Rick Sammon’s new book, Rick Sammon’s Travel and Nature Photography, is one of the best books on travel and nature photography I’ve ever read. Sammon begins with a series of “jumpstarts” that outline the basics of digital photography, travel, and philosophy, and the rest of the book is comprised of individual lessons on topics including photographing people, landscapes, wildlife, captive animals, seascapes, cities, indoor scenes, close-ups, and more. What I like most is that Sammon uses effective photographs to illustrate each of his points. He doesn’t just write, “use a reflector” or “use a polarizer” or “move closer”. Instead, he uses images to illustrate plainly the effect it will have on the final image. Also, the images are stunning; I often found myself staring at them instead of reading the text on the page.
Sammon features only one short chapter on underwater photography, and it is more of an overview of what is possible than a lesson on how to do it. But underwater photographers will enjoy the rest of the book, and many of the terrestrial lessons on travel and philosophy will apply equally to those of us focused on the marine environment.
The lessons in the book are simple and effective, and everything I read made perfect sense. It’s rare to come across a photographer who is able to so clearly explain the points that make someone a good travel and nature photographer.