Book Reviews for May 2011
by K. M. Kostyal
Every time I look at a National Geographic book I think that I have seen it all, and then I get another one like Great Migrations and the standard of quality that every one has come to know is passed again. This book is the official companion to the National Geographic Channel Global Television Event that begins on November 7th and runs to November 21st. If the series is anything like this book it is a MUST SEE for every one who loves animals and nature.
It is page after page of amazing images as you expect from NG, but then there are those that truly will blow you away. Not just a few, but MANY are two page panoramic images like none I have ever seen before. One is of a group of Zebras that so fills the page that you can not see a single spot anywhere that is not their black and white strips, another shot was taken in the ocean of an image filled with white spots that turn out to be jellyfish. Then there is the panoramics that are a montage of many images of the same animals both near and far. Probably one of the most amazing shots in the book to me is of an Albatross nesting colony, that shows nothing but these birds from right in front of the camera all the way to as far as you can see in the shot, and the entire landscape is covered with white spots that are the birds. I will for sure watch this series, but I am really glad that I have the book because what you watch on the screen goes by so fast that you miss a lot of it if you blink, and the book gives me permenant access to look at the images whenever I want, for as long as I want to. If you want to give a great gift this holiday season, this book is it! I Rate it: A++++
This hardback book is about 9x11 inches, with 304 pages, and retails for the incredible price of just US-$35.00 and if a local bookstore does not have a copy you can order it from the NG web site at: www.nationalgeographic.com
Recollections, Three Decades of Photographs
by John Sexton
There are tons of books out there with real good images in them, and there are even a lot with what most people would consider to be great images, but there are very few books available that I would consider to be the Best of the Best, but it was not really a surprise to me when I found that Recollections is one of the best photography books I have ever seen. Probably because it is the work of John Sexton, who I consider to be the best black & white photographer and printer alive. All you have to do is look at the first 2 or 3 images in this book to see exactly why that is. A black & white print made by a true master is really hard to describe because there are so few of them around for people to relate to, so all I can say is; get this book and you will see what you have been missing all these years, and why so many people consider black & white photography to be in a class of it’s own. Recollections shows how a quality black & white print can turn even the most humble of subjects into a work of art, at least when it is a Sexton print. As a photographer myself, all I keep saying as I look at each new image is, "Oh, if only!"
This hardback book is just over 12x12 inches, with 55 images on 140 pages, retails for $75.00–US. I Rate it: A++++Plus
You can order this book here.
or through John's web site at www.johnsexton.com
by Steve Mulligan
EarthWorks, Photos and Essays by Steve Mulligan is a new collection of his B&W landscape images that many would consider to be more fine art than landscape. This book has the quality that you would like to frame for on a wall instead of sit on a bookshelf. Most of the images, but not all, are of western US locations from weathered rock potholes to the baked surface of the badlands, but the book also includes Florida glades and tree topped peaks in China.
If you like the feel that only B&W can give, then this is one great book to add to your photo library.
This hardback book is over 12x12 inch, with 39 images and retail “signed copies” are just $39.95-US. Distributed by Photo-Eye. I Rate it; A++++.
Mastering Exposure and the Zone System
by Lee Varis
Every digital photographer should get this new book from the publishers at Course Technology,,, Period! It is cover to cover how-to info and examples of what can be done in the digital world when you use the zone system designed for it. Yes, the zone system is still the zone system no matter what format you use, but since digital work on a computer, with the software programs made just for it, have a lot of requirements that never even existed before. This new zone system book handles all of those new problems and does it in a classroom type book. That is because these books from Course Technology are created as a technical class reference for each subject covered, in this case, the digital zone system. The book is cover to cover info and illustrations on ever step needed to make top notch images. Each lesson includes the tools needed and their settings used, and the final image result. I have been reviewing these books for some years now and have never found one that wasn’t a top notch how-to reference.
This soft cover book is 9x7 inches, with 257 pages, and retails for US $39.99. It is published by Course Technology PTR. I Rate it: A+.
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Paul W. Faust is a self-taught Photographer, Writer, Digital Imaging, Photo Restoration, and Photo Stock Service professional. You can see more of his work at: www.Impressions-of-Light.com and www.redbubble.com/people/pwfiol/portfolio.