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Photography Books and Magazines

Books

Book Comments
Photographing Animals in the Wild - Andy Rouse A small book but informative book directed at common British wildlife, includes case studies for Badgers, Foxes, Deer and Urban Wildlife.
Landscape Within: Insights and Inspiration for Photographers - Joe Cornish, David Ward Wonderful fine art landscape photographs and thoughtful test about the creative photographic process.
Macrophotography: Learning from a Master - Gilles Martin (Photographer), Ronan Loaec Fantastic macro photographs with technique explained from the basics up to complex professional methods.
The Photoshop CS2 Book for Digital Photographers - Scott Kelby At last a Photoshop book that gives you practical techniques rather than dust cataloging the vast range of functionality of this programme.
Art of Bird Photography, The: The Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques - Arthur Morris The classic book for the bird photographer. However location and species information is USA centric.
Real World Digital Photography -  Tim Grey, Sean Duggan, Katrin Eismann A very useful introduction to digital photography technique and technical aspects. Good for those new to photography and transitioning from film.
Digital Macro Photography - Ross Hoddinott Nice book with lovely photographs. Initial sections are very basic but later sections have some useful information.
Learning to See Creatively - Bryan Peterson A book about photography rather than exposure and equipment. Well worth reading.
Field Guide to Insects of Britain and Northern Europe - Bob Gibbons Very handy reference work for ID insects with lots of colour plates.
Field Guide to the Dragonflies and Damselflies of Great Britain and Ireland -  Steve Brooks (Editor), Richard Lewington (Illustrator) Very detailed reference work.
Butterflies and Moths of Britain and Europe - Helga Hofmann, Thomas Marktanner Useful reference work. Pictures are mostly of upper wing surfaces, more pictures of under wings would be an aid to ID.
Wild Flowers - W. Lippert, D. Podleich Useful reference work.
Reptiles and Amphibians of Britain and Europe - Nick Arnold, Denys Ovenden Rather over academic approach limits usefulness. Illustrations only
Close-ups in Nature - John Shaw A useful introductory text, although written for the film era much is still relevant for digital.
Field Guide to Mushrooms of Britain and Europe - Helmut Grunert Useful reference work with good colour photos.
Complete British Animals - Paul Sterry Very handy reference for UK mammals, reptiles and amphibians
Collins Complete British Insects - Michael Chinery Very comprehensive but complete is probably a bit of a stretch. It has a good range of the more common moths and most usefully a good selection of butterfly and moth caterpillars which are normally missing from field guides. Highly recommended.
Complete British Wild Flowers - Paul Sterry Quite complete although the organization does make it easy to find specimens without some taxonomy knowledge.
Mushrooms - Roger Phillips A really excellent reference with colour photographs showing the mushrooms from above below and section through the mushroom and stalk. Has a handy thumbnail index to get you in the right area. Highly recommended.
Spiders of Britain and Northern Europe - Michael J. Roberts Rather over academic approach limits usefulness but probably the best reference available. Other books I have found to be very poor.
Birds of Britain and Europe -  Nicholas Hammond, Michael Everett An excellent and easy to use reference for ID birds with colour plates of birds and a useful map insert of range for each species.
RSPB Complete Birds of Britain and Europe (Hardcover) - Rob Hume Even better book. Where appropriate includes photos of male, female, juvenile, immature and in-flight and also summer vs winter plumage. Coverage map and residency calendar are provided in each case with a very helpful similar species section at the bottom with small shots of other species that the subject species may be confused with pointing out the diagnostic differences. First class book for ID.
EF Lens Work III - The Eyes of EOS - Canon Lots of useful information about lenses, design tradeoffs, lens aberrations and the technical operation of key technology aspects such as image stabilization. Includes MTF charts for lenses and lenses plus teleconverters. Slightly dated as this edition (2nd) does not include any of the EF-S lenses. (8th Ed now available online)
Real World Sharpening with Adobe Photoshop CS2 -  Bruce Fraser Key reference book for multipass sharpening and noise reduction methods. Generally very good although Fraser is sometimes inconsistent in his recommendations for what he terms source sharpening (otherwise known as capture sharpening to correct for sampling aperture of digital capture) and what he terms Image Content sharpening, the latter being a sharpening tuned to the dominant detail frequency (personally I would consider this a form of creative sharpening); Fraser sometimes recommends doing both operations in one pass and other times separately. [Look at Workflow for links to the TRL PS action  toolkits that use many of the methods in this book.] Some actions are available for download based on the book.
Modern Optical Engineering: The Design of Optical Systems - Warren J. Smith Undergraduate text on optical engineering. 
Simon King's Wildguide, BBC Books 1994 ISBN 0 563 36496 3  Now out of print but occasionally available from secondhand book stores or Ebay (Ebay tends to be better value). An excellent book for basic field craft. 

