The beauty of the natural world and the desire to preserve it in a picture have inspired people for decades to create photographs of nature. Recent developments in digital photography have changed the way this is done and Sean Arbabi’s book, The Complete Guide to Nature Photography: Professional Techniques for Capturing Digital Images of Nature and Wildlife, helps the beginning photographer develop the necessary skills. Combining his love of nature and expertise in digital photography Arbabi provides a compendium of information covering all aspects of nature photography beginning with the basics.
Preparation for a photo outing is essential for a successful experience and Arbabi begins by discussing practical considerations such as safety precautions, and organizing and packing the gear. A consideration of the unique features that distinguish digital camera from film-based cameras is followed by discussions on framing, exposure, light, filters and flashes as well as techniques for hunting animals with a camera and macro photography of flora and fauna. In each case the emphasis is on taking the best possible picture rather than editing it later with Photoshop. Final chapters deal with creative techniques such as nighttime photography and high dynamic range imagery, and computer post-processing.
Arbabi’s book has several features that make it especially helpful. The pictures are outstanding! In addition to being breath-taking and illustrating the points made in the text, they are presented with information on lens, shutter speed and aperture. The text is very clearly written so that even a newbie can understand it and includes tips in the margins such as the mention of a free app called Bokeh that allow you to calculate hyper-focal distance and have depth-of-field charts available in the field. Each chapter concludes with a Nature Assignment that helps you assimilate the material presented in the chapter with a hands on experience. Great combination of features in a very informative book for the amateur photographer!