Focal Press (www.focalpress.com) puts out a series of Field Guides, little books that can fit in your gear bag, purse or backpack, letting you easily take a reference book with you when you go out to photograph. The subjects range from travel photography, to exposure, to bird photography to shooting weddings.
I’ve now read a few of the books in the series.
In this review we’re going to tackle The Bird Photography Field Guide, written by David Tipling, ISBN 9780240817767. The book not only includes a wealth of information that any experienced bird watcher or photographer would know, but also includes some basic photography info. While personally I felt that most of the basic photo education could have been left out, I do understand that there might be some folks brand new to photography who might be picking up one of these books—and in that case, you’ll not only learn all you want to about photographing birds, but also be able to better understand how your camera works. The book also covers some info on post-processing to enhance the photos you’ve just taken, and again while it is just the tip of the iceberg on post production education, its a good starting point for the novice digital photographer.
As someone who has photographed birds that can easily be found (meaning that I haven’t really searched out particular birds to photograph on any particular day) the author did a great job explaining the varied tips for capturing certain types of birds, and included tricks to getting better photos using blinds and how best to approach birds, among other tips.
The author’s experience photographing birds comes through, as the book is written in an easy to understand manner, ideal for the beginner photographer as well as the more advanced shooter who is looking to specifically learn about photographing birds.
And, because the Field Guide series of books are designed to be pocketable, you can easily take them with you into the field. Pricetag: $15.95, well worth the amount of tips you’ll get in The Bird Photography Field Guide.
— Diane Berkenfeld