Top positive review
35 people found this helpful
Very great, could have been better
on October 1, 2010
This is a great book to get you motivated to take more interesting landscapes/nature photos. It's strong on composition ideas, and organized very nicely. It's not at all heavy on the technical aspects, and it specifically is not meant to be (go to your local library and you can find dozens of books on the technical aspects of photography).
There were a few things that bugged me along the way. First of all, this new edition is 100% digital, whereas the first version was 100% film. This doesn't change that much in regards to photo creativity or composition, but the first version had helpful sections about how to compensate for certain lighting conditions depending on what kind of film you were using. Plus that means 100% of the photos in the first book were film, 100% digital in the second book, and no two are the same. I think it would be worth it to read both and compare photos from both. She constantly mentions in the second edition how easy digital manipulation is, so I'll bet that changed her approach when she was actually in the field.
For all of her example photos, she lists the size of her lens, the focal length at which she used it, shutter speed, and aperture. No ISO. Again, this is not meant to be a technical book, but I could see a newbie trying to match her settings to the best of their knowledge, getting bad results, and becoming discouraged. I also mention this because she wrote down her film speed for every shot in the first edition. And I hate to say it, but she claims to use a six thousand dollar Canon DSLR throughout this book, and there's a very real advantage as far as way higher, way cleaner ISOs being at your disposal when you're in the field shooting at very small apertures.
Sometimes she'll tell a really great, detailed story about how she figured out something in the field or how something fell into place for a truly memorable photo, and the photos on that page are of completely unrelated situations, so you can't see what she's even talking about. Though most of the time, she does include quality photographs related to the subject about which she's writing.
The last thing that bothered me was the typos. I can't say there's a lot of them but there's a half dozen very obvious ones that take away from the book. The "wondeorful" plug-ins she uses in Photoshop (pg. 127) and getting feedback "fr/om" your viewer (pg. 19) distract from the purty, purty picture on the opposite page. But that's just me.
Overall this is a very great book, full of very great photos. This is THE book to get once you've read up on shutter speed, aperture, and all the other boring technical bits. I've never read something about depth of field in a technical book and wanted to go out shooting, but I'll read one page in this book about diagonal lines, complementary colors, or the different qualities of light and I'll instantly be tempted to grab my camera and go out shooting.