CM Archive
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Tim Fitzharris.

Edmonton, Hurtig Publishers, c1983.
216pp, paper, $27.95 (cloth), $19.95 (paper).
ISBN 0-88830-250-9 (cloth), 0-88830-237-1 (paper).

Grades 6 and up.
Reviewed by Maurice G. Black.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

Highly regarded as a knowledgeable and skilled professional wildlife photographer, Tim Fitzharris's work has appeared in numerous publications. He is also the author of two previously published books featuring his photography. In The Adventure of Nature Photography, he enthusiastically proves that this field can be challenging, adventuresome, and most rewarding.

The book is divided into two nearly equal sections. The first deals with "The mechanics of nature photography" followed by "Adventures with wildlife." The sixty-two colour photographs by one of Canada's top-notch nature photographers are varied and well chosen. Each picture is accompanied by a caption, a paragraph in length that adds meaningful information. Shutter speed, lens size and f stop are thankfully ignored in favour of more pertinent comments. Lighting, compositional aspects, unusual situations and above all the author's feeling for his subjects are briefly dealt with for casual image browsing. The quality of photographic reproduction is excellent.

It is a bit disconcerting to be reading the text, meet up with a bracketed number and have to flip through the book to locate a particular photograph to which reference has been made. However, a suggested approach that reduces these annoying interruptions is for readers to familiarize themselves first with each photo and its caption. With appetite whetted and photographs impressed on the mind, they are ready for a more detailed perusal of the text.

Many situations in this area of photography are unique; yet, Fitzharris helps prepare the photographer for the unknown with his tried-and-tested in the field approaches. He states that peanut butter with its "enticing odour" and "inconspicuous colour" has proven to be one of the best baits for most types of mammals. Chest waders, portable platforms and blinds as well as the refrigerator serve a purpose in allowing the photographer close encounters with nature. His informative style of writing is interspersed with first-hand accounts. One such humorous situation involved a number of curious muskrats that insisted on sharing his floating slab of styrofoam blind at such close range that he was unable to focus his camera on them.

This book is highly recommended for all ages for pleasant viewing and especially for photographers. Even the most experienced of nature photographers could learn much from this resourceful craftsman.

Maurice G. Black, Sir Winston Churchill C. V. I., Thunder Bay, ON.
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