Does a book look interesting? Order it now from How? Just click the book graphic or title link.
Search Now:
In Association with


Growing one's skills as a photographer requires constant practice and study. As a book worm, I scour photo books looking for new ideas, new techniques, new ways of accomplishing common techniques. Gathered here are brief reviews of photo books that I've found helpful and/or have inspired me to expand my photographic boundaries by introducing me to new techniques or inspiring me to attempt new subject matter.

Just Out! John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide: Revised edition of The Nature Photographer's Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques. John Shaw Shaw revises the classic book on Nature Photography technique. A super resource!

National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Secrets to Making Great Pictures by Peter K. Burian and Robert Caputo. Published by the National Geographic Society.

Ok, OK, I'll admit that I've known author Peter Burian for a number of years. I've learned much from his many articles in Shutterbug. As editor of Outdoor & Nature Photographer, Peter assembled an outstanding collection of how-to articles written by the best outdoor and nature photographers around (including several articles written by me). He is a contributing Editor with Photo Life, Spain's FOTO, and Australian Photography, and a contributor to Outdoor Photographer. Peter has also penned a number of the popular Magic Lantern Guides. What has all this to do with the NG Field guide? Plenty! It means that Burian brings extensive background to the task.

I'm pleased to say that the Guide is indeed a reference work that photographers of all stripes will find useful. I often criticize photo how-to books and articles for their lack of illustration. The Guide does a wonderful job illustrating key points with photos or diagrams. Like any field guide, this isn't a book that you'll read from cover to cover. The Guide's organization invites you to sample topics on an as-needed basis. Need to brush up your understanding of on-camera flash? Turn to the super discussion of flash technique. While there, enjoy the wonderful diagram that shows clearly how the ever-abstract inverse-square law applies to effective flash distance. You'll also find useful the series of photos that illustrate the effects of different off-camera flash placements on a portrait subject.

Interviews with working National Geographic photographers also set the Guide apart from other photo how-to books. The interviews provide a nice human balance to the technical discussion. Indeed, the interviews are so are so rich that I find myself yearning for a separate book comprised of extended interviews with these talented photographers; I want to read more of their advice and photographic vision.

If you are looking for a general coverage photo how-to book for your self or a photographer friend, look no further. Burian and Caputo's National Geographic Photography Field Guide is Highly Recommended!

(Click on the book's title page above, or here, to order your copy today!)

Click to order The Art of Birdi Photography from today!  Birds as Art: The Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques by Arthur Morris

OK, I'll admit it up front: I don't do birdie portraits. Sure, I've the odd shot of ducks on a pond. Those shots resulted more from an urge to play than any serious effort to hone my bird photography skills. Because of this, I held off acquiring a copy of Art's book. After all, what could be in it for me? Plenty, as it turns out. I bought this book after several photographer colleagues suggested it to me. Yes, it is an excellent book on how to photograph birds. This is also an excellent book on how to use Canon EOS equipment. Many of the tips and techniques described are EOS gear specific. That's a strength if you shoot with EOS equipment, as I do. If you use gear of other brands, many of the tech tips just won't be as useful. That aside, Art clearly knows his stuff and his enthusiasm for photographing birds radiates from every page. And the photo illustrations! Did I mention the photo illustrations? As I said, I'm not a bird guy, but Art's bird images are beautiful! Study his images to hone your skills at minimizing distracting background elements from your compositions. If you photograph nature, you'll find something useful and/or inspiring in Art's book. Highly Recommended.


Buy Sell and Re-Sell Your Photos from Today! Sell and Re-Sell Your Photos by Rohn Engh

What can I say? This book, now in its 4th edition, is a classic. It is one of the first books on the business of stock photography that I read. I've read many stock photo business books since, yet I still come back to Eng's book from time to time for a refresher. Rohn does a very nice job detailing how to set up your stock photo business, with an eye toward servicing editorial markets. Highly Recommended.

SellPhotos.Com by Rohn Engh

To suggest that the Internet has revolutionized stock photo marketing is the understatement of the century. Yet, most stock photographers appear unawares of how to transform their business in response to Internet forces. Engh provides a competent road map to help you make the transition.

Buy John Shaw's Business of Nature Photography from Today!John Shaw's Business of Nature Photography: A Professional's Guide to Marketing and Managing a Successful Nature Photography Business.

As I'd learned a lot from John Shaw's now classic books on nature photography technique, I was curious to see what he would say about the the business of nature photography. This book didn't disappoint. In his characteristic pragmatic matter, Shaw writes from the perspective of the procedures used in his own nature stock photography business. Getting started in the business, the necessary office work, slide labeling and filing, choosing which images to include in a submission, marketing, writing, publishing, and money concerns are among the myriad topics covered. Gorgeous images illustrate the book. As much as I like this book, I can't help but wonder how Shaw's perspective on getting started is colored by the fact that he is something of an institution in the nature photography industry. On the other hand, casual observation reveals that Shaw does indeed practice what he preaches. There's something to be said about that. Strongly Recommended.

Order Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing from today! Philip and Alex's Guide to Web Publishing by Philip Greenspun. Boy do I like this book! Finally a book a written from the trenches. And do I mean the trenches. If you want to know how to make pretty web pages, this book isn't for you. If you want to learn how to build a sophisticated backend for your web site, this book is for you. A self-professed nerd, and developer extraordinaire of hard-core database-backed web sites, Greenspun writes eloquently. Procedures are well illustrated in the most well commented tcl scripting I've ever seen. Ya gotta love a guy that, rather than fluff stuffing to meet the page target in his contract with the publisher, adds three chapters of solid text to an already satisfying book! If you aspire to expand your nerdly skills to include the ability to build database backed web sites, this book will get you started. Highly Recommended.
Order Web Pages that Suck from today!Web Pages that Suck by Vincent Flanders and Michael Willis. Yeah, I know, it's a catchy title. Real catchy. Too catchy, perhaps. Indeed, this book doesn't feature any web sites that suck so bad you want to send the URL to several friends with the message, "Check this out, you won't believe how much this site sucks!" Nope. The examples are mighty tame. But don't let that deter you. Web Pages that Suck is chock full of practical tips on how to plan, maintain, revise, and market your web site. The enclosed CD even includes some useful software. A useful read. Recommended.

Speaking of software, I use Dreamweaver 4.0 to create static web pages. Dreamweaver's intuitive user interface makes it easy to create and update pages. The templates and libraries help ensure your pages have a consistent look and feel.

Do you currently use Dreamweaver 2 or 3 and wonder if this is a worthy upgrade? Yes. The user interface is nicely refined. The ability to view code and layout simultaneously in the same window is a great boost. The tag editor, which makes it easier to edit or remove tags applied to page elements, really speeds production. Other new bells, like integrated Flash text and button creation, enhanced DHTML capabilities, and strengthened Java script support may or may not be important to you.


Digital tools are revolutionizing all aspects of photography. Assembled here are reviews of books that have guided my explorations of the digital photo landscape.

Photoshop® 5 Artistry: A Master Class for Photographers, Artists, and Production Artists, by Barry Haynes and Wendy Crumpler. I've mixed feelings about this book. Why? Check back for my full review.


Click Here!

GentlEye Home | Photo Home | Photo Enthusiast Center