by Leonard Lee Rue III
This instructional book by a successful wildlife photographer outlines his methods and gives advice on getting professional level photos of wild animals. The author covers every aspect of it, from technical details on using camera equipment to the artistic side of things- visualizing and framing a nice composition. Also things like how to manage photography trips abroad and simple tips on handling the business side of things like approaching editors, writing contracts and so on. Even what kinds of socks and outerwear he uses in different situations (this can be crucial!) And tons of helpful tips on little things- how to set up blinds, how to approach bird nests, how to hold the camera steady in various situations, what time of day to go out for pictures, what kinds of animals it\’s better to get photos in the field or in a studio, how to get good pictures at a zoo, how wildlife behaves differently in a park frequented by tourists as opposed to really remote areas and on and on. I\’m not really a photographer so the parts that interested me the most were his advice on approaching wildlife because of what it teaches on their behavior- where to find animals, how to get close to them (or when to stay away and use telephoto lens!) how to be safe in the wilderness, how to lure certain animals closer, what to know about their habits and so on. You can tell the man really knows his stuff. I am pretty sure many of the details about equipment are outdated at this point, although the basics of camera use, light metering and composition are still useful. Also the career side of things have also drastically changed- the author tells about sending sample photos (actual prints) off to editors of outdoors magazines, but when I google his name it\’s easy to see he sells his work on photo stock sites now. When he wrote the book his focus was mostly on black-and-white photography, and his work is high quality. He makes it clear that while he loves what he does, being a dedicated wildlife photographer is a lot of hard work.
The author has written many other books about wildlife (he is a naturalist at heart) and now I\’m going to keep my eye out for them.
Rating: 4/5 287 pages, 1984