San Juan Wildlife & Nature Photography
Matt Ragen

Photo Home

New Stuff

Wildlife Albums

 - Bald Eagles

 - Mule Deer

 - Orca Whales

 - Red Foxes

 - Seagulls

 - Seals, Sea Lions

 - Turkey Vultures

 - Other Birds

 - Other Mammals

 - Photo Archives

Other Photos

 - Landscapes

 - Still Life

 - Travel Images

Images for Sale

 - Fine Art Photos
 - Stock Images

 - Pen & Ink Art

About Us

 - Camera Gear

 - Usage Rights

 - Copyright Notice


 - Book Lists

 - Photo Site Links

 - Wildlife Links

 - Photo Processing

TheRagens Web

Home Page

Book Lists

Family History


Wine Tastings

Other Pages


Get 15 FREE prints!

Deal of the Day


Shutterbug Holiday Book Guide - 2005

Every year in their December issue, Shutterbug Magazine publishes their list of the best photography books of the year in their holiday book guide. We've taken the liberty to reprint this list from 2005 and a few of their comments on this page as a guide to some of the better photography books of the year. I have highlighted a few of the books with the cover images but it should be noted that all of the books are recognized equally by the magazine.

For the Digital Photographer: The Winners
  Up To Speed by Ben Willmore
Winner of best concept is Ben Willmore for
Up To Speed. Imagine a book that tells Photoshop CS2 users what's new and different from the previous version. No more sifting through 500 pages explaining stuff you already know in order to get to what's new in CS2 In other words, this is a "good parts" version of the Manhattan phone book-sized Photoshop books that proliferate, evidently, because authors are paid by the pound. This slender volume has three sections: Foundation, Design, and Photography. Don't care about Design, read Foundations (that's where all the inside scoop on Bridge is found) and skip to the photography section for one of the briefest yet best discussions on working with Adobe Camera Raw you'll find anywhere. Great design and production make Up To Speed a best buy for 2005.

Creative Photoshop Lighting Techniques by Barry Huggins

Digital Fashion Photography by Chris Tarantino and Ken Tan

Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Photographers by Martin Evening

Digital: The Art of Digital
  The Digital Color Printing Handbook: A Photographer's Guide to Creative Color Management and Printing Techniques by Tim Daly
This book is not about how to make prints from your image files; it is about creating photographs that can be printed. There is more information on scanning and color management than printing; these subjects, like everything else in the book, are covered in wonderful detail that will help those new to digital imaging prepare images for fine art printing, which is really the book's focus. In Color Recipes, Tim Daly shows you the basics of converting color to monochrome but takes it further by including tutorials on split-toning, low-key color, and autochrome. The Special Techniques in Chapter 9 include softening (a.k.a. creating a Holga look), the use of color toners, and a simple way to create the effect of a polarizing filter -- no plug-ins required. Despite its somewhat misleading title, Daly's book belongs on your nightstand to provide inspiration before retiring for the evening.

The Art of Photoshop by Daniel Giordan
This is the kind of book that exemplifies how photographers want to see their work presented. The publisher (SAMS) is to be congratulated for the lush production values in this oversized, almost coffee-table sized book. The book's design combines elegance with enough function to make Ludwig Mies van der Rohe smile. Most of the topics demonstrated, such as the wonderfully titled: "It's about focus, not sharpness," fit on two pages so you can easily soak up content and context. While juggling the art aspects of the book with the practical, Daniel Giordan errs on the side of artfulness, filling the pages with richly reproduced images that made me want to run out and take pictures.

Digital: For the Pros
  Photoshop CS2 Workflow by Tim Grey
"Workflow" may be the hottest buzzword for digital images but it's hardly new. Film photographers had a workflow, although few called it that, and all had its own devotees who pursued perfection with a religious-like zeal. What is Adams' Zone System if not workflow? But here Tim Grey has put together a good if somewhat overpriced book on digital workflow. The images and design may be somewhat pedestrian, but the book is saved by text that takes you painstakingly from downloading and sorting through output processing. An appendix includes a checklist that, if the book's designer hadn't been too lazy (or underpaid) to make look like a real checklist, would have been a useful tool.

