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People in Focus: How to Photograph Anyone, Anywhere Paperback – 14 Oct 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books (14 Oct. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817453881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817453886
  • Product Dimensions: 27.8 x 21 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,509,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Everything you wanted to know about people photography, but were too shy to do. The photography tips are good, but even better are the tips on how to approach peolple. Its also an excellent read.
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Format: Paperback
I feel as though I didn't learn much from this book. It is a good showcase of the authors work and he is lucky to go to so many locations around the world, but that's not much use to me who doesn't get to travel the world.
The photos do have technical data, but it is repetitive and a lot say words such as "I set the aperture to f/8 and then set the shutter to 1/250 so that the meter showed the correct exposure settings" (or words to that effect).
And, for me, there wasn't enough detail on how to control various lighting conditions (indoor/outdoor).
The best tips I learnt were about using the same pose/setting/location and changing the Point Of view for different uses of the picture eg using the same scene for different stock photo requirements.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Exactly what I was expecting
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x97d5ed80) out of 5 stars 14 reviews
79 of 81 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97d8a7e0) out of 5 stars A comprehensive course 9 Dec. 1999
By Nicholas M. Sullivan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This may be the only book you'll ever need to read on the subject of photographing people outside of the formal portrait studio. This is a blessing, because very few books, good or bad, are available on this very important subject to amateurs and professional photojournalists. Peterson covers every aspect of taking pictures of people, including selecting subjects to photograph, approaching subjects, effects of different lighting, equipment and even some of the business aspects like model releases and stock photography. And, his images are wonderful. The only negative aspect - and this is present in most of his books - is that Bryan tends to forget that most people who read his book are not as well-travelled or equipped as he is. Many of the photographs were taken in exotic places abroad and he uses an expensive 300 meter lens for many of his shots. He has a reason for the latter, but let him explain. Take it with a grain of salt, and trust that you don't have to have such extreme equipment or go to such exotic places to get the results you want from following his instructions.
41 of 50 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x98174b10) out of 5 stars Go with "Understanding Exposure" instead 6 Jun. 2005
By A reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
I've read all three of Bryan Peterson's books -- "Understanding Exposure," "Learning to See Creatively," and "People in Focus" -- and "Understanding Exposure" I recommend highly (5 stars). The other two drained me of my passion as I read them, which is the opposite of what Peterson intended, I'm sure. Here's why: Bryan Peterson's images look like what they are -- commercial images sold to stock houses, used to advertise products or services or businesses in one way or another. Little girls in fields of flowers. Sunsets over the beach. Two businesspeople shaking hands. Peterson does what he does well, and I gave this book 2 stars because I'm sure there are readers who are looking to take their interest in photography down this very road. For anyone who wants to develop his or her "voice," who wants to communicate with his or her images, I think this book will disappoint. I was a student in a writing program for a period of time, and one of the best tips I learned and passed on to other students was this: Before you sign up for a class with a particular professor, read at least one of his novels or several of his short stories. If you like the way he writes, sign up for the class. If you can't stand his writing, find someone else. I think the same applies here. I recognize that Peterson knows how to use a camera -- and his effective instruction of exposure in his other book proves that -- but his images make no impression on me, don't cause me to think or feel or question anything. I recommend finding the books in a bookstore or trying to look through them online before you buy -- his Web site, [...] shows some examples. If you want to take pictures like these, this book will meet your needs. Otherwise, pass it by.
21 of 26 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9a76c264) out of 5 stars very helpful mainstream portrait photography guidebook 12 Oct. 2000
By Tony Van Kerckhove - Published on
Format: Paperback
The book is loosely organised in chapters each covering one aspect of people-photography. Chapter introductions are rather mellow. It's really a large collection of example photos. Each one is elaborately discussed, including "the story behind" and technical info. Some of the photos are very good indeed. Most are mainstream pictures, however: technically perfect, but not quite inspiring. (Though I wish I could consistently obtain that level of quality myself.) Good book if you have time to read from A to Z and have a patient nature. Very valuable information can be gathered, but it's scattered throughout the book. I made a one-page summary myself.
HASH(0x97d8ac18) out of 5 stars Kindly Approaches to People 1 Jan. 2011
By Bill McLean - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought People in Focus . . . used. It formally had been a loaner belonging to a public library. The book was clearly well used but in good condition. The contents are also well used and in good condition. Dealing with people, while you have an eager camera in your hand, hasn't changed in the last hundred years.

The author, Brian Peterson, has borrowed from this work to write several additional books on photography. The focus of his books are as sharp and as meaningful as the images he produces with his cameras. So is the text he writes to explain each picture.

Of course I recommend this book. I recommend all of Mr. Peterson's books.
HASH(0x9a76c36c) out of 5 stars good suggestions but... 13 Jun. 2014
By azshopper - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have several of Peterson's books and always get something out of them, they are very helpful. People in Focus had good advice and tips, but they didn't always apply to what I do. Not all of us are world travelers and sell stock photos. More tips on shooting family events, local outings, how to pose people, use ambient indoor lighting, etc. would be more helpful to me.
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