Book reviews:    An Essential Guide to Bird Photography

book51a.jpg (40170 bytes) Title
An Essential Guide to Bird Photography
Setve Young
1 86108193 6
1st, 2001
Guild of Craftsman Publications Ltd
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This book by British photographer Steve Young is a very nice and informative book on the subject of bird photography. The book is printed on very nice glossy paper which gives the photos a very good quality. The book is square in size (about 25x25cm) and has a softcover. The contents of the book follows the same path most of these books do. First the equipment, then the technique. A very nice feature of this book is that all photographs in the book are shown in an image index in the back as little thumbs, with details about the species, location and lens used.

book51b.jpg (36935 bytes)The first chapter of this book deals with the equipment, while the second one explains how to use it. The author describes what equipment is needed for bird photography in a very practical approach. These chapters are not written for you to take up another mortgage and send you off to the nearest photo dealer to get all the latest and newest equipment. Instead the book shows what is practical and also what you will need most. These advices are not the most detailed. Some books go into more detail but with the disadvantage of being "old-fashioned" within a few years.

My favourite parts of the book are the chapters about using the equipment and developping your technique. These chapters will teach you how to get close to birds or how to get them close to you, and how to use your equipment a tool. Very informative.

At the end there is a small chapter about archiving and submitting images for publication. Another usefull chapter is called surgery. It shows a lot of images in which something has gone wrong, complete with an explanatory text. This small chapter is very usefull as you can always learn from other's mistakes as well as your own. The book ends with a gallery of the author's best work.

From the images in the book, you can see that the author is a birder as well as a photographer. Several pictures of rare species are included. Not because they are perfect photographically (most aren't), but because they show very rare birds.

Conclusion: A very nice and very informative book on the subject of bird photography. Good images and good text explaining things easily. It's very suitable for beginners as well as more advanced photographers. definitely advisable.

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All text and images 1991 - 2011 Hans Martens