Real World Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS2 by Bruce Fraser

The Digital Photographer's Handbook by Michael Freeman

Total Digital Photography: The Shoot to Print Workflow Handbook by Serge Timacheff and David Karlins

  A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Black & White Photography by John Clements
It's a challenge to be comprehensive in 144 pages but John Clements has done a remarkable job. After the briefest of introductions, Clements has you deep inside Photoshop's Channel Mixer creating monochrome images with the best of them. He uses the same no-nonsense style combined with excellent screen shots to show you how to do the most amazing toning using an effect that Clements calls Sepia II. This is followed by tips and techniques for creating faux infrared effects that have to be seen, then tried. The subject matter through the book is varied and is populated with wonderful images of landscapes, wildlife, portraits, and the occasional tasteful nude. There is also a section called "The Digital Zone System" that should make fans of Saint Ansel whoop with delight, or cringe. I liked it.
A Comprehensive Guide to Digital Glamour by Duncan Evans
If you're even mildly interested in glamour photography, this small book is for you. It has  a modular layout that lets you hone in on specific camera or digital darkroom techniques that cover a few pages each. You can read it from cover to cover (my suggestion) or jump into sections such as "Shadow Effects" or "Small Spaces." The photographs, created by many different and talented photographers, are stunning and beautifully reproduced, but this is a book about glamour photography and does contain tasteful nudity. If that bothers you, you might want to skip it. The rest of us will find that Digital Glamour Photography is a comprehensive course in using digital cameras -- even point-and-shoot digicams -- to create glamour imagery.
Digital Techniques
  Digital Infrared Photography by Patrick Rice
Patrick Rice's digital infrared photography is stunning and his text will be extremely useful for image-makers who want to try this unique pursuit. While there are a few landscape and architectural images, the book reflects Rice's wedding and portrait photography, including an arresting cover shot that shows how digital IR is more than just a technique that makes tree leaves and grass white. In fact, there are no trees or grass in the romantic and involving wedding portrait on the cover! While many of the images were made with filters, some were made with a camera converted specifically to make IR images; the author even includes a one-page tutorial on how to modify a Nikon Coolpix 990 or 950 for your infrared photography. That one page alone is worth the price of the book. Rice's
Techniques for Black & White Digital Photography makes a wonderful companion to his infrared volume.

Digital nature Photography: Closeup by Jon Cox

Step-by-Step Composition Techniques for Digital Photographers by Ernst Wildi

Painter IX Creativity by Jeremy Sutton

Digital Landscape Photography by Michelle Perkins

Traditional Photography Books
  Through the Eyes of the Gods: An Aerial Vision of Africa by Robert B. Haas
Photographer and accomplished author Robert B. Haas has an innovative approach to photography that produces magnificent results. He literally rises above his subjects by capturing images from helicopters and light aircraft. This lofty point of view transforms his work in unexpected ways by allowing you to see the rugged landscape and exotic wildlife of Africa as if you had wings. The introduction was provided by Kuki Gallmann, author of
I Dreamed of Africa, and the 12 essays are based on Haas' journal entries created during this once in a lifetime adventure. Together, the words and pictures create a fine tapestry of delight readers of all ages.
On This Earth: Photographs of East Africa by Nick Brandt
This gorgeous collection of 67 sepia and blue-tone photographs captures the primal beauty of Africa's vanishing wildlife. It's apparent that these lavish portraits were crafted with a great deal of photographic expertise and sharp attention to detail. The forward by Alice Sebold is expertly paired with Jane Goodall's eloquent introduction to provide a rich voice to these lovely images, making this title a treasure you are certain to enjoy.

Twentieth Century Fox: Inside the Photo Archive by Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopoulos

U2 & I: The Photographs 1982-2004 by Anton Corbin

Art of the Chopper by Tom Zimberoff

Land and Light in the American West photographs by John Ward

White Mountain Wilderness: A Photographic Journey to New Hampshire's Most Rugged Places by Jerry and Marcy Monkman

Legends of Light: A Michigan Lighthouse Portfolio photographs by Ed Wargin

Spirt Horses by Tony Stromberg

Pantanal: South Americas Wetland Jewel by Theo Allofs

For other book lists on photography, check out these pages on our website:

Outdoor Photography Magazine (UK) Outdoor Photographer Magazine (US) Other Book Guides
- 2006 Books of the Month
- 2005 Books of the Month
- 2004 Books of the Month
- 2003 Books of the Month

- B&W Magazine 2006 Books of the Month
- B&W Magazine 2005 Books of the Month

- 2005 Holiday Book Guide
- 2004 Holiday Book Guide

- 2003 Holiday Book Guide
- 2001 Holiday Book Guide
- 2000 Holiday Book Guide
- Shutterbug 2005 Holiday Guide
- Shutterbug 2004 Holiday Guide

- Our book recommendations

- Our magazine recommendations
Infrared Photography & Camera Conversion

Top 100 Nature Photo Sites
Birding Top 500 Counter PhotoGalaxy - Exhibit you photos for free! Join the Community!

FREE Trial Of Unlimited Photo Storage