Monday, June 16, 2014

Beyond the Grand Landscape: a Guide to Photographing Nature's Smallest Scenes Book Review

Sarah Marino and Ron Coscorrosa have done it again.  I have previously reviewed both their previous e-books, Forever Light: The Landscape Photographer's Guide to Iceland and Desert Paradise: The Landscape Photographer's Guide to Death Valley National Park.  They write in a clean, consence style that is easily understood by everybody.  Their new book "Beyond the Grand Landscape: a Guide to Photographing Nature's Smallest Scenes" which at first sounds like a macro photography book, but is much more than that.  It is taking you from (a quote from the book) "Grand scenic landscapes, with their big skies, dramatic foreground elements, and tremendous depth are an important part of landscape photography, but they are only that: a part. An entire universe of possibilities opens up when a photographer looks for and seeks out these often-smaller scenes. More importantly, photographing these scenes allow the vision of the photographer to shine through in ways that photographing grand scenic landscapes often cannot."

The book goes from defining the small scenes, teaching you to see the scenes, a discussion about composition, mood and light to develop the skills that you need.  Sarah and Ron present exercises for you to practice. Utilizing a number of their favorite photographs and they show how they apply the concepts that are discussed in the book.
Sarah and Ron give you perspectives of four different landscape photographers, including Alex Mody, who was one of the leaders and teachers on my workshop recently in the Columbia River Gorge.  Alex did teach me to start to look Beyond the Grand Landscape.
Gorton Creek Columbia River George

At the very end of the book is an excellent, but technical section on focusing depth of field and circle of confusion, which I highly recommend.

The book is available from Ian Plant's Dreamscapes and it is normally $19.95, Using the discount code BEYOND you can save 10% OFF until June 30th! Click here to visit Ian Plant Photography.