Sunday, July 1, 2012

Book Review: Photographing Waterdrops

Recently I was given the opportunity to review the second Harold Davis photography book to be added to my library of photography books - Photographing Waterdrops.  Harold is a master in the art of macro photography and has written several books on the subject.  Each of his books are both instructive and a joy to look at and this latest book is no exception.

I enjoy shooting water drops.  Each one is a miniature world reflecting the world outside or refracting the world on the other side. They are always interesting to look at and almost always difficult to photograph .In this book, Harold instructs the reader the equipment and techniques for capturing these miniature worlds.

The book is organized into three sections - Waterdrop Worlds, Making Waterdrop Photos and Waterdrops in the Digital Darkroom.

After several pages on the importance of water to our world and the lifecycle of a waterdrop, he gets down to how to deal with extreme magnification of macro photography, the physics of a waterdrop, different kinds of waterdrops, and the difference between reflections and refractions.  He spends several pages on waterdrops on spiderwebs.  I've shot these before, but never like the extreme closeups he shows in the book.   I'm inspired to try it out next opportunity I get.  He also explains how to get the starburst effect in waterdrops.

In Making Waterdrop Photos he covers some basics of good exposures, the exposure triangle, and reading histograms.  A new photographer will appreciate this instruction and the more experienced may benefit from the review.   He spends several pages on equipment - lenses, extension tubes, close up filters, tripods, and flashes.   He also talks about some of the challenges of extreme macro photography and how to over come these challenges.

In the final section, Harold explains his techniques for post processing using Adobe Photoshop.   If you're an Aperture, Lightroom, or other software user you will benefit from the concepts, but not the technique.  

Harold includes many of his own photos as teaching examples in his books.   With each photo he explains the situation, how he approached the subject, and the technical specs on each photo.   The examples are great teaching tools and are a pleasure to look at.

This book retails from $29.95 (USD) and Amazon is selling it for $19.37.   If you have an interest in photographing waterdrops you'll find this a very worthwhile investment.

Now if it will only rain here in East Tennessee I'll get out and practice what I have learned.

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