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Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography, Revised Edition Paperback – Illustrated, February 23, 2010
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About the Author
- Publisher : Amphoto Books; Revised ed. edition (February 23, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0817439617
- ISBN-13 : 978-0817439613
- Item Weight : 1.48 pounds
- Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #345,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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In terms of creative instruction, this book is similar to Peterson's "Learning to See Creatively". These two books do overlap, although in many ways, they are complementary. Tharp covers 'core' topics like lighting, design elements, and composition quite well (and this is what made the book so successful in the first edition). If you've never been exposed to these ideas, this book is a great introduction. The material is engaging and easy-to-read, and does not feel like a textbook (which many books on composition tend to feel like). However, if you are already familiar with these topics, the presentation may feel a bit shallow. On a few occasions, a topic will be described and stop just short of giving really practical advice or examples on how it might be used. It was disappointing to sometimes read a fairly vague passage and then have it qualified with something generic like "just keep trying and you'll get it" (sic). Nevertheless, this is still among one of the better introductory instructional books on composition.
Of the few sidebars (or otherwise minor sections) on technical topics, none were covered very well. Tharp discusses the histogram, and 'exposing to the right', as well as topics like HDR and some post-processing ideas, all of which had fairly weak coverage. The weakest topic by far was on depth of field, where the book tries to describe hyperfocal focusing, and basically butchers the topic. The text describes the DoF master application, but not the excellent website, where all of this is explained wonderfully.
Despite it's flaws, the real 'meat' of this book continues to be relatively good. This book is best for beginning photographers. If you more advanced, and are looking for some deeper discussion of 'vision' and expression through photography (something that Tharp hints at in a few places), then I'd highly recommend you take a look at David duChemin's excellent books instead.
When I read it is with a highlighter in hand. There is hardly a page in either book that I haven't marked or written a note to myself inspired by what I had just read.
The bonus of these books is the photographic examples the authors use. If you bought Creative Nature & Outdoor Photography, just for the remarkable photos it would be worth the price.
Maybe you know someone with an budding interest in photgraphy, consider these books as a gift to them. They'll become much better and faster photographers than learning on their own.
But that has nothing to do with Ms. Tharpe. Picked it up on Ken Rockwell's suggestion & am glad I did.
Concepts are clearly explained & the accompanying photographs are very appropriate & helpful.
The questions she suggests a photographer ask of himself & composition is very helpful, coming back to photography after a long hiatus.
The style of writing is interesting & not at all pedantic, though there is a lot of information in these 10 chapters.
The chapter on Light is comprehensive as it not only talks about its colour, direction & how the camera sees it with very helpful boxes like: How to read a historgram?; HDR, and White Balance.
All chapters have this great mix of general comprehensive presentation along with tips.
Chapter 8, Artistic Interpretations have different Techniques & there is a small segment on Lensbabies.
I would have loved to have read this when I was sixteen & starting out learining the craft. But better late than never.
All in all, an excellent & beautiful book that I would reccomend & readily gift to friends & family interested in the Art.
Top reviews from other countries
You can sit and read this though in relatively short-order, but think the best way to get the most out of it is to go through a chapter at a time, and go out and try out some of the teachings from each. I found it a good way to prompt me into thinking differently about how i went about taking outdoor shots.
I liked the narrative style; it is easy going, and quite light-hearted in places, but does a very good job of explaining techniques and methods. The photos inside were an excellent way to endorse the techniques being discussed, and showcase Brenda's talents as a creative photographer.
This is an updated version of her original book, and shows how Brenda has progressed from the use of film to digital, but the basic fundamentals remain the same.
If you only buy one book on the subject, then i think you would struggle to find one that does a better job.