nature photographs is about a whole range of attributes - including
preparation, learning from experience, commitment, passion, artistic
vision, a love of your subject, luck and good technique.
people argue that you can't learn anything worthwhile on the
subject from books and that everything must be learned in the field - I
disagree. In the same way that reading a book on the rules of the road
won't make you into a racing driver, but will stop you driving down a
one way street; reading a book by a great nature photographer won't
allow you to produce the same results as them, but it can help you
develop sound technique, provide inspiration and stop you making
elementary mistakes. It will help you on your way and then it is up to
review of The
Art of Bird Photography, by Arthur Morris - Arthur is one of North
America's finest bird
photographers and luckily for us he is also an excellent teacher. This
makes The Art of Bird Photography an essential read for anyone
in photographing avian subjects.
The book is
comprehensive in its
coverage and looks at most areas of bird photography. The only notable
omission is working from a hide, something that Arthur seldom does.
Because of its depth the section on exposure may also be a bit
confusing to the beginner, but if you persist with it you will have a
strong understanding of the subject. Basically, I can't recommend this
book highly enough.
review of Mountain
Light, by Galen Rowell - Galen
is one of nature photography's legends. He is also a highly
mountaineer and rock climber, who has combined his participation in
these sports with his photography to produce some memorable images.
Galen is an excellent writer, and in his book Mountain Light he tells
us about his philosophy of landscape photography. This book is not a
how to manual of techniques, it goes much deeper than that. This is the
book I have read again and again to provide motivation and inspiration
for my landscape photography.
A review of Galen Rowell's Vision The Art of Adventure Photography, by Galen Rowell - A collection of Galen's monthly articles and images from Outdoor Photographer magazine. Informative and inspiring - I have read it many times over.
Galen Rowell and
his wife Barbara were tragically killed in a plane crash in August 2002.
As well as How
To books you will also
need a good collection of field guides for the subjects you shoot. This
is not just so you can identify what you have recorded on film, but
also to learn more about what you are photographing.
A good nature
photographer must also be a good naturalist. If you are to be
successful in getting those great images, you need to know about the
behavior and life cycles of you subjects. When does that bird breed and
where, what does it feed on, when does that flower bloom etc. Without
this knowledge you will be largely dependent on being in the right
place at the right time, and whilst luck does play an important part in
nature photography - the more you know the luckier you get!