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Fine Art Digital Nature Photography Paperback – January 8, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Stackpole Books (January 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811734943
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811734943
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 8.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,002,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tony Sweet is a professional nature/fine art photographer, lecturer, workshop instructor, and author of many photography books. He is a Nikon "Legend Behind the Lens," a nikSoftware team member, a Lensbaby Guru, and a Bogen Mentor. Tony has written columns for Nikon World and is a contributor to Shutterbug and Rangefinder. He teaches online classes at betterphoto.com. Tony's work is represented by Getty Images. He lives in Eldersburg, Maryland.

More About the Author

Tony Sweet is a professional nature/fine art photographer, lecturer, workshop instructor, and author of several photography books. He is a Nikon "Legend Behind the Lens," a nikSoftware team member, a Lensbaby Guru, and a Bogen Mentor. Tony has written columns for Nikon World and is a contributor to Shutterbug and Rangefinder. He teaches online classes at betterphoto.com. Tony's work is represented by Getty Images. He lives in Eldersburg, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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In the 100 plus pages of Fine Art Digital Nature Photography, Tony completely shares his creativity.
Marc Schoenholz
I shoot mostly aviation (airshows, air races, etc) and I can see how I can use Sweet's ideas to really make an entire series of spectacularly different photos.
J. Johnson
Okay, this type of information is generally useful, but there are other sources that do it much better.
Bradley R. Wright

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By George Foxworth on March 7, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The cover and the title of this work by Tony Sweet enticed me to pre-order it, even though that meant there were no reader reviews. I had hoped to learn something about Sweet's camera techniques. Instead, I found out about the many Photoshop plug-ins that he uses and seems to commend to our purchase.
There are some beautiful images - I hesitate to call them photographs since they have been so severely manipulated - and some insight into some areas I'd love to visit and photograph. But too much of the book reads like a catalog of plug-ins. It almost makes me wonder how much Sweet was compensated by the companies that produce the products.
I do love most of the images. And I'd have much preferred a book of insights into the planning and execution of the camera work, with far less concern for the post production instructions.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Bradley R. Wright on April 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have three of Tony Sweet's other books + two of his videos, and I have learned so much from them, especially the Fine Art Nature Photography book of 2002.

Sweet's previous books emphasized on what to do when planning and taking the picture, and at this he's a master. Also, even though he uses a Nikon and I use a Canon, the techniques were not camera-specific, and I found them very useful.

This book, however, emphasizes what he does post-production. That is, once he's taken a picture, he uses various Photoshop plug-ins and other software programs to modify the picture. Okay, this type of information is generally useful, but there are other sources that do it much better. Also, it lends itself well to video teaching more than reading.

Sweet's presentation emphasizes programs that the average user isn't likely to have (stuff in addition to Photoshop), and to buy them all would cost probably close to $1,000. Unfortunately, his explanation of why he used a particular technique isn't rich enough that I can then duplicate it using Photoshop.

Sweet is a master at taking pictures, and his previous books about how to do so have invaluable tips. He is very good at post-production, but his methods are somewhat idiosyncratic, and it's not clear how much one learns from them.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By F. Knoph on July 16, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Sweet, and I love his other books in the "Fine Art" series. However, this was a disappointment! The pictures are still great, but the only thing you'll learn is what plug-ins and filters he has used. If you want some inspiration for creative nature photography, buy his books on flowers and water. If you want to learn about plug-ins, visit their web sites.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Johnson on September 30, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the previous reviews and understand why some folks said the author didn't explain camera techniques...but I found he actually did explain the techniques. Because the methods Tony Sweet used are so simple (e.g., rotating the camera during slow shutter speed to get a 'painterly' effect) it would be easy to think they aren't valuable or not explained in enough detail.

I am impressed with Sweet's ability to come up with so many terrific ideas on how to easily shoot things in a slightly different-than-usual way to completely change your photographs (e.g., shoot a flower with your camera on a tripod, then rotate the lens by a couple of degrees via the lens ring and shoot again. Repeat 9 times and combine all 10 photos in Photoshop to get a beautiful and highly unusual single photo, then add a Photoshop Plug-In...he explains which plug-in... to make the resulting picture truly unique).

I would characterize myself as an advanced amateur...I know my way around my Canon Mark III's, but my photos are pretty much plain. I bought this book because I wanted to learn how to make my photos more interesting, and I was pleased beyond all of my expectations. I shoot mostly aviation (airshows, air races, etc) and I can see how I can use Sweet's ideas to really make an entire series of spectacularly different photos.

I will definitely buy more of Tony Sweet's books. (In fact I just received the follow-up to this book.) Most of the techniques he discusses in a single paragraph, but the power of that single paragraph is immense. Normally I want a book that guides me, step-by-step, through the process of setting my camera up for the shot and then step-by-step on processing the image. I would not have purchased this book if I was told it did not do this, but I am so happy I ordered it before the reviews came out. It really has shown me a simple way to make my photographs unique.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Busy Executive TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 24, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maybe I'm in an unusual place...I know how to use my equipment, I'm good with Photoshop (etc), I think I even have a little bit of artistic talent. What I lack is some missing ingredient that pushes me to the next level. The subtle difference that makes people go "wow" instead of "oh, what a nice photograph" when they see one of my prints.

I've given up hope that I can get this extra dimension from any one source. I don't think anyone can. Instead, I'm constantly on the look for small nuggests of technique, in the hope that if I'm patient and work hard enough, I'll eventualy earn the status I seek.

With this in mind, I bought Tony's book, hoping to find even one or two small of these small nuggets. I'd be willing to overlook all sorts of useless information, if only I came away feeling inspired and energized to try something a new way, especially if it's something that opens up whole new paths for me, technique so different from what I do today that it wouldn't have ever occurred to me.

So does the book deliver? Yes and no.

Yes, there were a few small nuggets that got me thinking about why I do things a certain way. And yes, seeing Tony plug all the software and tools, I found myself mentally replaying and defending the various choices I've made. So I suppose there were a few positive take-aways for me. But I wouldn't say that I feel like a better artist as a result. Still, at the same time, I don't know that any book can give you that. Maybe there's also value in simply reassuring yourself that you know more than you might think you do.

In the end, I gave the book four stars. It's clean, well edited, easy to follow, and mostly reveals a high level of mastery over the subject matter. In my book, that's worth four stars, even if it might not be a blueprint for getting on the next cover of National Geographic.
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