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John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide Paperback – October 1, 2001
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Shaw begins with fundamentals, with a discussion of the bedrock of photography, exposure. He makes clear in simple steps the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and film speed. Even in this day of high tech cameras that handle all of this information if you let them, anyone who really wants to master photography must understand this relationship so they can lie to the camera. (If you don't know what I mean, you need to
read this book.) At the very least you'll learn when to select aperture, shutter or program mode.
Shaw then goes on to discuss equipment and film, lenses, composition, closeups and working in the field. He even provides a seasonal guide to shooting locations, mostly in the United States.
The book is profusely illustrated with Shaw's photos. How does someone whose prose is so straightforward and concise take such poetic pictures?
At first I was surprised at the amount of space devoted to closeups. I knew that these were a Shaw specialty but I felt that most of the audience for this book would not be that interested in the subject. Then I realized that I felt this way because I didn't know how to do this well in nature. After
reading this chapter I was inspired to journey into the yard to take a Shaw-instructed closeup of a day lily. I was so pleased with what I had learned and applied that the picture now hangs on my wall.
I have a few minor quibbles with some of Shaw's advice. For example he urges the reader to use slide film and gives good reasons.Read more ›
John Shaw provides specific advice and detailed guidelines for photographing nature subjects. Where most books are vague, the author recommends specific equipment to purchase, when to use it and when to avoid it.
Be advised, however, that though this book has excellent information for any level of photographer, it is most useful for the advanced amateur or professional. Some of his recommendations are beyond the capabilities of a beginner -- technically and financially. For example, his recommendations of the type of equipment to buy for high quality images would probably bankrupt a hobbyist.
Again, the information is priceless and the images without equal.
It should be noted, however, the books seems to be geared more toward professional photoghraphers rather than amateurs. This is probably most noticeable when he discusses equipment because he gives the impression than anything less than top-of-the-line is a waste of money and will not result in good photographers. His equipment recommendations are sometimes out of the price range of most amateur photographers. In addition, he does not waste too much time on the basics of photography and presumes that the reader has at least some grasp of concepts and techniques.
I would recommend this book for the intermediate to advanced photographer. Beginners would be better served focusing on more basic texts rather than delving into this specialist book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
John Shaw's writings -- the best of the best -- perhaps only the tools have changed but not the passion and the knowledge to make good photography happenPublished 6 months ago by Louis Drew
Probably one of the best photography books I've read. While the author references film throughout the book the material is still very relevant to digital photography. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Michael Friedberg
recommended, but not required for a landscape/nature photography class. Nice book with a lot of information.Published 19 months ago by Amazon Customer