Book Review: John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography, by John Shaw
John Shaw believes that a photographer should be part poet and artist and part technician.
Vision without craftsmanship is as much a failure as craftsmanship without vision. We’ve all seen photos that are intensely personal and emotional yet lack any technical competence. We dismiss these are lacking organization and think the creator cannot control his medium. We’ve all also seen photos that are technically superb but have no soul. These are aesthetically insipid, dull, and uninspiring works.
In his book, John Shaw’s Guide to Digital Nature Photography, the author focuses on the technical side of photography to free the reader to focus on the aesthetic side.
If you’re fumbling around with lenses and tripods, your inner vision will soon evaporate. You want to reach the point where technical mastery is second nature, where you can concentrate on the image instead of having to focus on the procedure.
This philosophy explains how his book is set up. In his explanations (words), the author focuses primarily on what gear to buy—cameras, lenses, filters, tripods, etc.—and how to use it properly. In the 250 pictures in the book, he shows how he used his equipment to photograph his subject.
The book would be most helpful for someone who already knows the basics of photography and wants to take their photos to the next level. The amount of technical detail would overwhelm a beginner. From a personal standpoint, I learned as much by studying his photographs as I did reading the text.
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.