Most helpful positive review
53 of 53 people found the following review helpful
Practical ~ whether experienced or a novice
on 14 November 2008
Written by a professional photographer and lecturer and instructor, and someone who is also clearly knowledgeable about plants, Macro Photography is a very informative publication. The term "macro" in this instance is taken at is loosest to encompass close-up photography as well as true macro. The book is divided into seven main sections which include an introduction to macro photography, the equipment needed, how to look at images, a section entitled `Realistic or Artistic?' and sections on photographing flora and fauna, digital files and handling. There is also a list of resources, a glossary and an index.
The book sets out to reach both the experienced photographer and the novice, and here I feel it succeeds. The writer, having moved from traditional film photography to digital does well in explaining the differences and how this should affect ones approach. I found this particularly useful having myself been schooled, and schooled others, in the days of film photography. The technical aspects of macro photography are covered quite extensively and very clearly, and all are well illustrated by the superb pictures which accompany the text; a useful point here is that in addition to the coverage in the text each photograph is accompanied by its own explanation along with details of camera, lens and settings used.
Of course when it comes to the more subjective area of "artistic" photography there is the possibility of disagreement. Yet the advice given here is sound, although there was the occasional point I would not always agree with; but that is only to be expected when one moves into such areas, and of course each is able to make his own decision, again the excellent pictures here can help one to decide. For example, where a blossom is too large to be in focus from front to back, Detrick suggests ensuring that the perimeter or outer edge is in sharp focus; the centre or closest part of the flower then being out of focus (pp74-75, Allium blossom). The theory being that the viewer notices the perimeter first and so decides that the picture is in focus. However the accompanying pictures used to illustrate the point I feel suggest the reverse; I find the blurred centre of the bloom worrying. I do not doubt that Detrick's theory works in principle, but maybe it just goes to show that there is no definite solution to every situation. Whatever one decides, the benefit of this book is that pictures tell the story, whichever way one wants to read it.
Even as an experienced photographer I found this a most useful book; every aspect is adequately covered from advice on the equipment, how to use and get the best out of it, and how to compose, light and shoot the pictures. The possibilities of what can be done with photo editing software are also mentioned, but not discussed in detail. I am sure that whatever the level of knowledge the reader, one is bound to find this a very useful publication. Well illustrated with over 160 good size colour photographs.