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Wildlife Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots Paperback – November 7, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0321794505 ISBN-10: 0321794508 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 1 edition (November 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321794508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321794505
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #430,157 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

About the Author

Laurie Excell is a professional wildlife and nature photographer, and her images have appeared in Outdoor Photographer, Photoshop User, Elements Techniques, and Layers magazines. Her work also appears regularly on Audubon calendars and National Park Service postcards, calendars, and posters. She leads popular wildlife photography adventures in North America and is an instructor at Photoshop World. She is also the gear desk guru for the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP), and she is a moderator for the Nikon Digital Learning Center on Flickr. Check out her work at laurieexcell.com.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
58%
4 star
31%
3 star
12%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 26 customer reviews
This is another great book for wildlife photography.
Jerryj98501
I saw the book in the Holidays in Alaska at Katmai Wilderness Lodge and ordered immediately after takeoff.
Michael Sander
This is a very informative book, with information which is easy to understand and wonderful pictures.
Pam Garrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Laurie Excell starts the book by explaining the equipment you are likely to need. One complaint I have is that she is kind of specific in her examples, meaning that this part of the book, at least, will potentially be dated. It also discounts the fact that Canon, Sony, Pnetax, etc all make camera equipment as she focuses on Nikon. No problem as long as you purchase the brand of equipment you want, not what Laurie tells you to buy.

If you shoot anything other than Nikon, be aware you'll have to know the terminology that Laurie discusses for your particular camera brand as well. She does a fairly good job putting the Canon equivalent in ( ), but for shooters of other systems, you definitely better know your camera system.

In terms of techniques, Laurie shows you how to setup shots (such as using a "blind" for bird photography) and what settings are best used to get similar. She also details the equipment she used to capture the shot (again, KNOW YOUR CAMERA SYSTEM).

Over all this book has helped me better "see" shots of wildlife and I'm glad I spent the couple of hours needed to read it through.

4 stars because without the camera branding, this would be a 5 star, general use book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TAS on October 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The opening chapters are about equipment and camera basics. While one can think they know a lot, there's always room for learning. I was especially interested in what kind of equipment she was recommending and why. She gives beginning, moderate and expensive set-ups so that you don't have to immediately say, "oh, sure, I'm really going to spend almost $10,000 on a 600mm lens" and stop reading.
She explains the why of the settings used to take her sample pictures. I really think "why" is one of the most important things.
After each chapter she has a simple assignment to use what she's just written about.
I haven't finished the book yet because I'm going through step by step as though it were a class. That seems to be working quite well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Peter Henry on August 7, 2013
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There's a lot of good basic material in here, but if you've been shooting wildlife for a while and are looking for ideas to improve, there is a very limited amount of useful information that you probably don't know.

If you are new to wildlife photography, then there's probably a lot that you don't know that is in here, and it will be a good guide to get started.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
When one samples the work of an author one hasn't previously read, first impressions matter. Excell did not make a good first impression on me. As other reviewers have noted, her book is very Nikon-centric. That's a surefire way to prematurely age a book, for reasons not the least of which is Nikon's inability to successfully transition into the mirrorless age. This Nikon-centrism leads the reader down a wrong path, particularly in the area of prospective camera body and lens equipment purchases.

For instance, she recommends the 200-400 f/4 Nikon, an optic rendered superfluous and a few thousand dollars too expensive by the widely celebrated Sigma 120-300 f/2.8 (which did exist when she wrote this book) or even the Nikon 80-400 (which, in Excell's defense, did not exist at the time of her writing). For shooters on a budget, she also recommends the Nikon 28-300 variable aperture zoom, an optic lampooned for its unsharpness and a choice rendered all the more questionable in light of Tamron's solid performing 150-600 telephoto. She also recommends the D300s, a geriatric crop camera, whose single claim to fame--if it must have one--is its high noise at low ISOs. The D800, D810, D750 have hammered not one, but several nails in its coffin.

Buyer beware! Where camera body/lens equipment recommendations are concerned, then, the book is obsolete--spectacularly so!
Nowadays, shooters on a budget have a myriad of options and opportunities they seemingly did not have when Excell wrote this book. Wildlife photography has never been more accessible to those without deep pockets, though the reader could be forgiven for thinking otherwise upon reading Excell's $2500, $4500, $9500, and $12000 "budget", "midrange", "serious," and "ultimate" wildlife equipment recommendations.

This book earns its three stars for its adequate coverage of other domains.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Grove on December 4, 2012
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GOOD IDEAS AND EXAMPLES. Also includes ideas and "assignments" for getting to know the camera more thoroughly
as well as the affect of various settings on the final outcome of the photos.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pam Garrison on March 24, 2013
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This is a very informative book, with information which is easy to understand and wonderful pictures. I love taking pictures of wildlife and this book helps me take great shots not just pictures.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Morrison on March 2, 2013
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The book is great for the person that is trying wildlife photography for the first time. A little basic for the more advanced photographer but still has some good ideas.
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By R. Koch on November 25, 2014
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This book is an enjoyable read. It includes some great tips on photography and on getting in position to photograph wildlife. Maybe the best part of the book is the personal exploits of the author. Laurie has been on many exciting photo shoots and describes them well. I intend to use what I learned by reading this book. Even if you don't learn anything new the book is worth buying and reading just for the pleasant experience.
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Wildlife Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots
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