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AAA's National Park Photography Paperback – January 1, 1955
"Children of Blood and Bone"
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The book starts out with a chapter on photographic equipment and technique , and then proceeds with separate chapters on 22 of the major national parks. The book claims that it is aimed at both beginners and experts, but I'm always skeptical of such claims. Once again, I was wrong.
Consider the first chapter on Photography Essentials. The techniques described are indeed essential if one expects to take better than average pictures in the national parks. The beginner may indeed be a little awed by what the author considers essential, but he will learn where there are holes in his knowledge. I would recommend reading John Shaw's "Nature Photography Field Guide" if you want to get a better understanding of technique. More advanced photographers will use the first chapter as a checklist.
The author recognizes that many of the shots are classic shots that appear on calendars and postcards but says that the individual photographer's variations will make the pictures worth taking. He also suggests that the reader study the author's photographs for ideas on how to handle different subjects and I think that's good advice.
I was very interested in the chapters on parks where I had photographed. I found that not only was Fitzharris quite comprehensive, but he even suggested some places to go to that I had not visited, and some approaches I had not tried, even in parks I thought I knew well. I wish I had had this book before visiting some of those parks. I also know I may visit a few parks because they are in Fitzharris' book.
I have a few minor quibbles. Fitzharris suggested visiting Yosemite before June and shooting early in the morning and late in the afternoon to avoid crowds. It's good advice but the last time I was there in May at 6:30 PM at Tunnel View, there were fourteen tripods set up with crossed legs by photographers making an homage to Ansel Adams. I suppose that's better than it would be at 3:00 PM on a July day, but some of the hot spots suggested by the author will always be crowded.
The author makes no reference to digital photography, but I don't consider that much of a problem. The book is aimed at getting you to the best spots in the major national parks, and creating the best composition. That doesn't change very much with digital photography.
My biggest complaint about this book was that it only covers 22 of the national parks. I wanted more coverage.
Bottom line, Tim is a truly amazing nature and wildlife photographer. His images alone will inspire and motivate you to make a travel plan like I did. What's more, his ability to write far outshines the competition. The book contains useful instruction on general technique, as well as specific advice on when and where to go in each park. His text is filled with practical, helpful tips - the kind of information you would really use. I found myself jotting down notes again and again as I read through his advice and instructions.
If you are a nature lover and photography enthusiast... if you find yourself at your greatest place of peace and tranquility when you visit our national parks, you'll love this book. It's a true gem.