A general section starts with advice on clothing, equipment and general observation techniques.

 Then follows a section for many principle UK species or mammal and bird, each covering:

General Remarks, Where and When, Track and Sign, Senses, Sounds, Observation and Photography.

Excellent and specific advice from a world class naturalist.

Nick Baker's British Wildlife: A Month by Month Guide An excellent guide suitable for both younger and older naturalists covering mammals, invertebrates, plants, birds and sea & shore life. 

Delivered in an easy readable style it still parts a wealth of useful information regarding the field observation of a wide range of UK species.

Britain's Dragonflies: A Field Guide to the Damselflies and Dragonflies of Britain and Ireland (Third Edition) (Britain's Wildlife) Paperback - Dave Smallshire, Andy Swash A wonderful field guide, it has identification aids by genera allowing the reader to easily compare the markings on a double page spread, each species also has the traditional page with identification paintings, photographs, distribution etc. Also includes a list of key locations, guides to habitat requirements and an ID section on larval forms.
Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain and Ireland Paperback – Mike Edwards, Martin Jenner A small but useful field guide, a colour codes chart helps narrow identification quickly, each species includes a page for males and the opposite page for females with a photograph.
A Photographic Guide to the Shieldbugs and Squashbugs of the British Isles Paperback – Martin Evans, Roger John Edmondson Photographs of adults with ID features on a two page spread for each species, for some species photographs of the early instars are also included. Quite a useful book, but the quality of the images is not always up to standard.
Collins Bird Guide Paperback – Lars Svensson, Killian Mullarney, Dan Zetterström, Peter J. Grant. A free gift with WWT membership. Covers a wide range of species not just UK ones. Birds a grouped together by group with lots of ID paintings showing the key differentiation features and variations between adults, juveniles and immatures.
RSPB Handbook of British Birds Paperback –  Peter Holden, Tim Cleeves A fee gift with RSPB membership. Quite a nice guide but not as good as RSPB Complete Birds of Britain and Europe (Hardcover) - Rob Hume.
Field Guide to the Moths of Great Britain and Ireland Paperback – Paul Waring, Martin Townsend, Richard Lewington A very complete guide with many colour illustrations of over 800 species. For the inexpert reader its usefulness is limited unless he can identify the genera or at least group of the species by eye.
Butterflies of Britain & Ireland Paperback – Jeremy Thomas, Richard Lewington A beautifully illustrated large format (Hardcover) book with detailed description of the butterflies including brood variations as well as the standard distribution and flight period information.
Britain's Hoverflies: An Introduction to the Hoverflies of Britain (Britain's Wildlife) Paperback – Stuart Ball, Roger Morris Over 500 photographs of 165 species from the area with details of flight period, distribution and identification guide. A simplified key system enables the reader to narrow the identification quickly without the need for microscopic examination. Each species is indicated if it can be IDed by eye, with a glass or good photo or if microscopic examination is necessary.
Atlas of Dragonflies in Britain and Ireland Hardcover - Steve Cham, Brian Nelson, Adrian Parr, Steve Prentice, Dave Smallshire, Pam Taylor An atlas rather than a field guide the focus is on distribution, population trends, flight periods and ecological requirements.

Magazines

Magazine Comments
EOS Magazine Canon centric but a good range of general photography articles.
Outdoor Photography At last a magazine that focuses on something other than glamour and unlikely Photoshop post processing. Includes articles on landscape and wildlife and a very useful section each moth detailing destinations in the UK.

 

Last Updated 09/09/2014

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