The Portait is a detailed examination into the area of photography what is commonly referred to as portrait photography. Portraits have been created for thousands of years to convey to others the person captured by image whether through painting or photography. The portrait is about the subject. It is well established in the introduction, the portrait is not about you, your camera, or your lenses.
In The Portait: Understanding Portrait Photography, the author's goal is to help you understand that the creation of a portrait is a conscious act. It is the process of the photographer, through a series of choices of setting, lighting, pose and more, trying to communicate a specific result and thus conveys something important or unique about that individual. While some full body poses are used, the main focus of this book is the facial portrait. The Portait is 200 pages in length and divided into 14 chapters.
Chapter One, "A Very Brief History of Photographic Portraiture," begins with a short history of portraits in general and more specifically the photographic portrait.
Chapter Two, "Light Dynamics and the Portrait," provides a fundamental concept that is used throughout the book, that of Light Dynamics (LD). It is through this concept that the authors build an understanding of the primary tool of all photography, that of light and how it affects your scene. In this chapter you get a very good look at how light can be used in its rawest form.
Chapter Three, "Lighting Sources and Equipment," examines the different kinds of light that is available for you to work with. This includes continuous light, creating light, ambient light, window light, and strobe lighting.
Chapter Four, "Light Modification," takes your light source and now looks at how you can manipulate this source to get different effects. This includes the use of reflectors, domes, soft light modifiers, hard light modifiers, and modifying intensity
Chapter Five, "Exposure and Metering," describes ways to control the light. Here you will look at basic exposure, unmetered exposure, using light meters, substitution metering, tonal placement, and testing for exposure.
Chapter Six, "Lighting Ratios," relates to human perception and how we interpret a scene without it feeling staged. Here you will see how to get the right levels.
Chapter Seven, "Lighting Patterns on the Human Face," examines the five primary surfaces, or planes of the human face. This is important to understand if you are going to get the correct illumination.
Chapter Eight, "Lighting Setups," takes you through the major setups for lighting. These are the one, two, three, and four light setups as well as looking at some specific techniques for certain types of effects.