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Birds (National Geographic Photography Field Guides) Paperback – 1 Nov 2002
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About the Author
Rulon Simmons is a 30-year birder who has photographed more than 300 species in his birding quest. He is an expert technician in image quality at Kodak and teaches photography for Kodak and for a local college. He has written and photographed for Popular Photography, Kodakis Viewpoints magazine, Birds and Blooms, The Genessee, NG BirdWatcher. His work appears in the book Applied Photography. An exhibit of his bird photography was featured at the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography. He has won numerous photographic competitions, domestic and International.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Field Guide starts off by explaining what equipment you will need, with emphasis on long lenses, although the advice on film is deficient. There is advice for luring and photographing various species of birds at bird feeders, approaching birds in the wild, photographing birds at their nests with and without a blind, photographing birds in flight, and the challenges and opportunities presented by diverse weather conditions. The final chapter lists the author's favorite places to photograph birds in the U.S., 34 locations in 15 states, with a brief description of each birding spot. There is a sort of appendix of "Useful Information" in the back of the book, which includes recommended methods of getting close to birds, listed alphabetically by species, recommended feed and type of feeder by species, lists of essential and optional equipment, web sites, magazines, and books about birds and photography, and an index.
Mr. Simmons's book has helped me to look at bird photography a bit differently, and given me permission to be happy with the good shots I do get. Although he covers many of the basic tenets of bird photography, such as knowing your subject, having the right equipment, and shooting techniques, the true gift of this guide is his concept of showing the birds in their environmental setting. Most of his photos are those wonderful bird portraits in larger than life detail we would all love to take, but he makes a good case for showing birds in their habitat, providing enough detail to identify the bird. Most of my photos are of this type, because although I am fairly good at stalking and being patient, my longest lens is still only 420mm with a tele-extender.
He gives information on how to shoot various aspects of bird behavior, such as courtship, nesting and flight, and this information is all helpful. He also gives ideas for various categories of birds, such as shorebirds. The book is guidebook sized, so it can travel into the field with you. If you wish to become more serious in your efforts to take photos of birds, whether in the field or at your backyard feeder, this is a great resource.
But for the price, shesh, it is worth it. Used for just over $1, yeah buy the book. Great for a reference book if anything.