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The Magic of Digital Nature Photography (A Lark Photography Book) Paperback – September 28, 2006
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More About the Author
I have written and photographed a lot of books and magazine articles but what is most important to me about them is knowing that I have helped people become better photographers and gain a better connection to nature. I work to help people connect with photography and nature through speaking and as a workshop leader, too. All of this has gained me a Fellow award with the North American Nature Photography Association. Many people knew me as the long-time, previous editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine.
A short list of some of the books I have done: Landscape Photography: From Snapshot to Great Shot, Magic of Digital Landscape Photography, The Magic of Digital Nature Photography, National Geographic Field Guide to Digital Photography, The Power of Black-and-White in Nature Photography and Reports from the Field (an iBook).
My website is at www.robsheppardphoto.com; my blogs are at www.natureandphotography.com and www.mirrorlessnature.com.
Top Customer Reviews
Sheppard's book is aimed at digital camera owners. After a brief pep-talk on nature photography, he launches into the customary discussion of gear. He follows up with a discussion of technical factors like exposure, raw processing and white balance. After examining the effects of light and color, he looks at specific nature subjects like landscapes, flowers and wildlife. He then looks further at close-ups and special techniques, like black and white and panoramas. He finishes up with a brief plea for the environment. At the close of each chapter, he provides a set of quick tips that photographers at all levels can apply to improve their pictures. He also includes portfolios and interviews by some of the great nature photographers, like Jack Dykinga.
Sheppard's writing is easy to understand and he tries to inspire the reader to take better nature photographs. Most beginning digital nature photographers will benefit from reading this book. But you may ask why Sheppard doesn't knock Shaw out of the box. It's mainly a matter of technical detail.Read more ›
But... I do have one problem with the book, and it is fairly glaring to me. As amazing as the photos are, the author makes little to no attempt to tie them into the text. There is no attempt to use the photos as a way to explain difficult or confusing topics. It is almost like the author wrote the entire book and then simply added a bunch of photos randomly throughout the text. Photographers by nature are visual learners. It would have been much more helpful if the author had use the photos to teach us and let the text add the details instead of relying so heavily on the text itself.
The end result is that many times the beautiful photos seem more of a distraction than helpful examples. This book is very good, but it easily could have been so much better.
Some of the best pictures are taken with very low end cameras simply because they are small enough, light enough (and inexpensive enough that you don't care much if they get lost or broken) that you have them with you when you want to take a picture.
Another point I like in this book is that he doesn't spend a lot of time talking about retouching your pictures using Photoshop. If you want to do Photoshop, get a Photoship book. This is a book on taking pictures, and at that it is excellent. His descriptions are good and to the point. His sample photographs are great and illustrate what he is talking about in the text.
Nature Photography is the most popular subject in photography, here's an excellent description on how to do it well.
55% of the book is photos. None of the photos give detail of how it was shot or any twist on a technique used. This drops the page count from 207 pages to 93 functional pages. The first 61 pages offer nothing different than that of a camera's manual on shutter speed, white balance, etc. More wasted space is used on "gear" about tripods and cameras. Doing the math, we are now down to 66 pages. This process continues to where we have just a few pages that may offer some value.
Much of the remaining reduction comes in wasted space on "gear" which Sheppard rehashes multiple times. This book's only purpose would be to get someone not the slightest interested in photography to perhaps spark an interest. For any photographer at any level, the book offers nothing than what you find on camera manufacturer websites and manuals inside camera boxes. It is so basic that even beginners would be hard pressed to learn much. In the end, you are left wondering where the pages are about nature photography. Look elsewhere in Amazon for more suitable photography books.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ron is a top photog instructional writer. He writes for the novice and semi-pro where all can improve their techniquesPublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
This was another book they had us buy for our photography class and it was also good but not my favorite of the ones we had to buy but a very good bookPublished on December 28, 2012 by linda larson
This book was great in helping me go out and experiment with other settings and angles in taking landscape pictures
I gave 4 stars because a beginner will not understand... Read more
Our Conservation District office was hosting a Digital Nature Photography workshop for teachers to coincide with an outdoor classroom project. Read morePublished on November 16, 2010 by jlucas
Like many photography books, this book really is only somewhat informative, and somewhat helpful.
After a brief overview of gear, the author goes on to describe, (very... Read more
this is a great book for nature photography, and shows many illustrations of how to compose and shoot nature and landscape photos.Published on January 7, 2010 by Bill Coleman
The book is fantastic, it doesn't hesitate to cover technical details, but focuses on the important points. Informations is immediately useful. Read morePublished on May 16, 2009 by Amazon Customer
This book is nicely laid out and full of great images and examples. A good read, and being somewhat experienced, I still picked up a lot of info and tips to improve my hobby. Read morePublished on November 4, 2008 by ritewinger