These books contain the essence of what is important in guiding and developing my present methods.

John Shaw’s Closeups in Nature: the photographer’s guide to techniques in the field; by John Shaw, Amphoto, 1987 (still available to this day). Written by one of the world's greatest wildlife photographers, many a skilled nature photographer will admit to starting their career as a result of reading this book. Although it covers film cameras only, the wisdom and sheer sense of what he advocates is still relevant – as are some of the technical tips. His pictures are superb.

Nikon Capture NX2: After the shoot; by Mike Hagen, Wiley Publishing Inc, 2009. Easier to follow than the official guide which accompanies the software. Clear and concise, well written and easy to understand. You need a book like this if, like me, you are not a computer specialist.

Understanding Raw Photography; by Andy Rouse, Photographers’ Institute Press/PIP; 2007, reprinted 2008. Bang up-to-date, this book covers recent techniques for post processing digital images, from a master of nature photography. It covers editing, corrections, printing, managing a collection of pictures and workflow – everything for making the most of raw images, after the shutter has clicked. I have read criticism of it being too simple, even so, although I cannot agree with this, if the advice is followed, your results will be greatly improved. A really useful introduction to the subject.


identification is a most important factor in the hunt for  wildlife pictures. Taking a picture and later wondering what the animal may be, is not so appealing as having at least an idea of what it is, even in the most general terms. A picture may be amazing, but there is something lacking when you do not know the name of its subject. People often ask if there are books that might act as an introduction to the subject without being so technical as to put them off. An Initial introduction may be sufficient, though often it will lead to needing more information - the way to specialising in particular fields, families or aspects.

A few helpful introductory books I still use are:

Collins Bird Guide, by Killian Mullarney, Lars Svensson, Dan Zetterstom, Peter J. Grant. (All every species illustrated with top quality colour drawings - a fantastic effort)

Wild Flowers of Britain & Ireland, by Marjorie Blamey, Richard Fitter & Alastair Fitter. (After many editions, this remains the greatest popular work on our flora, with 5,000 coloured illustrations)

Insects of Britain & Western Europe, by Michael Chinery. (A superb general handbook with 2,000 first-class coloured illustrations)

Insects of Britain & Ireland, by Paul D. Brock. (An amazing compilation of information, with 2,700 of the author's own photograps taken in the wild)



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