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Wildlife photography is tough and it is rewarding. This is a list of the best wildlife photography books around to inspire you. Some are photo books, full of stunning photos that well-known pros have taken. These will motivate you. Others are manuals and guide books to help you learn the craft.
10. Rachel Sussman’s – The Oldest Living Things in the World, 2014
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This is one of the most fascinating books on wildlife photography, featuring images of creatures that have lived for thousands of years and witnessed the major transformations of the Earth. Rachel Sussman gives us a beautiful book with page after page of stunning photos of old and ancient plants and animals. There are also essays and stories of how the photographer came across her subjects. You can get the hardcover on Amazon for $42.64.
9. David Yarrow’s – Encounter, 2013
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This black and white offering is one of the top wildlife photography books that you’re likely to have on your shelf. There is something special about seeing the world in black and white. It seems to put the subjects into greater focus. Seeing things in color can sometimes distract us from details like emotions, patterns, forms etc. There are 84 stunning photos in this book, collected by the photographer on his travels around the world. You can rent the hardcover book on Amazon for $60 or buy a used copy from various sellers.
8. Sylvia A. Earle’s – Blue Hope: Exploring and Caring for Earth’s Magnificent Ocean, 2014
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One of the top wildlife photography books you’ll love to own is this exploration of our oceans and some of its most threatened species by a scientist. The photos in the book are excellent, and taken from National Geographic. They are inspiring, and show you how conservation is helping some incredible species survive. This book is a must-read for those who want to find some feel-good stories on conservation with amazing photos on the side. As the name suggests, this book is about hope. You can get the book on Amazon in hardcover, for $22.10.
7. The Handbook of Bird Photography, 2012
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This beautiful book on photographing our feathered friends offers advice from three well-known pro photographers – Markus Varesvuo, Jari Peltomaki and Bence Mate. The book has beautiful illustrations and excellent tips on how to photograph birds in different settings, best places to find certain species and so on. Amazon has this excellent paperback for $36.62.
6. Frans Lanting’s – Okavango, 1993
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This gorgeous specimen of wildlife photography books has as its subject the wonderful wildlife of Africa. It is a book from two decades ago, when the beauty and diversity of the Okavango delta in Botswana was not yet known to outsiders. But it is still relevant today, at a time this region has gained a place one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa. In the book, Frans Lanting includes photographs that he took over a year in Botswana. In its pages, through the photos and accompanying words, you will find the beauty and drama of life in the large delta come alive. You can buy the hardcover on Amazon for $39.50.
5. Art Wolfe & Martha Hill’s – The New Art of Photographing Nature: An Updated Guide to Composing Stunning Images of Animals, Nature and Landscapes, 2013
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This fascinating guidebook to photography will teach you about what the difference is between a good picture and a great one. There are more than 250 images of wildlife in the book, to learn from. The authors offer advice on the things that work and don’t, about how small changes can completely change the quality of your picture. This book is for the modern photographer working with digital tools and post-processing software. You can get this invaluable book on Amazon (paperback) for $17.44.
4. Nick Brandt’s – A Shadow Falls
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While monochrome photos have their special place, Nick Brandt does tritone photography. The fifty eight pictures of wildlife in A Shadow Falls have East African wildlife as their subjects. You may have seen hundreds of brilliant photos of African wildlife. But we promise you haven’t seen many like the photos in this book. The photographer takes his shots lovingly. You can see this in the way the animals fill the pictures. Whether they are up close or far away, you can often see the struggles of the animals against the natural forces of East Africa. This gem among books on wildlife photography is on Amazon for $82.24, hardcover.
3. Vincent Munier’s – White Nature
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Vincent Munier is known for his fascination with photographing snow, and wildlife in bad weather. This book is a visual treat for lovers of snow, artists and anyone with an interest in the silent winter landscapes and the creatures that live in it. The photographs are stark and beautiful, with only little flashes of color revealing the forms of the animals in the pristine white landscapes. White Nature may become one of the most visually stunning books on wildlife photography you put on your shelf. You can buy this book on Amazon for $8.73.
2. Ian McAllister’s – Great Bear Wild: Dispatches from a Northern Rainforest, 2014
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Another one of the top wildlife photography books is Ian McAllister’s loving guide into the Great Bear Rainforest. This rainforest is home to wolves, grizzlies, spirit bears and other animals that live in stunning landscapes. The photographer is also a conservationist. Through his photos, he will probably manage to convince you why the Great Bear Rainforest must be preserved, and development should not be allowed to reach it. Amazon carries the hardcover book for $20.44.
1. Andy Rouse’s – Concepts of Nature, 2008
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Many wildlife photographers have learned from Andy Rouse’s excellent book, probably one of the best books on wildlife photography to teeth on. If you’re eager to teach yourself the craft, learn how to use the light and how to express yourself using the light, this is the book for you. Accompanying the advice is great pictures to help you along. Amazon offers a hardcover copy for $14.24.
We hope you enjoyed this list of top wildlife photography books. Do share if you think others will find it useful too!