I just finished reading the The Ultimate Guide to Digital Nature Photography published by the Mountain Trail Photo Team. I really like this book. It may not be “ultimate” but no book can be. For example, you could write a whole book only on bird or butterfly photography and fill more pages than this book has (192). So, not everything is covered in great detail (for example photographing birds in flight or how to best use a hide to photograph shy animals).
But there is a lot to like in this book. First of all are the absolutely stunning pictures from various photographers. I’ve read many nature photography book but this one belongs to the top 5 when it’s comes to the quality of the images presented. The printing quality is stunning and it is just a joy watching all those amazing photographs and become inspired by them. The pictures alone are worth the price of the book.
The text is mostly written for beginning and intermediate nature photographers. It covers equipment, exposure or how to use light. The chapter on composition is one of the best treatments of this subject I’ve read. It may not be as detailed as in some other books but has many clear explanations illustrated with awesome images and it also covers stuff not found in many other books like using triangles, S- and C-cuvers or Zig-Zags.
One chapter covers special effects like using HDR, multiple exposures, night exposures are using flash. Here more details, especially for using flash would have been great but there is still a lot of useful information to be found. The HDR information is also only basic but given that this is such a big subject, the reader will probably have to buy a separate book on HDR anyway.
In the chapter “Making magical images” the reader can find many tips on how to improve his photography organised by various subjects like landscape, macro or wildlife.
The chapter on digital workflow covers the basics of how to work with your images in the digital darkroom. Given that topics like Lightroom or Photoshop are very complex, again, here only the basics are presented and you will need more detailed books covering those topics.
At the end there is one page with some thoughts on turning pro, a photographic calendar covering interesting locations in North America and some small tutorials on specific topics like photographing autumn color, waterfalls or birds in flight (as I wrote above, the coverage here is basic for some topics. 5 small paragraphs on how to photograph birds in flight are a good start but won’t be enough to make you an expert – but becoming an expert in birds in flight photography can only be done with lots of practice, anyway.
Overall I liked the book a lot. The text is great for beginning and intermediate nature photographers and the pictures are so good that even advanced and professional nature photographers can learn something from them or become inspired by them.
Buy the book from amazon: