Saturday, April 12, 2008

REVIEW: Rick Sammon's Travel and Nature Photography

Rick Sammon's tutorial on Canon.com is one of the best resources I've found to get up and going with your new DSLR camera - even if you shoot with a non-Canon camera. There is REALLY good stuff here and it is interactive learning at its best. It is for this reason that I was excited to check this book out and see if was as helpful as what Rick did for Canon.

Rick Sammon's Travel and Nature Photography is a 309 page book with some excellent photography that proves that Rick really knows what he is doing, but as you read this book you realize that this is also a very random person. The flow of this book is very poor and you can easily tell that Rick wrote chapters while on planes (which he admits in the book) with little substance or thought about how they flow with the other chapters of the book. While this doesn't necessarily imply that this book is useless, I can say that it isn't one of the better books out there.

One of the ways I judge the value of a book is by how many pages I flag as having useful nuggets of info I haven't read elsewhere, and this book was limited to a paltry 3. In addition, despite its large appearance this is a really simple book filled more with pictures than with substance so I easily completed it in 4 hours (a record for me for a book of this thickness). It makes a great inspirational coffee table book, but this book isn't going to make you a better photographer (unless all you need was inspiration) and honestly I was disappointed there wasn't more advice about how to make better Travel and Nature pictures based on the title of this book. I know for certain that I learned much more in the smaller book by Scott Kelby entitled The Digital Photography Book.

While I still think that Rick Sammon's tutorial on Canon.com is one of the best places for ANY new DSLR photographer to begin, and it was instrumental in helping me, I think that this book is more fluff than anything else.

Skill Level: Anyone (this book isn't deep at all) Value: Poor (nothing more than a coffee table book) Recommendation: Skip it. it has great pictures and might be inspirational for some, but for me it was more of a waste of time than something of value to help my photography.

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