This book is a basic introduction into digital flower photography. On a little more than 140 pages it covers the basics of flower photography with a digital SLR camera.
After an overview of necessary equipment like cameras or lenses the book covers exposure, depth of field, light, colour, choosing the right background, composition and digital image processing. It also has two case studies, one about cherry blossoms, the other about crocuses. All this is illustrated with many pictures taken by the author.
I like this book but it could have been better. The text is very basic and mostly targeted at beginners. If you are already an experienced photographer, you won’t find much new information. Also, the text does not go into too much detail and often a beginner might want more information. For example, the text on choosing a macro lens is not even half a page and is very basic. It mentions that a longer focal length has different benefits but the book does not explain the advantages and disadvantages of the different telephoto macro lens. For example a Nikon photographer might wonder if it is better to buy the 105mm or the 200mm macro lens from Nikon. The book does not mention that most manufactures have telephoto macro lenses in those ranges (Canon has 100mm and 180mm) and what are the advantages and disadvantages (See my article Choosing a lens for macro and close-up photography for a much more detailed explanation).
Similar the chapter on flashes. Nikon and Canon offer a large selection of flashes incl. specialised macro flashes. After reading the book you won’t know what to buy!
The chapters on colour, light and composition are better and although not as detailed as in other books, they offer many useful tips for the beginning and intermediate photographer.
For me the best part of the book are the awesome images. Sue Bishop is a world class flower photographer and the fantastic images are a clear proof of that. The images are a great inspiration for every flower and nature photographer, no matter your skill level and I enjoy browsing through the images and looking for inspiration for my own flower photographs.
Overall I think the text could have been better (and much more detailed, especially when it comes to technique and equipment), but the pictures alone may be worth the price of the book for many photographers – it definitely was worth it for me.
So, if you are mostly looking for detailed technical explanations for flower photography, look elsewhere but if you want a beautifully illustrated book with fantastic flower photographs as a inspiration for your own photography, this book is a good investment.
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