Reader survey questions

I’m in the earliest stage of thinking about doing a couple more eBooks.  I’m open for ideas and concepts.  My thoughts at this time:

1.  A “coffee table” photo eBook — large photos, not much text — on one of these topics:

(a) Antarctica.

(b) 50 of my all time favorite digital images.

(c) five of my favorite photo destinations.

(d) some other subject?

2.  A “teaching” eBook on:

(a)  digital topics:  exposure, reading a histogram, RAW capture, tilt/shift lens use, digital ISO advantages, etc.

(b) 25 digital images: how and why they were shot, and how processed.

(c)  the elements of composition:  line, color, texture, etc.

(d) some other topic?

I’m open for suggestions.  Let me know your thoughts (but no guarantee that I’ll actually write anything at all!).  Thanks in advance for your responses.


And here’s a stitched panoramic image from the trip I mentioned in my last blog post.  Three horizontal frames, Nikon D800E, 70-200mm lens.

Lake Powell, Utah


  1. Paul Beiser December 1, 2012 at 5:07 pm #

    Hi John,
    I like the idea of’s always helpful I think for amateurs like me to see how a pro thinks and works from pre-snap through presentation. I loved AAs book on the making of 40 photographs – any maybe yoo could ‘combine’ this with 1b (maybe certain images). I really enjoy your ebooks (and I have all of your hard cover books).

  2. al hart December 2, 2012 at 12:46 am #

    John –

    Decades ago, it was you who taught me many of the “mechanics” of picture making. Your ideas on tripods, polarizers, lens hoods, cable releases, mirror lockup, and on and on, have become 2nd nature to me and have been passed on to several friends. I even remember your Houghton Lake workship comments on “sail cats”! Do you?

    All very well, but I seem to fail when it comes to seeing anything but the most commonly-shot nature subjects. My photographic imagination needs help. If you can help me recognize a nice image possibility when it stares me in the face, I’ll be at the top of your ebook waiting list!

    -al hart
    farmington hills, mi

  3. John T. December 2, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    I think an updated (digital) version of your “Professional Field Techniques” book from the 80’s would be a good idea. It’s already written, it would just need to be updated for digital shooting.

  4. Dave Spindle December 2, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Of the choices offered, I pick 2b or 2c.

    My “dream” Ebook by you however would be “Finding Art in Nature”. Composing an artistic photograph, especially in mountain areas, is my biggest challenge. Beaches and deserts I can move myself around to arrange the composition fairly well. But mountains with lakes, trees, creeks, are much more difficult. For wide landscapes in particular.

    I’d love to see an ebook of wide “cover” shots of what you saw on arrival at a location. Then the finished photos and how and why you chose that composition.

    Thanks so much for asking for our suggestions…it’s a great idea, and it is much appreciated!


  5. Antonio Biggio December 2, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    “Nature Photography” Field guide………..updated to digital technique.
    Thank you.

  6. Francesca December 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    I second Antonio Biggio’s suggestion! I learned so much from “The Nature Photographer’s Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques,” but before I could get really good at film photography, digital took over. Now I am trying to learn how to make really excellent nature photos with a DSLR setup. I would LOVE an updated version of the classic!!
    Many thanks for all the beautiful images and good advice you’ve shared over the years. 🙂

  7. James Doyle December 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    John, I would really like to see your “John Shaw’s Nature Photography Field Guide” book updated to reflex the digital world, we seem to all be embracing. An eBook format would keep the costs to a minimum. I first learnt about you as a photographer and teacher of nature photography way back when your first book was published in the early eighties (1984) and still have every single book, video and eBook you published and return to each regularly. I also recommend your books to friends and clients as a good source of the fundamentals of nature photography as your knowledge and style of writing is some of the best I have encountered. But as many people have never shot film they do mention to me that the books don’t make a lot of sense to them but they do learn a lot of the basic skills within the pages regardless.
    For me personally, I find inspiration from the photographs contained in your published books already and would like to see an eBook version of your outstanding “Nature Photography Field Guide” updated with the latest technologies and skill sets required for the digital world.
    I’m sure it will be great work John which ever you decide!

