- Series: Photography for All Levels: Intermediate
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Amphoto Books; Revised, Subsequent edition (October 31, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780817440596
- ISBN-13: 978-0817440596
- ASIN: 0817440593
- Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 111 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#655,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #103 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Equipment, Techniques & Reference > Flash Photography
- #179 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Business & Careers
- #391 in Books > Arts & Photography > Photography & Video > Equipment, Techniques & Reference > Handbooks & Manuals
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John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide Paperback – October 1, 2001
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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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Actually it was wrote before the big boom of digital cameras, but it cover almost everything you could need to learn to make Photography, mainly outdoors. I studied it comprehensively and I cannot tell you how much I learned Photography from this single book - it was worth ten times I paid it.
I strongly recommend it for any beginners. Your best investment.
I have been an amateur photographer for 40 years and have long since learned the basics of exposure and composition. However, my approach, until reading Shaw's books, was quite haphazard.
Shaw and I both use Nikons and have much of the same equipment. Of course, he has about a million times more talent than I do.
In any case, I wasn't getting anywhere near the sharpness that he was until I heeded his most important piece of advice. Buy a good tripod and head and use it for every shot. Since taking his advice, I can now print to the next larger size for almost every shot that I take.
I prefer to continue shooting film which makes Shaw's books perfect for me. However, most of what Shaw writes applies equally to digital capture. Regardless of the media, the basics of good exposure and composition still apply.
If you need information specifically about digital photography, there are plenty of other books available. I would recommend Shaw's "ebook" which is a "field guide" to Photoshop. I don't know if it's available on Amazon, but it should still be available on Shaw's own website.
For anyone serious about their photography and looking to improve it, Shaw's books are a "must read". Much of the material in this book can be found in his others, although each has enough unique material to make it worth the price.
I'd suggest not buying all of them. In addition to this book, I'd recommend "Focus on Nature", in which Shaw explains his thinking and equipment choice for each photo in the book.
Possibly the best book about photography I've ever read. It doesn't just describe nature photography, but also goes into many technical details about how to obtain the picture *you* want to obtain. Many of these details are fundamental to all types of photography (exposure, lighting, etc.), so there is something to be gained for everyone.
However, as the title of the book clearly indicates, the bulk of the text is dedicated to photographing in outside lighting - it *is* nature after all - so you might want to consider another book if your primary interest is indoor studio photography.
In terms of experience level, I think anyone from an amateur photographer just starting out to the seasoned pro will find useful tips and anecdotes in this text. I've been using an SLR camera for many years but I'm amazed at how many things I've learned from this book.
One small drawback is that the author only uses Nikon cameras and hence most of the equipment related advice is for Nikon branded equipment. He does occasionally mention Canon equivalents, although the charts and comparisons of sizes, weights, etc. are only for Nikon. Still, I use a Canon camera and found this to be only a very minor annoyance.
The book has so many excellent photographs (185) in it that it would be worth buying for the pictures alone. However, as long as you're buying a book of pictures, why not throw in an excellently written text describing in great detail how the pictures were taken and how to obtain similar results yourself?
It also has all sorts of interesting mini chapters - one is even included on how to take aerial photographs and includes advice on the types of planes and pilots to rent! A section I think I'll find especially handy lists some of the author's favorite shooting locations and what you can find there by month of the year (mainly in the United States).
The book was published fairly recently (2000), but still deals exclusively with film (mostly slide). So those of us using the newer digital SLR's will want to skim past the sections on choosing a film type, push processing your film, etc. However, it's kind of fun to read over these sections and realize how much easier things are now with digital. No more waiting through a whole roll of film to change your ISO, much faster ISO speeds with good results (I frequently use 1600 for macro work with no problem), no need to *buy* film or process, etc. After you've read the book, go out and buy yourself a Canon EOS 20D or equivalent and you'll see what I mean. ;-) The only time I wished the book discussed digital is with regard to the number of stops film can accurately reproduce (about 5). It would have been nice to see the equivalent information for digital, and some sections on digital exposure tips and tricks - but I suppose this is for the next version of the book.
The sections on composition and equipment are excellent too. One drawback is that the book is from the era of film, so there is a lot of material devoted that that topic. But, I'd say there's a lot to learn throughout, and the film portions are not necessarily a waste of time for a fully digital photographer - becuase it will drive home the point that you're still placing an image on some form of a media, whether it be film or a chip (or printer, monitor, slide), and while different media all produce different results, there are many more things in common than there are different.
Even though this book was written for film cameras, it clearly explains the fundamentals of how cameras operate, lens selection, etc., that digital shooters would benefit from reading this book.
This book is highly recommended, as it should be the cornerstone of every photographer's book shelf.