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A Diver's Guide to the Art of Underwater Photography: Creative Techniques and Camera Systems for Digital and Film Perfect Paperback – 12 Dec 2007

3.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Perfect Paperback: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Nautilus (12 Dec. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 983273102X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9832731023
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 2.7 x 25 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,277,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

This book gives us a rare insight into the mindset, dedication and imagination involved in creating magnificent underwater images ... I sat down and read this enjoyable book from cover to cover. The lack of techno-talk makes it a very accessible method to improve your photography ... The images are some of the finest you will see in a guide to underwater photography. About half are the very best from the Ferrari s own collection, while uniquely the other half come from a cast of 21 guest photographers that includes the likes of Doug Perrine, Tony Wu, Eric Cheng, Charles Hood and Stephen Wong. --Alex Mustard (author of Reefs Revealed and The Art of Diving), Wetpixel

With an enviable reputation for authoring fine books on underwater photography, the Ferraris have laced the pages of their new book with juicy pictures (...) There is none of the pseudo-art talk that often ruins otherwise beautiful books of photographs. I read it from cover to cover, and it s a great read. The pictures do the talking, and need no talking-up. (...) This 360-page volume doesn t have a weak page in it. --John Bantin, Diver Magazine, April 2008

This book is filled with spectacular images, designed not only to offer great technical guidance, but also help the underwater photographer discover and develop the artist within. Clearly the best and most beautiful 'how-to" book ever produced. Rigorously field-tested digital techniques; the hidden techniques behind imaginative framing and lighting, wide-angle and fish-eye to macro photography, from fish portraits to above/below split images, from basic point-and-shoot digital pocket cameras to complex housed professional DSLR systems, it's all here in a highly-readable, technically-accessible, step-by-step guide. --Undercurrent, April 2008


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3.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

This is truly an amazing book, featuring 360 richly illustrated color pages with hundreds of incredible full-page underwater images (most by the authors and several by the world's best underwater photographers, like Doug Perrine), plus informative, wonderfully accessible texts. Be aware this really isn't a technical, dry, boring guide in the strictest sense of the word like most of the others available on the market. It's rather more of a highly inspirational book which begs to be read and re-read again to find creative inspiration, to bring out the inner hidden artist. I loved the photos and highly enjoyed the clever suggestions in the text - and I can already see how my own underwater photography has incredibly been enriched by this volume. It's like having your own personal tutor! This is a book I'll treasure for many years to come.
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This is well presented book and the collection of photographs is excellent. It seems to lie somewhere between a coffee book of underwater photography, a guide in how to be good underwater photographer and the ramblings of a large ego.

That is were it falls down.

As a guide to being an underwater photographer it is pitched at the diver who has already bought the camera and knows about the basics but is looking to improve composition and their artistic style. There are some good points and some nice ideas. For example the author links ideas from classic cinematography to framing, composition and developing character in subjects, he discuses trim and interesting debates such as Canon Vs Nikon but sadly this were the teaching falls down. As it is a little beyond the beginner and slightly patronising for the more experienced.

I am also surprised that the editors allowed so much personal subjectivity into the text as it seems that the book is ego driven. At times the authors distain for inexperienced divers comes through to strongly. This makes you want to put the book down and begs the question 'who is this guy' sure he is a good photographer but is really that great, I have not heard of him and he is not Doublet. I think there is danger that some photographers journey a little to far up there own rectums and this book seems to show that. Sadly the attempts of linking eastern mysticism and pseudo intellectualisation just add to the feeling of 'arse' that you get from reading it. For example the title which I assume attempts to link to Robert Pirsig's classic book on values and technology - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is pretentious. After all this is diving with cameras not a discussion of 20th century values and 'quality'.
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This is a hefty and thoroughly illustrated tome, robustly bound and printed on high quality paper, which some beginners might find slightly intimidating at first (given that lofty "Art of" in its title, probably), but which in fact offers a wild, witty and exceptionally readable teaching course to...well, yes, to the "Art" of underwater photography. It's a wonderful and very personal step-by-step guide to one's inner artist which will instantly make a better photographer of all through its insightful texts and the absolutely mesmerizing works by several of the world's most influential underwater photographers. At the same time, it's a great, highly enjoyable, richly textured read which makes it stand out instantly from the true-and-tested crowd of bone-dry "how-to" technical guides, which are often as punctilious as they are completely uninspired (and uninspiring). But comparing the Ferraris' highly opinionated book to all the other, more technical manuals which abound on the market is quite naive and unfair - it's like apples and oranges. Light on tedious, oft-repeated technicalities and strong in uniquely practical, field-tested advice, this is a title which motivates and inspires via striking examples and clever comparisons - a book which shows you the basic rules and then teaches you to break them at will to obtain great, novel results in the process. One might call it the thinking diver's guide to underwater photography - it's aimed at those who have eyes (and a brain behind them!) and want to use them to create better images underwater. This comes after all from the authors who a few years ago conquered the coveted World Grand Prize in Antibes for their spectacular underwater photography work! Eye candy and food for thought in every page - I grant it five stars for being innovative, brilliant, well-written, splendidly illustrated and highly inspirational.
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When buying reference books I always buy in twos that way I can compare content (like having two teachers for the same subject). I found this one useful although I was expecting something a bit more technical. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with it. The shape of the book is a bit akward for my bookshelf.

Consider this book as well for a bit more technical stuff.
The Underwater Photographer
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I was given this book as a present prior to going to the Red Sea on a Liveaboard. I had just purchased my first underwater camera. This book provides NO useful information for someone just starting out. I have slowly started to get to grips with underwater photography now but this is down to getting information from other underwater photographers.

This book is not fit for purpose!
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