  8. Leonel Torres December 3, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Hi John, I agree with James that an update to your ” Nature Photography Field Guide” would be great. I learned a lot from that book. I would also be interested in an ebook about your favorite photo destinations. Thank you!

  9. Satish Menon December 3, 2012 at 9:59 am #

    John, I have purchased every book you have ever published and will continue to buy every book you put out. That said, my wish would be a book on “Advanced Seeing”. Your suggestion 2(b). What are you thinking when you leave the lodge or your camper and go about scouting for images and then how do you go about finding the right subject and composition. This is clearly way beyond the mechanics of tripod, camera, lenses, filters etc. Converting your vision into a great image.

    I will buy any book you put out …

    Satish Menon.

  10. Satish Menon December 3, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

    I imagine a “coffee table” book as something that is hard bound and actually on my coffee table. Great images on a real coffee table book is very useful. I don’t find “coffee table” ebooks that useful, although, personally I will still buy it to study your images.

    A thought just occurred, maybe it could be useful in a large lcd photo frame, with automatic slideshow turned on …

  11. Sunny Cherian December 3, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    1. (b) I would prefer to see 50 of your (our – if people can choose) photos from film as well as digital. There are many, many fantastic images from the film time (e.g. “Winter sunset” page 32 in your “The Nature …..professional field guide”).
    2. (a)

    These suggestions are if you limit to two books. Otherwise all your topics are worthy.

    Also I would like to see something about how to become a professional, a guide book.

    Best Regards

  12. Bobor December 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    “John Shaw’s Nature Photography Field Guide” updated to digital age. Real paper book, hard or soft cover would be ideal.
    Thank you, John!

  13. Brad Steinagel December 6, 2012 at 6:03 pm #

    Hi John,

    I sent you an email with my thoughts. I didn’t see that I could post a comment until after I sent it. But, I echo others sentiments. An updated Nature Photography Field Guide for digital would be great!

  14. Phil Royer December 7, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    I would like to second what several have said about remake/revisions of your earlier works. I have read all of your earlier books (and even watched tapes) Everything in them just makes senses, without a lot of bombast. Digital or paper would work (if paper, please use a larger font size). I just watched a Kelby training video by Bill Fourtney, and he credited you with a lot of the ideas. I think the world would benefit from hearing from the original.

  15. Ken December 8, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Hi John,

    Realy enjoy your ebooks and vote for 2b. Combination of landscapes, intimate nature scenics, and wildlife described from composition, execution, and processing would be very valuable.


  16. David December 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm #


    How about a combination of the two. Two set series, the first a stand,one of your art, the second, the behind the scenes of your thought process, digital developing and the general process from capture to frame. That way the first book is the end result to be enjoyed without the noise of all the work that went behind it it.

  17. Jeremy Brasher December 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    I vote for 2b as well!!

  18. Ash Varma December 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm #

    Hi John, for ebook format my vote would go to 2b but including a detailed section on prinitng and also one that combines 1c and 1b i.e. your fav 5 destinatons and your fav 5-10 images from those locations. Otherwise agree with others about Nature Photograhpy for digital age. Another suggestion would be a book or DVD on how to ‘work’ a location. I once saw a great Nat Geo video on this and it was excellent! Look forward to whatever you decide to publish as it will be excellent I am sure. Happy Xmas and best wishses for 2013. Regards, Ash

  19. Troy Hugen December 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm #


    I would also vote for a digital field guide. I still go back your books and my notes from the Minneapolis workshop I attended a couple of years ago. The big revelation for me that weekend was Lightroom (2 at the time). I have become a faithful user and am amazed at what Lr 4 has to offer. I am also wondering if an updated Lr book is being considered? You lead a great classroom seminar. I am sorry to see few if any on your schedule. Have a blessed holiday season.

  20. Andrew McLachlan December 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Hi John,

    ‘Focus on Nature’ has long been my favorite of all your books, so perhaps the elements of composition idea would be nice addition to your line of eBooks.

  21. Brad Mangas December 29, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

    John, first of all I’m glad you have started a blog, I have always tried to keep up with your work but hadn’t checked the website for awhile, anyway glad to see it.

