that were new to me. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was very easy to read and understand. I loved that it was broken up into Chapters and had a sort of "guide" to it. That way you could kind of skip around and find exactly what you needed. Now I am going to share a few tips from the book that should help you this Fall."--review on

"This book was great, it goes over the fundamentals of digital photography, and it is clear, simplistic and easy to follow. I really liked the key points in each chapter, that helped you zone in on photographing people better. My favorite tip was to "focus on the eyes." This book is perfect for the beginner photographer to the more experienced looking to refine their skills or learn more about photographing people."--Life of a Modern

"Focus on Photographing People is more than a clever title; it's a cool how-to on photographing humanity. Crafted as a quick read without sacrificing crucial details and tips, it will help beginners and even intermediate photographers who wish to develop their creativity in portraiture. This reviewer admired the author's refusal to get embroiled in the perpetual camera wars raging over which brands and technologies are best. That said, Kamps included enough recommendations and the usual stuff about aperture, shutter speed, lighting tools, and ISO settings to satisfy tech junkies. But amidst the fundamental technical instructions, Kamps revealed secrets such as the advantage to shooting in the RAW (and I don't mean in the nude). His suggestions on where to zero-in on the face when focusing and capturing reflections of light in the subject's eyes were insightful, and I can't wait to try it out. Thankfully, Kamps addressed the shyness and fear that many people experience when being photographed. He offers some clever ideas to put subjects and photographer a little more at ease so each can enjoy the experience. It might not help you get hired at National Geographic, but you will wow your friends with your new Facebook photos."--San Francisco Book Review

"Photographing People is a great, accessible introduction for people just getting into photography. Are you thinking you'd like to be able to take professional-looking, keepsake quality photos on your own? Start with a book like this. It doesn't bog you down in technical details, but it does present the basics in an easy-to-grasp way. Its chapters are designed modularly, so that you can read them in any order you want. And it's cross-referenced, so that you can skip to the next relevant chapter when you're ready."--Texas Chicks Blogs &

"It's clear that the author is a professional and a lot of his advice is fundamental to a successful image. He regularly refers to how touching-up your images digitally will enhance a certain type of style, which is great for Photoshop users. Some of the advice may be a little basic for advanced experts, but if you're trying to get up to speed this book has everything you need."--Advanced Photoshop

"I consider this book an excellent introduction for anyone who is starting to do serious photography and for the occasional serious photographer who may not have previously done portrait photography.. this would be a good text for an Introductory Course at the high school or college level."--Lancaster Camera