Book reviews:    Professional secrets of nature photography

book49a.jpg (25229 bytes) Title
Professional secrets of nature photography
Judy Holmes
Amherst Media Inc.
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This is a book that has brought mixed feelings to me. The saying is never to judge a book by it's cover. Well, I did and I was wrong. This book was a present for my birthday, but I had asked for it myself. I had only seen the cover and thought it would be a book I would like to have. The subtitle is: "Essential techniques for photographing outdoors". This together gave me the impression that it was a book aimed at the more advanced nature photographer. To be honest, it is absolutely not. It is aimed at the very beginner.

book49b.jpg (20555 bytes)The biggest part of the book is made up of very big photographs, with very little text. Not that this has to be bad in a photography book. But the pictures should at least be clearly described and the how and why explained. Here this is not always the case.

So there is little text. The book does describe the basics of photography and explains how to measure for a correct exposure, complete with compensation etc. But the text stays at an introductionary level. Further on in the book there is a chapter on equipment and film. Here you will find almost two pages about the APS system and point-and-shoot cameras. Of course 35mm is also mentioned but for example different lenses are described on less than a quarter of a page.

At the end of the book there is a little section on the author. It is mentioned there that she often teaches photography at cruise ships. Well that is about the level of the book. An introduction to photography with lots of big colorful plates aimed at the beginner. Maybe I am sounding a bit cynical, but this is where I imagine this book to be sold. In the book shop of a big cruise ship, where passengers with a surplus of money, can buy a book from their own onboard photography teacher.

book49c.jpg (21468 bytes)There is another thing that bothers me very much about this book. The title says it is about nature photography. But inside the book you will find a great deal of images that have absolutely nothing to do with nature photography. There are many images of buildings, people etc. Even things like how to use flash are explained with pictures of people inside a room, as you can see in the picture on the left. I really can't understand what this has to do with nature photography. And the few images of animals you will find in the book are shot with captive animals at wildlife farms.

Sorry to say but in my opinion a complete waste of money. It maybe a nice photography book for the beginner, but it is neither a nature photography book nor a photography book at a professional level. Considering the (very high) price of $29,95 I can only recommend NOT to buy this book. Better to spend your money on any one of the other photography books reviewed here.

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