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John Shaw's Closeups in Nature Paperback – September 1, 1987


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; First Edition edition (September 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817440526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817440527
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #84,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

There's more than one way to shoot a frog, as Shaw demonstrates in this splendid book, a thorough course in practical field techniques for closeup photography using a 35mm single-lens reflex camera. Although hobbyists who want to capture the flowers in their garden can glean ideas for composition or the best time of day to photograph, this detailed work is intended primarily for the serious amateur or professional. Success in closeup photography, Shaw maintains, depends on control, and he advocates meticulous experimenting and testing of equipment and supplies before one attempts to photograph in the quickly changing, unpredictable conditions of the field. Shaw (The Nature Photographer's Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques) is an excellent teacher, establishing a common vocabulary with the reader, presenting lavishly illustrated new material that builds on previous knowledge, repeating important concepts and techniques for emphasis. He believes that technical competence frees the photographer to concentrate on esthetics, and his inspiring pictures are beautiful artworkfields of flowers that evoke impressionist paintings, delicate dogwood blossoms reminiscent of Oriental designs, rare glimpses of snowflakes or raindrops on a yew needle. Photography Book Club main selection.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

John Shaw is one of the world's leading nature photographers and the author of many enduring bestselling books. His photographs are frequently featured in National Wildlife, Outdoor Photographer, Natural History, Sierra, and Audubon magazines, as well as in calendars, books, and advertisements. He lives in Colorado Springs.

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Customer Reviews

Like all of his books excellent text with clear, easy to understand concepts and instructions.
Gerald Davis
John Shaw explains many good techniques for closeup nature photography, which are applicable even in today's digital world.
Wenyao Ho
I really really got a lot of valuable information from this book and still read it every week or so.
trote

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 78 people found the following review helpful By Catchlight on February 14, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is worth the price for the breathtaking images alone. More importantly, John Shaw's ability to explain complex photographic issues and techniques with clarity makes this one of the best "how to" books I have ever read on any topic.
Here are a few of the book's features that I especially appreciate with each re-reading:
1. Thorough technical details beside each shot; 2. Emphasis on appreciating nature, and enjoying nature photography; 3. Appreciation of good photo gear for its effectiveness and convenience, combined with suggestions for improvising to reduce expense (such as how to shoot arresting closeups without investing in a macro lens); 4. Lots of Nikon-specific equipment references, but mentions Canon equivalents; 5. Ethical, urging photographers not to harass creatures or damage plants in the wilderness; 6. Did I mention the breathtaking images?
His newer "Nature Photography Field Guide" is also brilliant,and equally full of superb images, valuable tips, and further inspiration. There is little overlap between the two.
"Closeups in Nature" opens up a new world of perception and expression for photographers. Treat yourself or a photographer friend to a copy.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you're interested in nature photography and especially macro work, get this book before you spend a ton of money on confusing and/or expensive equipment (ie macro lenses, diopter sets, extension tubes, lens reversal rings etc.) John is easy to read and covers about everything you need to know about how to capture natures tiny subjects on film. Although the book is a bit old, basic photo techniques don't change and his love of photography is contagious. Buy this book and you'll be out in your yard within hours, camera in hand. He is a firm believer in the old saying "necessity is the mother of invention". From calibrating your light meter, using the palm of your hand to estimate midtone exposure, making homemade flash brackets or reflectors from coolwhip containers and tin foil, he covers it all. He reviews the basics of exposure, flash, different film pros and cons and explains all the basic macro equipment so you know what lenses and equipment will and won't do for you.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 17, 1996
Format: Paperback
I have attended workshops taught by John Shaw, sitting on the
side of a flower covered mountain, listening to John discuss
macro technique. This book caries all of the character and
clarity of being there listening to him in person. John Shaw's
work is undoubtedly some of the best nature closeup work
around and this book gives you all his tricks. The photographs
in the book are excellent technically and provide wonderfull
examples for the techniques explained in the book.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a complete
overview of different macro techniques and/or detailed
instruction on any of these techniques. He gives you all the
options for macro technique without spending major dollars on
unneeded equipment.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert Allen on January 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
John Shaw is often considered the modern master of the closeup (in reality he shares this title with George Lepp). The techniques in this book will help anyone interested in closeup photography get started on the road to mastery. I highly recommend this book!
The techniques he presents are not new; most are presented in the highly-technical (out-of-print) works of Alfred Blaker, but Shaw is much more readable.
The book was published in 1987, so it does not cover the use of more modern photographic equipment. Further, all gear presented is for Nikon systems, so users of other systems may need to do some homework to translate some of the techniques to their systems. Look for updates in his video tapes "Successful Closeups" and Advanced Closeups" available from Kirk Photo website online..
In summary, buy this book, Shaw's video tapes, and the books by Lepp (available here at Amazon.com). Then turn off your computer and start making closeup photographs!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 25, 1999
Format: Paperback
John Shaw shines in this book. The information is not only helpful, but to the point and direct. Shaw explains everything in detail, but only enough as needed. Truly exceptional book!! It is a must have guide to anyone who wants to delve into the macro photography field. I have been focusing on macro for the last year now. I just recently read the book and it helped me unbelievably. From what tripod to use to what filters (if any), to how to compose that great shot. It is a wonderful book!!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Abhinav Agarwal VINE VOICE on May 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
John Shaw's were the first books I read on photography, after the Canon camera manual, and his books are the absolute best you can find.
The photographs are brilliant, no doubt. But what makes this book special is that almost each photograph is explained. You not only get to see great photographs, but also get an insight into what went into the composition of the photograph itself. Small things like using a tripod, not relying too much on filters, and the use of macros rounds off this excellent book.
This book, John Shaw's Landscape Photography, and 'Nature Photographer's Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques' make it a must-have for any budding as well as experienced photographer.
If you have read some of his other books (like the ones I mention above) you may find some concepts being repeated, but they are so essential to good photography that they are well worth being read and re-read.
Go ahead, beg, borrow, or buy this book. (No, do not steal :)
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