Book Reviews for June 2011

Text and photography copyright © Paul W. Faust. All rights reserved.

LIFE, A Journey Through Time
by Frans Lanting

I would have to say that the best photography book ever published is now in the book stores, and its name is, “LIFE, A Journey Through Time.” I can tell you that the images in this book are grouped by, Elements, Beginnings, Out of the sea, On land, Into the air, Out of the dark, and Planet of Life, but I am at a loss for words to describe this book. It is a very large (and heavy) book, and with most images covering the full pages from edge to edge, and many others cover the full 2-page spread, but it is a book that you truly have to see to believe. The 2-page spreads I actually have to hold at arms length in order to see the whole image, or else it’s turn my head back and forth with each one. The images range from vast landscapes down to nose-to-nose shots of some of the animals. This whole book is just as fantastic inside as the image you see on its cover. I am at a loose for words every time I look at it, but I will say that, if you never buy another book in your whole life, make this the last one you get, and you won’t be sorry. It is worth many times the price!

This hardback book is about 12x15 inches, with 304 pages, retails for $49.99–US. Call 1-831/429-1331 for ordering information, including signed copies of the book. I Rate it: A++++plus

Brilliant Waters, Portraits of Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, and the High Sierra
Photography by Elizabeth Carmel
Forward by Robert Redford

Magnificent! If those were the only words I wrote in this review, they would be more than enough. It is a joy to get these books that are true works of the best photography being done, instead of what some photographers pass off as art. Brilliant Waters is a collection of the best of nature photography along with a selection of poetry to match. I have seen many pictures around Lake Tahoe, almost always from around the same bay area, but never have I seen any done as good as those in this book. If you think that the image on the cover is outstanding, just wait until you see what it looks like inside printed on good paper and not cover stock. I cannot express it as artistically as Robert Redford who wrote the introduction, but I can say that this book would make a great addition to any photo library, and “you can take that to the bank!”

This hardback book is about 12x12 inches, with 94 pages, retails for $50.00–US, and is published by Hawks Peak Publishing. I Rate it: A+++

Creative Close-Ups
Digital Photography Tips & Techniques

by Harold Davis

This is another new book by Davis from Wiley Publishers, but this specialty book covers digital close-up photography. It is just as well done as the previous listed book, with all of the same attention to detail and quality. Digital photography is a lot different in many ways from film photography, and this new book covers all of those differences that you will need to know to make the very best close-up images. Many of the images in this book are similar to close-up images you see everywhere, BUT with a big exception, they are done in just enough of a different way which makes them look 100 times better than all those others. This is another super reference book that will get a lot of use for most serious photographers.

This soft cover book is about 7x9 inches, with 240 pages, retails for US-$29.99 and is published by Sybex, an imprint of Wiley. I Rate it: A++

Creative Composition
Digital Photography Tips & Techniques

by Harold Davis

Here is one new book on photo composition that I really like because it explains composition, then shows you an example of that technique, and then also tells you why the photographer took the shot the way he did. Too many books only give you two out of the three of those things, and that to me would be like getting two-thirds of your pay check. Almost every single page in this book has at least one photo example, some have two, and they cover just about every subject that 99% of photographers shoot, so there is info on just about every subject that you could think of. This is one composition book that you will refer to a LOT!

This soft cover book is about 7x9 inches, with 240 pages, retails for US-$29.99 - and is published by Wiley. I Rate it: A++

Pushing the Limits of aperture and shutter Speed for High-Impact Photography

by David Nightingale

Unlike most other “exposure” how-to books, this new one deals with the “Extreme” end of exposing an image. The book is packed with info on how you can get the best images possible no matter if you are shooting blurred motion in low light, maximizing the depth of field and selective focus at night, sound triggered images, and painting with light, just to name a few. This book is for those who will take chances in order to get the image they want and will not settle just to play it safe. The book is fully illustrated with great examples of each type of the exposure techniques covered. A great learning tool!

This soft cover book is about 9x8 inches, with 144 pages, retails for US-$24.99 and is published by AMPHOTO BOOKS. I Rate it: A+

Mastering Filters for Photography
by Chris Weston

Many photographers who start to shoot with a digital camera stop using most of the filters that they used to use when they shot film. This is a new book that those people should read because it shows all of the reason why they should still be using those filters on their digital cameras. This book is filled with info on how to create high-impact images by knowing the facts about light and then by using the proper filter and technique to do it. It is packed with pages full of before and after sample images and the info to go with them. When you use just a few of the things you will learn from this book you will see for yourself why you should pack those filters back in your camera bag again.

This soft cover book is about 8x10 inches, with 192 pages, retails for US-$25.99 and is published by AMPHOTO BOOKS. 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: and

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