With so many captivating photography books published every year, winter is an ideal time to catch up on some reading. Bring yourself up to speed on the latest in digital technology with Peter Burian's new book. Find inspiration in Art Wolfe's latest remarkable collection of photographs. Or learn about the surprising efforts of oil companies to protect the environment in Passions and Patience, or the fascinating social behavior of wolves in Wolves of the World.
So if you're suffering from photography withdrawal due to inclement weather or just want some inspiration, head to the nearest bookstore and pick up one of these fine books. Or you could hint to a loved one that books are excellent holiday gifts.
The Joy of Digital Photography by Jeff Wignall (Lark Books/Sterling Publishing, 2005; ISBN: 1-57990-578-1). Digital photography may seem complex and overwhelming at first, but this guide makes every aspect of the technology enjoyable and easy to grasp.
Mastering Digital Photography and Imaging by Peter K. Burian (Sybex, 2004; ISBN: 0-7821-4290-7). Get practical advice and valuable insight from an experienced professional on everything to do with digital photography, from selecting the right digital camera and software to optimizing your images.
PCPhoto Digital SLR Handbook by Rob Sheppard (Lark Books/Sterling Publishing, 2005; ISBN: 1-57990-602-8). This in-depth look at all aspects of shooting with a digital SLR will provide you with the knowledge you need to master the exciting world of digital photography.
Photo Finish: The Digital Photographer's Guide to Printing, Showing, and Selling Images by Jon Canfield and Tim Grey (Sybex, 2004; ISBN: 0-7821-4348-2). Learn how to maximize the appeal of your photos for personal or professional use, whether they're printed and mounted, integrated into a website or arranged as a digital slideshow.
The Elements: Earth, Air, Fire, Water by Art Wolfe, text by Craig Childs (Sasquatch Books, 2004; ISBN: 1-57061-405-9). This collection is filled with powerful photographs interpreting the classical four elements of nature, ranging from the ice sculptures of Iceland to the sands of the Death Valley.
Fall, photography by Christopher Griffith, verse by Walt Whitman, text by Dr. Philip A. Rea (powerHouse Books, 2004; ISBN: 1-57687-226-2). Presenting a study of the majestic color transformations of leaves in autumn, this book features brilliant images of richly colored leaves, as well as a scientific essay discussing the yearly phenomenon.
Great Sand Dunes National Park: Between Light and Shadow by John B. Weller (Westcliffe Publishers, 2004; ISBN: 1-56579-514-8). Gorgeous photographs and insightful essays derived from more than 40 backpacking expeditions reveal the story of Colorado's Great Sand Dunes, America's newest national park.
In My Mind's Eye: Seeing in Black and White by Charlie Waite (Guild of Master Craftsman Publications, 2002; ISBN: 1-86108-282-7). This beautiful collection is dedicated entirely to Waite's black-and-white photography of landscapes and travel subjects.
Land and Light in the American West, photographs by John Ward (Trinity University Press, 2004; ISBN: 1-595340-04-1). In this portfolio, elegant black-and-white photography portrays the pristine landscapes and decaying ruins of the West.
Music for the Eyes, photographs by Robert S. Harris, poems by KC Francis (Harris Photoguides, 2004; ISBN: 0-9721344-0-9). The individual creative efforts of a photographer and a poet have been blended into one unique fine-art book.
Unexpected Indiana: A Portfolio of Natural Landscapes by Ron Leonetti and Christopher Jordan (Quarry Books, 2004; ISBN: 0-253-34485-9). The forests, rivers, dunes and swamps of Indiana are full of remarkable beauty, and these two photographers travel across the entire state to capture that hidden natural world.
Yosemite & the Eastern Sierra, photographs by Gary Crabbe (Welcome Books, 2004; ISBN: 1-932183-24-8). This miniature photo book is filled with more than 100 stunning images, accompanied by quotes from famed nature enthusiasts such as Ansel Adams, John Muir and Mary Austen.
At the Pulse of Life: About Nature and Photography by Fritz Polking (Kilda-Verlag, 2004; ISBN: 3-88949-201-0). Short anecdotes and commentary about capturing nature on film accompany a wide variety of wildlife photography. The book features text in both English and German.
The Eagle Lady by Cary Anderson (Eagle Eye Pictures, 2003; ISBN: 0-9743525-0-0). This book pays tribute to Jean Keene, famous for her enormous gathering of eagles in Alaska and her fascinating life among them.
In the Company of Moose by Victor Van Ballenberghe (Stackpole Books, 2004; ISBN: 0-8117-0102-6). Inside you'll find images, insights and intimate stories culled from this wildlife biologist's more than 35 years of steadfast study of wild moose.
Lost in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick (Carl R. Sams II & Jean Stoick, 2004; ISBN: 0-9671748-8-0). Beautiful wildlife photography illustrates this enchanting children's tale about a young fawn lost in the woods.
On Ancient Wings: The Sandhill Cranes of North America by Michael Forsberg (Michael Forsberg, 2004; ISBN: 0-9754964-0-9). Discover the elegance of sandhill cranes, their behaviors and habitats through the photographs and research of a devoted enthusiast and wildlife photographer.
Wild Horses of the Dunes by Rich Pomerantz (Courage Books, 2004; ISBN: 0-7624-1775-7). Chronicling a year in the life of the majestic horses of Assateague Island, between Maryland and Virginia, 100 full-color photographs capture the magic and beauty of these wild creatures.
Wolves of the World: Natural History and Conservation by Todd K. Fuller (Voyageur Press, 2004; ISBN: 0-89658-640-5). This comprehensive portrait of wolves is superbly illustrated and focuses on wolf biology, communication, social behavior and the importance of conserving this often misrepresented creature.
Aegean Light: The Spirit of Olympia by Nick Melidonis (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2004; ISBN: 1-920731-09-1). The timeless beauty of the Greek islands is captured perfectly in these photographs of quaint villages, their inhabitants and the sweeping ocean vistas that surround them.
In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits (National Geographic Society, 2004; ISBN: 0-7922-7363-X). Featuring more than 500 pages of the renowned magazine's most striking photographic portraits, this collection spans 100 years and explores every corner of the globe.
Monster of God: The Man-Eating Predator in the Jungles of History and the Mind by David Quammen (W.W. Norton & Company, 2003; ISBN: 0-393-32609-8). Blending scientific facts, adventure narrative, historical anecdotes and mythology, this nonfiction book explores the multifaceted relationship between humans and man-eating predators.
Passions and Patience: Fostering Earth's Future Through Unlikely Partnerships by Karen Roberts, photography by Tim Hauf (Gaia & friends, 2004; ISBN: 0-9746449-2-7). This book is a compilation of stories about the unlikely collaborations between traditionally opposing forces, such as oil companies and conservationists, which have resulted in great progress for the environment.
Walden: 150th Anniversary Illustrated Edition of the American Classic by Henry David Thoreau, photographs by Scot Miller (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004; ISBN: 0-618-45717-8). Featuring spectacular photographs of Walden Pond and its surroundings, this new edition of Thoreau's masterpiece is being published in association with the Walden Woods Project, which is dedicated to preserving the land he wrote about.
Weather: A Visual Guide by Bruce Buckley, Edward J. Hopkins and Richard Whitaker (Firefly Books, 2004; ISBN: 1-55297-957-1). This richly illustrated reference book, complete with maps, diagrams and photographs, thoroughly examines all aspects of the weather, including the climate's effect on plants and animals. This guide is useful for nature photographers who spend a majority of their time outdoors.