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The Art of Bird Photography: The Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques (Practial Photography Books) [Paperback]

Arthur Morris
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2003 Practial Photography Books
From the art of the ancient Egyptians to modern-day currency, birds have long captivated the interest of people with their unmatched beauty and grace, their song and their ability to fly. They inspired Leonardo da Vinci to create designs for a flying machine. And birds continue to be used as symbols, images and metaphors in both literature and poetry. Whether one photographs songbirds in the backyard, or travels to wildlife refuges to observe them in their natural habitat, this hands-on guide to capturing gorgeous images of avian subjects covers all the bases, from buying the right camera equipment to composing the perfect picture. Readers will discover practical guidance and professional advice on such topics as making correct exposures, capturing bird behaviour and action and evaluating and selling work. They'll learn some of the ethical issues related to bird photography, including guidelines on the proper conduct for working in the field and tips for approaching wild birds without causing them undue stress. They'll also find complete information on the best bird-watching spots throughout North America, with advice on the best times to visit and the types of birds that flock to each location. Finally, this source book is filled with more than 200 colour images of egrets, herons, pelicans, ducks, gulls, terns, hawks, falcons and dozens of other remarkable birds in action.

Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Watson-Guptill Publications Inc.,U.S.; New edition edition (1 Mar 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0817435425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0817435424
  • Product Dimensions: 27.6 x 21 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 240,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Arthur Morris is an acclaimed freelance nature photographer and writer specializing in avian subjects. Over 6,000 of his images, along with numerous photo-illustrated articles, have been published in such magazines as National Geographic, Natural History Birder's World, and Ranger Rick. He lives in Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top title on bird photography 4 Oct 2005
This is clearly the best out of the more than 20 books I have read on this subject. As stated in the title it deals with professional techniques but also the beginner should have much to learn from this book. What I today (2005) miss is a large chapter on digital cameras and digital technique which I know the author also masters. I would thus like to see a revised and at least in the aspect of digital technique expanded edition of this book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
In my opinion this is one of the best books that any aspiring photographer can buy. It is designed for people who take their photography seriously and not for people who just want to know how to find the sutter release button (like one of the other reviewers I've just seen).
If you are just starting out this will explain all the principals of photography in the most simply way possible, dealing with issues such as what equipment to buy (cameras, lenses, tripods, film etc), field techniques to get better shots, image composition, and the principals of exposure etc.
He always trys to present everything in a very simply way (so we can all understand what he's talking about), and never talks down to you or trys to impress.
The guy is a world famous bird photographer and the images which he has in the book are superb.
The only thing I would say is that he primarily focuses on the Canon system, which fortunately was fine for me.
If you are an aspiring photograper who wants to improve his/her technical knowledge, field techniques, and at the end of the days take better wildlife photographs - do not hesitate to buy this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I have been shooting photos for almost 50 years and thought that I had learned most of what there was to know. This book, and Arthur Morris, opened my eyes to many otherwise unknown areas. This is the ultimate coffetable "art" book that uses the photos to teach, not just entertain. The book is written by a professional educator who's first goal is to communicate.The information that is conveyed is understandable, by both the novice as well as the professional. It is a honest book, giving proven methods, not just theory. It is not written from an ivy cloisterd hall but from the field where Artie practices and learns every day.After reading the book I got the opportunity to meet the man. He stands far above his peers in my opinion. In my rows and rows of books on photography, this one gets used!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This book is definitely one of my favorites on the subject of bird photography, and if I'd read it a couple of years ago, I would probably have given it 5 stars, but the "equipment side" of this book is solely about analog/film photography, which I don't think can earn 5 stars in 2007.

However, realize that this book is not about photo equipment - one of things that makes it a classic - rather it is about capturing images, and that hasn't changed with digital equipment.

Likewise, the book doesn't spend countless pages explaining the very basics of photography, which becomes very boring once you've read it numerous times (a quick intro to f-stops etc. is given, but it is very brief compared to other "advanced" books on photography).

The book focuses on all essential aspects of creating bird photographs, such as exposure, composition, etc., and is very well illustrated with real images, and real explanations of how they were created - a major benefit.

I highly recommend this book even though it is not "digital". Also check out the website by the same author, which offers a wealth of complementary information in the form of the authors frequent news letters about bird photography.

And finally, there's a 900+ page sequel to this book, which is all about digital bird photography. The book is only available as an e-book sold from the authors website.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
As a novice in this field, I've found this book tremendously useful. It's a very practical source of advice and guidance. There are inspiring images and and and insights into how they were achieved. It's true that some of it's discussion relates to professional equipment beyond the reach of most amateurs, but this is balanced by sections on composition and fieldcraft which are relevant to anyone who has a camera. Published in 2003, it doesn't include any reference to the developing field of digital photography but overall, an excellent reference
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Useful, but a bit off-putting for the amateur 30 Dec 2002
By A Customer
This book gives very useful insights into the techniques that professional bird photographers use in the field. I learned a lot about the basics of exposure, focus, lighting, and so on from this book.
My only real gripe is that it should really be sub-titled "The Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques For Those Who Can Afford 10,000 Lenses". The author seems strongly of the opinion that there is little substitute for focal length, and for those of us who cannot afford lenses which cost more than our cars, this can be a little off-putting. Some tips for how to succeed without re-mortgaging our houses would have been appreciated.
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