    I would have to vote on the; “25 digital images: how and why they were shot, and how processed”.

  22. Romaine Bayless January 5, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    “2b” gets my vote.

  23. Terry Eward January 6, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    2a gets my vote, but I would be interested in any of them. Two things that I own that I way underutilize are my PC lenses, and my flash. I have yet to find a book on flash that I feel like reading – I’m looking for one that starts at square one and is easy to follow. Just returned from my 3rd trip to Cambodia, and I am ashamed to admit that once again, my flash remained in the bag.

  24. Wayne Lea January 7, 2013 at 8:22 pm #

    I love all your books. I would like to see an ebook on PCE lens use and art in composition.

  25. Don Curry January 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Your work has been an inspiration to me for many years. Anything you do will be helpful, but I vote for “25 digital images: how and why they were shot, and how processed”.

    PS: I own Mountaineer Campground in Townsend, TN ( Smoky Mountains). If you need a campsite here I’m sure I can give you a great deal.

  26. Bob Keefer January 12, 2013 at 11:54 am #

    2b. Great idea.

  27. Sahajpal Rai January 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    I think you should write the e-book on your experience with histogram, composition and what to look before you take picture and how to see the scene front of you. I will go for #2
    A “teaching” eBook on:

    (a) digital topics: exposure, reading a histogram, RAW capture, tilt/shift lens use, digital ISO advantages, etc.

    (b) 25 digital images: how and why they were shot, and how processed.

    (c) the elements of composition: line, color, texture, etc.

    (d) some other topic?

  28. Jay Gosdin January 14, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    John whatever you write is OK with me. What is important is how you do it. We must be able to read it with our iPhones and iPads and would prefer an “app”. So it may be time for you brush up some more on the latest technology in media. You have been able to adapt all these years- I see no reason why you will not continue to adapt!

  29. Bruce Leander January 16, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    I think it would be a good idea to write an eBook on intermediate and advanced topics. There are too many books on the basics of photography, Lightroom, etc. Take what you did with your previous eBooks on Lightroom and PS and photography and take it to the next level. More on luminosity masking, layering, actions, presets, use of differently types of printing paper for different applications, tilt-shift. Almost take any aspect of photography and ask the question, “what can I communicate beyond the basics for those photographers that want to take things to the next level?” Also, your favorite shooting locations and why. What equipment you use and why (this would be like taking candy ($) from a baby).

  30. Jeanine February 1, 2013 at 6:37 am #

    Hi John, I bought my first book from you in 1994 and am still inired by your photographs and style. I always enjoyed your disclosure of beautiful things found at the side of a carpark and such. Since then I try to find photographic opportunities in humble places.
    Books on composition and technique and what to buy etc are all around. Such a book wouldn’t interest e. What would make an unique book is one that gives insight into the lessens you had to learn to become a better photographer and still succeed at it for so many years. The photographic mistakes or experiments that proved to be the most valuable lessons. About the moments that triggered you to enter a new level in your style or career. From all your material maybe comparison shots can be found that show the difference or evolution in your style etc. the shots from before and after. Working title: from blunders to brilliance or my personal histogram? Greetings from the netherlands

  31. Rohinton Mehta February 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

    I would like to have you write about 2a and 2b. Also, an article on digital myths (to add to your fantastic write-up already on the same topic).

    As and when you do that, please inform me and consider me as the first customer!


  32. Thomas Chamberlin February 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm #

    I’ve always wished you would update The Business of Nature Photography for digital. It would be hard to keep it timely since equipment changes constantly now, but an e-book could be updated like Art Morris does with his.

  33. Paul April 6, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    If you do not include it in a book soon, please post tilt/shift instructions here. There is a crying need for this. Please include correct pronunciation of Scheimpflug.

  34. Mohsen Al Dajani April 30, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Hi John,

    I just discovered that you’ve had a blog. what a great idea to connect with your “student” worldwide!

    I am one of those who benefited a lot from your books where there was no one teaches photography in my country “saudi arabia”…i think a book on “advance seeing” is what missing in your series and one that many needs these days.