Photography by Jim Doty

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The books I recommend here are some of my favorites.

The best advice I can give you is to read anything you can by John Shaw, Galen Rowell, George Lepp, Tim Fitzharris, John Fielder, Larry West, Arthur Morris, Leonard Lee Rue, Art Wolfe, Freeman Patterson, Niall Benvie, and Heather Angel. Of course the secret to improving your photography is not in reading the book. The secret is to read about something in a good photography book, and then GO OUT AND TRY IT. Then read some more and go out and try another idea or technique.

If you are interested in learning more about a book or are interested in buying it, click on the cover photo and a link will take you to

John Shaw's NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY FIELD GUIDE is the best introduction to nature photography that you can get. If you are interested in nature photography, BUY THIS BOOK, read it, and read it again. Put it under your pillow and sleep on it. Then get MOUNTAIN LIGHT (below).

John Shaw's CLOSEUPS IN NATURE is the Bible of closeup books for photography in the field.  There are other excellent books on closeup photography, but none are as good when it comes to techniques that work when you are out in the field.  If you want to do closeups in nature, this is your book.

I own a number of good books on landscape photography, but John Fielder's PHOTOGRAPHING THE LANDSCAPE is my favorite. If you are really serious about landscape photography, and already have some photography experience, then this is the book to get.

There is a reason John Shaw's books are so popular with nature photographer's - his photography is so good and he writes so well. John Shaw's LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY is one more example. It is an excellent introduction to landscape photography.

Galen Rowell is one of my favorite photographers. His book MOUNTAIN LIGHT is a wonderful collection of splendid photographs, combined with explanantions of HOW and WHY he took them, along with an excellent collection of photographic essays. After you have read John Shaw's NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY FIELD GUIDE, devour this book to improve your landscape photography.

The National Audobon Society Guide to NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY by Tim Fitzharris is another excellent introduction to nature photography. It is my second choice for an introductory work after John Shaw's FIELD GUIDE. Lots of good ideas and excellent photos.

Art Wolfe is one of the world's premier landscape and nature photographer's. His book, THE ART OF PHOTOGRAPHING NATURE is so helpful because he shows before and after pictures. You get to see a typical photo, and then a much improved version. You will get lots of ideas on how to improve your photography.

Written by Mark Gardner and Art Wolfe, PHOTOGRAPHY OUTDOORS is more basic than Art's book above. Many of the photographs are in black and white. This book is primarily a basic field guide. Small enough to carry handily, it has lots of tips plus a number of tables of useful information on depth of field, shutter speeds for stopping subject motion, exposure for low light photography, and more. It packs a lot of basic information in 120 pages.

George Lepp is an excellent photographer whose workshops and seminars are highly respected. If you understand the basics of nature photography, then Lepp's BEYOND THE BASICS will help you master some specialized techniques. Click on the cover to read my long review at

BEYOND THE BASICS II continues with more specialized photographic techniques in Lepp's very clear and informative style. This book has limited availability, so order it soon if you want it. You can read either book first, neither is dependent on the other. Click on the cover to read my long review at

The wonderful photographs in this book attest to Niall Benvie's skill as a nature photographer, and this book is well worth reading just for the "in camera" ideas. But this is two books in one. THE ART OF NATURE PHOTOGRAPHY is also about using the computer to enhance your nature photography. In addition to basic image correction, Benvie will take one animal and put it in front of another background. He always states clearly when he does this. Digital manipulation is controversial in the field of nature photography, but this book will tell you how if you want to know how.

Any book by Freeman Patterson is worth reading. His work is less bold and more subtle than many of the other photographers featured here, but he has a wonderful eye for the intimate landscape. You can learn a lot from PHOTOGRAPHY OF NATURAL THINGS.

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More of my book recommendations
General Photography Books
Nature Photography Books 2

Bestselling Nature Photography books recommended by

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Created October 30, 2001

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