By Ben Hawkins
05 July 2012 12:45First up is The complete guide to nature photography (Amphoto Books, £19.99, ISBN 978-0-8174-0010-1), a Stateside ‘how to’ book that pretty much does exactly what it says on the tin. There are lengthy chapters on framing and composition, metering, lighting and weather, filters and flash, and post-processing, and each is packed with information that avoids the usual overly technical jargon. What sets this book apart is the standard of images used to illustrate the various nature and wildlife techniques – author Sean Arbabi is a talented photographer whose work has appeared in National Geographic and clearly knows his subject. His writing style is friendly and informative, and we reckon you’ll learn a thing or two, regardless of your ability and experience. This is a cut above the usual ‘complete guide’ books and is highly recommended.
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Live music photography is a tough gig (if you’ll excuse the pun), what with the three-song rule, ever-changing lighting and subjects that rarely keep still. J Dennis Thomas’ Concert and live music photography (Focal Press, £18.99, ISBN 978-0-240-82064-4) is designed for wannabe music snappers who’ve yet to take their first steps and gives a fascinating insight into the job. Subtitled ‘Pro tips from the pit’, Thomas covers everything from gear and settings to compositions and post-processing, stopping off to delve into lighting, etiquette, troubleshooting and also various settings (arenas, bars and theatres etc). He even explains how to get the right credentials to help you get closer to the action. There’s a lot of clear and insightful advice here and it’s all illustrated with over 160 of Thomas’ superb images.
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Jason Hawkes has developed quite a reputation for his incredible aerial photography over the last decade or so and Britain from above month by month (Dorling Kindersley, £20, ISBN 978-1-4053-9433-8) is another showstopper. Released to celebrate the special events taking place this year (Jubilee, Olympics etc), this sizeable slab of a book features over 170 of Jason’s fascinating images taken throughout the seasons. From urban sprawl and motorway madness to rural beauty and remote wilderness, the length and breadth of the British Isles is covered in minute detail, and there are one or two surprises in store too. For example, did you know there were rusting metal sea forts dotting the Thames and Mersey estuaries? They look like War of the World extras! Another highly recommended.
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Jeremy Moore is Wales’ most celebrated landscape photographer and Wales at Water’s Edge (Gomer, £19.99, ISBN 978-1-84851-242-9) is a celebration of the country’s incomparable coastline. Joined by writer and environmentalist Jon Gower, whose commentaries weave history, literature and wildlife into the mix, Jeremy’s images follow the 870-mile long coastline clockwise from the River Severn all the way to the Dee Bridge in the north. His superb work explores all aspects of the coast, from its glorious stretches of golden sand and colourful history to its unique wildlife and areas of bleak industry and beyond. For some unfathomable reason, Wales is often overlooked when it comes to landscape photography, but Jeremy’s llyfr (that’s book in Welsh) should change a few opinions.
Never ones to do things by half, German publishers Goliath have totally outdone themselves with the release of Super Sexplosion (Goliath, £39.99, ISBN 978-3-936709-52-0). Weighing in at a mighty 2.5kg/5.5lb and featuring no less than 2000 images, this limited anniversary edition is billed as one of the heaviest and most comprehensive erotic photography collections ever. And they’re not wrong – it’s enormous! Super Sexplosion features just about every kind of erotic you can think of, from nude to lingerie and burlesque to fetish, and includes many of the world’s best-known provocateurs, such as Emma Delves-Broughton, Christine Kessler and Holly Randall. And they’re just the photographers! As always with Goliath, the production values spare no expense and if you’re still reading, well, you’ll know whether this is for you or not. Quality.
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