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The Art of Outdoor Photography: Techniques for the Advanced Amateur and Professional Paperback – February, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Naturephotographers.net, March 2006
“This book is a great collection of techniques for advanced amateur and pro photographers.”

About the Author

Boyd Norton is an internationally renowned outdoor photographer and writer. He has traveled extensively in documenting the world’s wild places and environmental issues. His previous books include the best-selling The Art of Outdoor Photography and Backroads of Colorado. His articles and photo essays have appeared in Time, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Audubon, Outside, Reader’s Digest, and the New York Times. Norton lives in Evergreen, Colorado.

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Product Details

  • Series: Natural World
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Voyageur Press; Revised edition (February 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0896584593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0896584594
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.6 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,742,143 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I just wanted to echo what others have said so far about this book. To be honest, I had never heard of Boyd Norton until Amazon recommended the book to me when I purchased another photography book. But I decided to try the book out, based on the previous reviews and the inexpensive price, and I'm sure glad I did! It's very well written and I can relate to the author's challenges of long-held photographic beliefs. He seem to state that, as long as the end result is pleasing, go ahead and break all the rules! I agree, and he offers many ideas and methods of coming up with unique perspectives and images that do just that.
I find most photography books I read to just re-state what others have already said, but this book continually gave me new ideas and fresh insight into different techniques and subjects. I'd be surprised if even an accomplished and seasoned photographer didn't get more than a few things out of this book.
Thanks, Boyd Norton, for putting together a very informative book with amazing pictures and descriptions of the processes used to create them!
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Format: Paperback
Norton's Outdoor Photography: Techniques for the Advance Amateur and Professional sounded like just the book for me. I didn't want another how to. I know how to manipulate the camera and what happens when light hits film. That's for the beginning photographer. What I wanted was something that went beyond technique to the point where technique becomes discovery. What I wanted, to quote Norton, was "a more methodical, precise approach to capturing the essence of scene or subject.
Norton's first chapter got me really excited. He talked about making the technical choices that bring order out of chaos. For example, he suggested that this involved "the tough process of isolating and arranging the picture elements." That certainly sounded like he was on the right track.
But then the book went down hill. I got the usual discussion of light metering, the differences between lens lengths, the elements of composition - in short the usual set of instructions for just beyond beginning photographers. Oh, the instructions were accurate and beautifully illustrated. But they didn't tell me how one could take the elements of composition beyond a list of elements and into "art".
Now maybe I expected to much. After all, if creating art was easy enough to put into a 152 page book, Art Wolfe wouldn't have a job. But I blame Norton (or his publishers.) They put on the catchline "Techniques for the Advanced Amateur and Professional". And then they gave me the same stuff as many another photography book writer. For my money, I would take John Shaw over Norton any day. At least he makes no bones about what he's teaching.
In summary, as a manual for photographers who know how to properly expose film, this is as good a book as any. But for the advanced amateur and professional who wants help in creating art, look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
I'm scared some novices will be daunted by the subtitle of this book: "Techniques for the Advanced Amateur and Professional". Perhaps advanced photographers are the target audience, but as a beginner, I still find it informative to read and inspiring to look through. I do recommend that you take the time to read some other basic books first so that you understand basic photography jargon (e.g. f/stop, depth of field, lens aperture, shutter speed, etc.). However, once you're confident in your ability to understand this esoteric vocabulary, you'll be fully armed to appreciate the significance of this book. In addition to covering information like lighting and composition (the two keys to quality photos), he also breaks down various outdoor photographing opportunities into separate sections (e.g. wildlife, travel, landscape, closeup, etc.) and explains in detail how to compose and take great shots in each.
Finally, as I've written in other reviews about photography books, the quality of the enclosed prints is a big factor in determining how much credence I give the author's ideas. This book does not disappoint. It not only prints all full-color photos on high quality paper, but it more importantly shows some spectacular outdoor shots, both skillful and creative in nature. It also fully explains how each shot was captured and with what equipment. Excellent.
I highly recommend this book, not only to advanced photographers but also to beginners like myself. I'm not sure if I have the ability to implement all his ideas(!), but even if it takes me time to learn, the information contained within is marvelous.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Boyd Norton does a great job of covering a broad range of topics in a relatively small amount of space. His clear and casual writing style makes the book fun to read and the concepts easy to understand.
Norton first discusses a range of general issues such as lighting, lens choice, composition, films, etc. A section on impressionistic rendering is quite interesting and gives a different perspective from what is normally taught. He then discusses specific cases in more detail: wildlife, travel, landscape, closeup and underwater photography. An additional section on photographing ones immediate surroundings once again provides a different twist.
Norton provides enough charts and technical material to make a useful reference text. The section on lens choice - with advice on the effective use of wide-angles and telephotos - helped me quite a bit.
I found his view of compositional rules to be the most interesting aspect of the book. Instead of rigid rules that would result in everyone taking the same pictures of the same things, he tries to provide some intuition into what makes for good composition. Even in one of his own examples there is some latitude. In the pair of shots of a racing sailboat, one picture has the boat heeled a bit more, giving the greater sense of motion he mentions. In the other shot the boat is surrounded by the sails of its competitors. This may only clutter the scene, or, worse yet, further the impression that the boat is parked. However, to someone familiar with the sport, it can evoke the flurry of activity that marks the start of a race.
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