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Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography, Revised Edition Paperback – February 23, 2010
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About the Author
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Brenda teach workshops internationally and regionally, and leads photography tours to many places, including Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Myanmar, and Bhutan. Brenda is currently working on two e-books to be released in 2013.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
The book reads like a one-person photo exhibit of rather eclectic subjects and techniques, where the photographer cheerfully comments on each picture. "I waited several hours for the orca to breach", "See how I captured the dominance of the Golden Gate bridge" ... Being an artisan does not necessarily make one a teacher.
Tharpe mentions "style" in her book, and an admonition she received many years ago that her work was merely postcard material devoid of her presence. I closed the book (it took only 3 hours to read) with a puzzling aftertaste: What _is_ Tharpe's style? If anything, her photos are nice postcards, calendars, tourism brochures, and stock photo material. Which are qualities I admire. Her technique and perseverance are present, but her character is not. Perhaps a self-critique of her own style and an introspective analysis of how she developed it might help readers transition from stirring emotions to visual concepts.
In terms of creative instruction, this book is similar to Peterson's "Learning to See Creatively". These two books do overlap, although in many ways, they are complementary. Tharp covers 'core' topics like lighting, design elements, and composition quite well (and this is what made the book so successful in the first edition). If you've never been exposed to these ideas, this book is a great introduction. The material is engaging and easy-to-read, and does not feel like a textbook (which many books on composition tend to feel like). However, if you are already familiar with these topics, the presentation may feel a bit shallow. On a few occasions, a topic will be described and stop just short of giving really practical advice or examples on how it might be used. It was disappointing to sometimes read a fairly vague passage and then have it qualified with something generic like "just keep trying and you'll get it" (sic). Nevertheless, this is still among one of the better introductory instructional books on composition.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good ideas for serious amateur photographers. She encourages you to use your imagination and experiment. Read morePublished 2 months ago by suzanne
The three books in this order are recommended by Ken Rockwell whose opinion I respect. No doubt, each could be helpful. Read morePublished 3 months ago by John V.
After watching one of Ms. Tharp's video's on Youtube, I was impressed with the photos that were shown throughout the video and her approach to the subject. Read morePublished 7 months ago by New Jersey
This is a great book for anyone wanting to improve their nature and outdoor photography skills.Published 9 months ago by Linda Phifer