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A summer book report... Digital Fashion Photography
Old 09-03-2005, 09:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I think I've mentioned before that as a kid, I usually got involved in summer reading programs at the local library. Certificates were awarded at the end of the summer for reading a certain number of books and making brief reports to the kid's section librarian.

Anyway, I am long past kidhood but here's a brief report on a book I am currently working my way through.

It's "Digital Fashion Photography" by Chris Tarantino and Ken Tan. Published by Thomson, available in paperback from bookstores at about $35 or on Amazon for about $10 less. ISBN 1-59200-525-X.

It is primarily aimed at creating fashion type images, but a fair amount of it borders on glamour. Lots of practical info, a good selection of nicely done images (lots of Dan Howell's work) and an easy to browse format with an almost decent index.

For some reason the cover image they have on Amazon isn't the cover on the copy I bought at the local megabookstore. Also Amazon doesn't credit the photographer author Ken Tan... Hmmm

But in any event, it seems to be a pretty good introduction to fashion and beauty photography even if it does leave out the Fuji Finepix Pro cameras!
Lots of info on working with clients, models, and doing studio work. It even includes an interesting analysis of what to look for in studio space.

I recommend you take a look at it the next time you're near a Borders or Barnes and Noble. If they don't have it, ask them to order it... You don't have to buy it when it comes in if you don't like it.

There aren't a great many good books on actually DOING fashion photography. The Robert Farber books are still among the best but are getting harder to find as they have been out of publication for quite a while. The Patrick Demarchlier book doesn't get into a lot of practical info, so this book fills a niche nicely.

Check it out, it's a nicely put together book with some great images.


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Re: A summer book report... revisited
Old 09-04-2005, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I wrote the above review while half asleep and left out some stuff. So here it is...

The book also gets into post production stuff. It goes into color management a bit, a mention of retouching, and even a bit on preparing a portfolio.

Now this book isn't going to be the ultimate source of information on any of its topics, but it does a nice job of introducing the basics and sometimes that's all you really want.

One final note, the photographer author Ken Tan is now lives in Australia so some of the references in the book are to Aussie agencies, etc. Also he accommodatingly put measurements in both feet and meters.

But it's the images that really make this book worth the bucks. You might even recognize a few models from the Dan Howell shots...

Joe Farace has a review of this book on Amazon, check out what he has to say.

Recommended book for fashion shooting newbies and intermediates.

Lest there be any doubt, I don't have ANY connection to this book other than being a serious photography book collector, and knowing a worthwhile book when I see it.

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