To see all the books and videos that we've reviewed to date, organized by category go to All Book Reviews.
Nature & Outdoor Photography
There is a stage in everyone's photographic life where you've mastered the mechanics of your camera and lenses but you're only beginning to understand composition.
If you're at that point or know someone who is - buy this book.
Too often what a beginning photographer "sees" through the lens and what is captured are two different things. Excitement makes subjects larger than life when you press the shutter only to shrink to insignificance in the final image or become lost in background clutter.
Divided into easily digestible snippets Tharp's book shows you how to take control of your images. How to capture motion and scale and how to isolate your subject so that the person viewing the image will see exactly what you saw through the viewfinder.
If you follow along with Brenda Tharp and learn how to take control of your composition you'll be a step ahead of most photographers - and ready to start creating images rather than snapping pictures.
Art of Nude Photography
Coffee table books with photos of female nudes are nothing new. Not surprisingly when leafing through Pascal Baetens book The Art of Nude Photography you will come across a few photos that leave you feeling as though you've seen them before.
But a couple of things set this book apart. Unlike some books where all of the models seem like artificial Barbie dolls; the models in Baetens book, while very attractive, still look like real women. And where the subjects in most "art" books look as serious as if they're attending a funeral, the subjects in Baetens work smile, dance, and engage you with a questioning eye. As is the norm with Amphoto books the reproduction quality of these black and white images is high.
Whether you have an interest in shooting female nudes and are looking for inspiration or if you just appreciate the form The Art of Nude Photography is a book you should consider adding to your coffee table or book shelf.
Digital: Pro Tips for Taking Great Pictures with Your Digital Camera
When I first read through Mikkel Aaland's book I felt a bit overwhelmed, as if there was just too much information packed into its 288 pages.
The reason is Aaland tries to be all things to all people. It's not that he did a bad job. It's just that there is information at multiple levels here. The beginner will find information explaining the basic concepts of digital photography and intermediate photographers will find information on composition and lighting, even on studio lighting. Finally the techies will find detailed explanations of some areas of digital photography that other books leave untouched.
And therein lies the rub. The beginner will likely be daunted by the technical aspects of both photography and digital technology; while the more advanced shooter will find elements of this book too basic. That's a shame because there's really good information here for readers at both levels.