Text and photographs are © by Ellen Spector Platt & Ellen Zachos, all rights reserved.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Creative Gift

Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers by Alan Detrick, (Timber Press, 2008, 24.95 paperbound)

This can’t be an unbiased book review when the author, Alan Detrick is a good friend, a colleague and my collaborator on one book, two magazines and many other projects. Instead it’s an appreciation from a grateful student for a teacher, who with words and many stunning pictures can make me stop, observe, think, notice and change how I perceive the world. This is no mean feat and Detrick accomplishes his goals in this book partly by giving the reader the rationale behind the photos. Many times he offers side-by-side images of the same subject taken two or more different ways, pointing not only technical differences, but his visualization of the outcome.©Alan & Linda Detrick

Detrick defines macro photography as “capturing an image that’s at least the same size on film or digital sensor as the actual subject and up to 10X the size of the actual subject”. There’s absolutely no need to be either a gardener or a nature lover to enjoy ‘Macro Photography’. It will tell any photographer how to capture fantastic light and patterns, and the flowers, leaves or insects can be almost incidental. His discussions of backgrounds struck a chord, because while I’m very aware of junk in a picture, I’m much less aware of how adding (or subtracting) splashes of background color can make or break the image.
©Alan & Linda Detrick

But maybe because I am a dedicated gardener, I found the bug images particularly enchanting, a change from my usual concentration on flowers and foliage. I’m left with the feeling that even I could capture a pollen covered bee just crawling out of an early morning flower if I follow the master’s tips.

There’s a big downside to this book however. It’s hard to simply read and admire. It may cause you to run out to buy a macro lens, the low tripod, cable release and other necessities to try macro yourself. Detrick is a one-man economic stimulus package.


Ellen Zachos said...
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Ellen Zachos said...

While I also know Alan, I consider myself unbiased because I've never worked with him and we don't hang out.

So in my COMPLETELY unbiased opinion, everything Other Ellen said about the book is true. I read it straight through but kept wanting to get up and try each of Alan's suggestions. If it hadn't been 32 degrees and freezing rain I would have...he's just that inspirational.

Buy the book now; it's on sale (30% off) from now through 12/31 at www.timberpress.com.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess I'm buying a new book. The question is, who shall I say it's from when I put it under the tree???

Ellen Spector Platt said...

By all means say it's from 'Ellen'. That covers a lot of ground here at Garden Bytes.

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