Book review: Juan-Carlos & Flasche — Photographing the Male

It would be easy to glance at this book and dismiss it as just another coffee-table art book, but it is in fact an excellent photography “how to” book. It was written in 1983 and it shows — there is no mention of digital cameras, or even the most modern developments in film cameras — but it still gives a solid grounding in basic photography techniques and how to apply them to photography of the male figure. Much of the material in this book is equally applicable to digital cameras, and potential readers shouldn’t be put off by the age of the book. Practical advice on things like the effects of different lighting, composing the picture, and displaying the final result will be useful regardless of the type of camera used.

The book starts with very basic principals of photography, and goes on to show how to apply them in male glamour photography. As such it will be useful to amateur photographers ranging from those who have never used more than a point-and-shoot pocket camera to serious hobbyists. My feeling is that it will also be of use to the professional looking to move into a different genre, but not being a professional myself I don’t have the experience to judge this.

The book is crammed with example photos illustrating the points made in the text. These photos have a very practical use in the book, but they also make it a very nice coffee-table art book. There is a clear emphasis on male gay eroticism, but these photos are erotic art, rather than standard centrefold porn, and there’s a great deal of variety in settings and poses. It’s well worth buying just to look at the pretty pictures, and artists may well find it a useful reference book.

It’s been reprinted a number of times, sometimes with different cover art. My copy was printed in 1998 by Eagle Editions and it appears to have been reprinted at least once since then. It doesn’t appear to be in print at the time of writing, but is usually available second-hand, and you may see a new copy from time to time.

Crown/Crescent/Random House ISBN 051742133X
Photographing the Male at Barnes and Noble
Photographing The Male at amazon.com
Photographing the Male at amazon.co.uk

Eagle Editions ISBN 1902328043
Photographing the Male at amazon.com
Photographing the Male at amazon.co.uk

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