Photographing Yellowstone National Park: Where To Find Perfect Shots And How To Take Them Paperback – Jul 3 2007
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About the Author
Gustav W. Verderber is a well-known photographer who served as the Kodak Ambassador in Yellowstone National Park. His work has been featured in National Parks Magazine, Outdoor Photographer, National Geographic Traveler, Yankee, Backpacker, and Sierra magazines, among others. He lives in Lowell, VT.
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Top Customer Reviews
I didn't use it as much as other books - I did get a wee bit of useful info out of it.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book may be beneath the experienced photographer but for an amateur who just wants better vacation photos and does not have the luxury to spend a year in the park getting them, this is the perfect guide!
By comparison "Photographing Yellowstone National Park" by Gustav Verderber is of marginal value for visitors or photographers. It has many deficiencies as a photography guide book. The photos are mediocre, there is no information at to the lens used or the camera settings or filters or other information provided about the pictures provided in the text, only a reference table at the very end of the book. No information as to when to go where other than some inaccurate information on the bison rutting season, and zero information that is targeted at digital photographers as even though the pictures were taken in 2003 and the book written in 2007 all of the images are from a 35mm film camera.
In the author's own words "Now and again I used a 200mm telephoto lens (any focal length longer than 50mm is referred to as "telephoto") to pull in a distant landscape feature, and wide-angle (focal lengths less than 50mm) shots are rare." This shows in the sample pictures which were all taken with either a 50mm focal length lens or a 200mm+ focal length lens. Almost all the pictures are severely cropped and result in images of wild animals that could have been taken in a petting zoo as none of the environment is included in the frame.
The majority of landscape images are taken with focal lengths between 24mm and 40mm but Gustav ignores this as well as the use of macro lenses for which there are uses with the flowers of Yellowstone and some of the smaller wildlife subjects.
The compositions are largely a bulls-eye approach with the subject centered in the frame. Yellowstone can be demanding as there is a great deal in any scene that needs to be evaluated and incorporated into an image that will convey the feeling to viewers of a print. Gustav makes no effort to describe the process and how to work with the scenery and wildlife to create compelling images.
With no experience with digital the author cannot speak to the crop factor with wildlife and landscape photography or the use of TTL fill flash or HDR to capture a much wider dynamic range with a camera. These are all capabilities that are tied to the digital revolution in photography and used by the majority of nature photographers taking pictures today but apparently unknown to the author.
There is not enough information on photography, on equipment, on wildlife photography and animal behavior in the park to warrant buying this book. Better to buy a guide book on Yellowstone and books on wildlife and landscape photography or simply look at the work of people like George Lepp, Frans Lanting, and Moose Peterson that is viewable on the Web.
Photographing Yellowstone National Park is but one of a series by Countryman Press to help photographers have success in getting good images at destination spots. This book is broken down into sections that give a brief introduction to the park, a recommendation on how to use the book, a section on how the author photographed the park as an ambassador for Kodak in 2003, and detailed information on where and when to photograph any one of six regions in the park. There are area maps and sections describing photographic opportunities in each of the regions with cross references between the text and map for easy location. At the end of the book, the author gives a few suggested daily itineraries that one can follow to get the most out of the experience. The size and length of the book is ideal for taking with you as you travel. It is concise at 88 pages with numerous pictures that will give a person ideas of what they can accomplish while in the park. This is not a coffee table book with very high quality images in it, but for the price, its images allow someone to think about what they wish to take while there.
Since photography is an individual art form, the author gives some general suggestions about lighting, lens choices, and equipment that one might consider using. It is not a guide that will tell you what settings to use or when, because, not only would that be impossible given the time of day and year, that information would take away from the creativity of the photographer who wishes to take pictures with a camera set in anything but the program mode. This is not to say that someone with a point and shoot camera or iPhone will not find the information quite helpful and educational. I am merely suggesting this book cannot be compared to the information a person would receive while taking a photographic workshop offered by a pro while in the park. The book does a great job of addressing the needs of the target audience.
I have recommended this book to several of my friends who are advanced amateurs, semi-pros, and professional photographers, and they all have thanked me for the recommendation. Even as I become more familiar with the park, I will continue to use this book as a guide.
***Even if you're not a photographer, this book is worth the buy just as a planning tool.***
The schedule for the best viewing times and places was a terrific help as we planned our days. We did drive the Blacktail Plateau as suggested, and it was spectacular just as the author said it would be (also not crowded). We saw our only bear on this road--a black bear. ...And Artist Point--what a wonderful place. We were lucky enough to meet the designer of this particular view point (he was in the park with his family).
The references for exposure settings and lenses were so helpful. Also, the tips on places to see that are less travelled (better shots) were great.
I am planning to go back, and I will have this book in hand. Thank you for a terrific guide to my photography and travels in Yellowstone.
...And I did go back this spring. Again, this book played a big part in my planning and photography. I also have recommended it to the members of my photography club. Thanks, again!
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