Author: Steven Morello
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.
Review by Conrad J. Obregon
Many years ago a friend was making a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa to view wildlife. She had little photo experience but asked to borrow my camera and a wide-angle, normal and telephoto lens. I suggested she practice with it before leaving and talk to me if she had any questions. I didn’t hear from her until her return. She was in tears. She had not been able to use the camera properly and had agonized each day of the trip over the shots she was missing. She felt the trip had been a disaster because she couldn’t capture great images even though she had the necessary equipment. It’s too bad she didn’t have Steven Morello’s book.
Morello talks about what to photograph, compares tours versus going it alone, discusses equipment from the simplest to pretty fancy stuff, covers exposure and composition, and even talks about airports and packing. His pictures profusely illustrate the book, and should serve as both inspiration and source of ideas. Based on the traveling I’ve done, the author is right on the money and I wish I had had his advice before quarreling with a gate agent in Florida who wouldn’t let me take my camera bag into the cabin. (Morello:”you are at the mercy of the people you are dealing with, smile, be nice and pack your bag as though it is going to be taken from you.”)
The book is aimed at the beginner and deals with the subjects slowly and gently. The chapter on the use of the histogram is only three pages that might appear simplistic to an old hand and yet will lay a foundation for the beginner to understand how to adjust exposure.
The author’s writing is easy going and I found it, dare I say it about a photography book, charming.
But don’t get me wrong. If you are making that first big trip and you want to photograph nature, don’t think this book is all you need. Follow Morello and my advice and practice with your equipment before you go. Invest in and read a few other books before you travel, like a guide for your camera, and perhaps a slightly more technical nature photography book like “Digital Nature Photography: the Art and the Science” by John and Barbara Gerlach. If you are going to spend a huge amount of money on a great nature trip, it would be foolish not to invest a little time and cash before you leave to help collect great memories. And have a great trip.
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