Tuesday, June 30, 2015

John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography {Review}

I am a naturalist at heart. I want to take great photos, but I also want them to show what I see. I want to show what things look like from where I stand. I want my photos to be less about trickery and more about accuracy. The story we are telling with our pictures is truly individual. This world is amazing because of the creator. It is breath taking and heart stopping because of God's hand. I really want to learn how to make my photographs show the beauty that I see.

Sometimes when I take a picture, I find that the color or lighting hasn’t been captured as precisely as I wish and I would really like to learn more about how to use my camera to its full potential, so I can tell the story that I see. When we were choosing a book to review recently, I decided to look at a book by John Shaw, a nature photographer.

John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography is written from over 40 years experience in nature photography. In his book, Shaw provides information on gear, how to get started, lenses, composition, close-ups, and the photographer all based on DSLR cameras. Shaw includes some very extraordinary photos.  His tips are not just for how to use your camera, but the importance of computer software programs in making a great image amazing.
He focuses on:
  • Stops
  • Exposure
  • Meters
  • Histograms
  • ISO
  • Focus
  • Zoom
  • Teleconverts
  • Chromatic aberration
  • Lighting
  • Angels
  • Framing
  • Types of lenses
  • Settings
  • And more

How we Used the Book
Originally I had planned to use this through the summer to take pictures when we go on our nature walks. Or even as course work for a highschool photography credit for Ceesa. But once I got the book in hand, I found that it will take me a lot longer (maybe a life time) to really start to process all of the information provided here. Maybe when the kiddoes get much older and my time is my own, I will be able to delve into all of the components.

We took a vacation recently and I took some pictures. I generally don’t use flash and try to take pictures in the evening. We were out on a cloudy day, so the shots are not too bad. My hope was to choose one of the new bits of information from the book and apply it. While I had trouble really working on adjusting and learning how to make my settings work for me, I did start to look for things that had a stark contrast of color.

But I do wish I could learn how to make the color pop in my pictures without the overexposure!


I would recommend this to photographers that are willing and able to spend large amounts of time and money purchasing software programs and the equipment recommended to create images at this professional standard. The tips and advice provided are definitely not for the faint of heart and only serious photography students need apply.

We have a friend that has taken photography classes, entered photography contests (taking home several firsts), and is building a business in photography. This may be a great gift for her. Being versed in the specific photography language, this may be something that she will enjoy.

You can learn more about John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography and check out an author bio.

I received a free copy of  John Shaw's Guide to Digital Nature Photography from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way for writing the review. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the FTC Regulations.

Wishing you homeschool blessings,

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