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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Shaw is the author of many enduring bestsellers, including six previous Amphoto 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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Product Details

  • Series: Photography for All Levels: Intermediate
  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Amphoto Books; Rev Sub edition (October 31, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817440593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817440596
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #339,153 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

John Shaw has covered more than the basics in this book.
Skippy
This is one of the best guides for photography I've read with easy to follow instructions and very understandable language.
Kathy A. Hamill
This book was highly recommended to me by two professional nature photographers.
Leah Clement

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

175 of 181 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on October 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
If you are interested in nature photography and can buy only one book this is the one to buy. For the beginning and intermediate nature photographer this is a complete course under one cover. But even the expert can derive something from the refresher course this book provides.
Shaw begins with fundamentals, with a discussion of the bedrock of photography, exposure. He makes clear in simple steps the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and film speed. Even in this day of high tech cameras that handle all of this information if you let them, anyone who really wants to master photography must understand this relationship so they can lie to the camera. (If you don't know what I mean, you need to
read this book.) At the very least you'll learn when to select aperture, shutter or program mode.
Shaw then goes on to discuss equipment and film, lenses, composition, closeups and working in the field. He even provides a seasonal guide to shooting locations, mostly in the United States.
The book is profusely illustrated with Shaw's photos. How does someone whose prose is so straightforward and concise take such poetic pictures?
At first I was surprised at the amount of space devoted to closeups. I knew that these were a Shaw specialty but I felt that most of the audience for this book would not be that interested in the subject. Then I realized that I felt this way because I didn't know how to do this well in nature. After
reading this chapter I was inspired to journey into the yard to take a Shaw-instructed closeup of a day lily. I was so pleased with what I had learned and applied that the picture now hangs on my wall.
I have a few minor quibbles with some of Shaw's advice. For example he urges the reader to use slide film and gives good reasons.
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117 of 119 people found the following review helpful By L. Sidhu on December 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
John Shaw's photographs are amazing and inspiring and this book would be worth purchasing just for the images. Fortunately, however, this is book is not just a glorified portfolio but an excellent guide to every aspect of nature photography. The book is comprehensive without sacrificing detail.
John Shaw provides specific advice and detailed guidelines for photographing nature subjects. Where most books are vague, the author recommends specific equipment to purchase, when to use it and when to avoid it.
Be advised, however, that though this book has excellent information for any level of photographer, it is most useful for the advanced amateur or professional. Some of his recommendations are beyond the capabilities of a beginner -- technically and financially. For example, his recommendations of the type of equipment to buy for high quality images would probably bankrupt a hobbyist.
Again, the information is priceless and the images without equal.
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48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By L. McNerney on November 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
With the release of this updated Field Guide, Shaw presents his incredible photography, along with his personal opinions regarding gear, lighting, lenses, accessories. His discussions delve into all aspects of the each topic. For instance, under the chapter "Teleconverters," he not only explains the theory behind them, but he elaborates as to when and under what circumstances to consider using them--and when to avoid them. There are specific gear references and opinions throughout the book, for anyone looking to build or expand an equipment base (with a heavy Nikon emphasis). The photography, as expected, is absolutely amazing and inspiring. His photographs serve to illustrate any nature photography topic you could name--filters/ film speed/ depth of field/ telephotos/ macro photography/ composition, etc., and each topic is explained in concise, yet conversational language. He writes as though he's been asked to share his wealth of nature photography knowledge with a friend--very readable and yet technically detailed. This book deserves a place on any photographer's bookshelf--you won't be disappointed!
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By L. Sidhu on December 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is an excellent resources on equipment and techniques for nature photography. The book is detailed, in-depth, and thorough in covering the major aspects of importance to a nature photographer. Unlike most authors, John Shaw provides specific information rather than vague suggestions. For example, when discussing equipment, he advises the reader on which specific tripod to purchase and what lenses to avoid.
It should be noted, however, the books seems to be geared more toward professional photoghraphers rather than amateurs. This is probably most noticeable when he discusses equipment because he gives the impression than anything less than top-of-the-line is a waste of money and will not result in good photographers. His equipment recommendations are sometimes out of the price range of most amateur photographers. In addition, he does not waste too much time on the basics of photography and presumes that the reader has at least some grasp of concepts and techniques.
I would recommend this book for the intermediate to advanced photographer. Beginners would be better served focusing on more basic texts rather than delving into this specialist book.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Massimo Maddaloni on December 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am enthusiastic about Shaw's books. I have them all. Almost all the photography books available out there deal with a lot of merely technical blabla. Shaw, on top of being technically rigorous, puts great emphasis on the artistic and creative aspects of nature photography. If you have time and will to learn, you'll find that each picture is a whole lesson. His way of writing is clean and straight, modest and never boring. I watch my own pictures before and after I went through his books: man, there is a difference!! I'd say that the vast majority of my slides are technically quite satisfactory but only a negligible minority is decent under the point of view of the composition. Shaw's books increased my capacity of critically evaluating a photograph. Sometimes I compare my pictures to those in some books or calendars and I'd say: mine are as good or even better than those. But sometimes I step into a book of some really good photographer (Shaw's ones are among them) and I sadly realize that I'll probably never get there. Nonetheless this stimulates me to improve. Buy it.
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