Saturday, February 19, 2011

Book Review: The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography


I previously reviewed National Geographic's: The Ultimate Field Guide to Photography which is a wonderful publication that illustrates the ins and outs of photography, I wanted to take the time to review a book that is much more specific to Nature Photography which is where my passion lies.  So I pulled out my copy of The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography which was put together by the Mountain Trail Photo Team.  While you may have never heard of the "Mountain Trail Photo Team" if you are a lover of fine art nature and wildlife photography you almost certainly have seen their work.  The team consists of a 10 professional photogs, including the very skilled Ian Plant and one of my favorite landscape photographers, Marc Adamus and is a modern day photographic version of the Rat Pack.  They combined their skills, knowledge and experience into an amazingly helpful guide to Nature Photography.


I first discovered this book through Nature Photographer's Network (NPN) which is the website I spend the most amount of time on by far and am proud to be a member of.  NPN was started 10 years ago by former Long Islander Jim Erhardt and is a website dedicated to all things related to Nature Photography (see the 10 year commemorative gallery here: 10 years of NPN).  Several of the Mountain Trail Photo Team members are on staff for NPN as moderators or contributing editors and Jim Erhardt wrote the foreword of this book which just goes to show that the folks involved with this title are truly obsessed with Nature Photography and are absolute professionals.

Aside form the stunning visuals this book offers (from the common white-tailed deer to dramatic sunrise images of far flung locales) the true value lies in the instructional offerings.  Some of the categories covered by this book are Composition, Light, Special Effects and Digital Workflow.  This book literally covers it all from what equipment you need/should get to how to replicate the looks of your favorite images.  There is a section on "Going Pro" which gives you a detailed list of how to go about it the right way.

One of the coolest features in this book is called the "Photo Calendar" which gives a monthly breakdown of the best places to go for photography.  For example - wondering where to take that wildflower photography vacation this year?  Consult the calendar and you'll see Texas Hill County is the place to be in the first two weeks of April.  Or what if you have a week to spare in the cold month of December?  The Calendar points you to Bosque Del Apache NWR which is arguably the best place to photograph migratory birds and wintering waterfowl.

No matter what kind of photography you are into (birds, flowers, landscapes, waterfalls), this book tells you how to approach it, where to execute it and how to make the best images you can make.  This title isn't overwhelming, bloated or boastful.  It strips down the big questions in Nature Photography and addresses them in ways that even a novice can understand.  I highly recommend this book and the work of all of the photographers involved.  Click on the image below to check it out on Amazon!

1 comment:

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