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This book comprises 197 pages of colour photographs (plus 10 of text) featuring female models of varying ages (roughly twenties to forties), builds and races. The images are arranged thematically (standing, bending, kneeling, etc). The poses are typical academic figure study types, and would be useful to anyone needing material to learn from. Unfortunately, the soft-binding of the book means that it is almost impossible to hold it flat without breaking the spine of it (see below). Also, one or two poses are rendered utterly useless because they are spread across facing pages. This was a stupid design decision - if the only way to include the images was to do it in this way, then they could have been omitted completely. The pregnant figure gets only six images, but given the limited range possible in a book of this size, it's not really a surprise.

More about the binding problem: I generally don't work straight from photographs, but prefer to scan them and display them on a computer monitor. This has the advantage that I can view the images much larger than they appear in the book, I can pan and zoom around to see the detail clearly, make the handy switch to monochrome, and it overcomes the limitations of the binding.

My work is partly academic, partly commercial, so not all the poses suit my purposes. However, my preferred subject poses are fairly orthodox, I think, but I found only about thirty of the poses of any real artistic interest to me.

Overall, it is a handy book to have around if you are studying figure drawing, but if the studio were burning down it wouldn't be something I tried hard to save.
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on 23 June 2008
Looking for a reference that would encourage my growing interest in Life Photography i found this book. Although i guess mainly targeted at the talents of Artists and Sculptures', i was looking for something that would inspire my Photographic creativity, and help my compositional skills. And i found it.
As previously described, each section of the book is devoted to a certain group of poses, using a variety of models. Each of the many poses is a variation of the previous. It gives you a idea of what will work for you, and what will not.
One of the striking features, from a photographic perspective, is the unpretentious view we are shown of the models. None of the 'life' blemishes, that we so keenly like to hide, are omitted.

This is a refreshingly honest reference guide, that will encourage and provoke your skill in posing your models.
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on 7 February 2008
...the photos were bigger.
I agree with googun. It was a daft idea to spread some of the poses over two pages - you really can't do the thing justice, if you're using it to sketch, without getting your mother in law to sit on it (sorry, sorry...I hate mother in law jokes. Mine's a dear. Let's just say, something heavy. There.) I hate breaking the spine of books, and the way this ref book is put together it's just a matter of time. To be a useful ref, it needs to be more robust and practical to use. It ain't the cheapest book of its type, either.

Having said all that, I liked the ref photos. Real women, not pin ups. If you want to do honest pictures of the nude, this is a treat. But I really would have liked to see fewer pictures rather than get loads of examples packed in. Quality, not quantity, is what I mean, and I'm sure by now that you get the general idea.
Nevertheless...I think I'll get a lot of use out of it. If you're not a computernic and couldn't manipulate an image on a screen to save your tender bits from being squeezed in a vice, then this is for you. The pictures are pretty damn good, although I did find that some of the outline was lost in the shadow with some pics. Well worth adding to your library.
Frothy, man.
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on 24 December 2012
This book is very well produced and has excellent photo's of attractive models.

I am experienced in live drawing and painting and I was looking for a book to give me ideas for long and short poses and positioning my own model.

A lot of shots in this book show models in poses that can only be held for a very short period of time. This is where the book falls down for me. It is more suitable for the photographic artist than a painter in oils.

Despite my comments this book is well produced and good value.
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on 10 June 2011
Life drawing is one of the most challenging styles of drawing and needs more practic. It is difficult to obtain a model, even one fully clothed in between lessons. Therefore reference books such as these are invaluable and allow practice in between classes. They also allow poses that would be hard for a model to sustain even for a short period. However the book could do with being in a larger format.
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on 28 February 2016
very fine book for the artist delivery etc excellent
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on 30 September 2014
Exactly what I needed for my reference
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on 12 December 2015
a work of art in itself
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on 10 August 2015
Great reference.
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on 14 March 2015
Really good book
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