Friday, March 30, 2012

Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers by Alan L. Detrick

With one of the longest titles I have reviewed, I have a copy of Alan L. Detrick’s Macro Photography for Gardeners and Nature Lovers, The Essential Guide to Digital Techniques. The book is as beautiful as it is informative.  Macro Photography is printed on glossy paper and filled with striking pictures of flora and fauna. 

Mr. Detrick clarifies the difference between close-up photos and macro photography, and his instructions cover many different aspects of creating that perfect shot.   Photography is not an inexpensive hobby.  The vast selection of lenses and equipment is staggering.  To do macro photography properly you need quite a bit of equipment and he gives a brief description of each. He also discusses how to travel with your gear. 

While this may be overwhelming for the casual photographer, for a dedicated hobbyist the information is essential.  Even if you don’t have all the equipment there is much to learn from this book.  The photographs in the book are both beautiful and interesting.  I especially appreciated that each description contains the type of camera used, lens and exposure information and many contain an explanation of why he shot it as he did.  He shows the way he experimented with changing light in some of the shots. He also writes about possible problems with a photograph and how he adjusts to compensate.

There is a good amount of information on proper exposure, depth of field, using the histogram, bracketing, focus, composition, background and movement.  At the back of the book there is additional information on recommended reading, associations, workshops, websites and a glossary that I found especially useful.  Macro Photography is a beautiful display book, but also so much more.

I received a review copy of Macro Photography free of charge in return for an honest review.  I receive no compensation for books purchased through this site. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Not This Time by Vicki Hinze

I have mixed feelings on Vicki Hinze's new book, Not This Time.  Vicki is a very good writer of Christian fiction, but I think this one has a problem with too much background information at the beginning.  The first few chapters were nearly impossible to follow even though I had read one of the previous books in this series. I wish I had read the second before this one.  Multiple new people were introduced on every page, and although the author tried very hard to explain each character, I was totally lost.  I actually stopped and started the book over.  It didn't help because I was still lost and rather frustrated by it.  I decided to just forget the first part and just plow through, and it turned out to be a good story.

Not This Time is a more of a thriller rather than a mystery with characters that are government agents chasing an international criminal ring.  The characters were varied and interesting.  The topics of faith, hope, and forgiveness were evident throughout the book.  One character struggles with her criminal behavior and seeks forgiveness.  This was a wonderful addition to this book to show God’s love and forgiveness for the worst of the worst. 

I don’t normally read romantic novels, but I have to say that I enjoyed the romance that developed between Beth and Joe.  Beth was hurt and humiliated by a previous love and trusting “ladies man” Joe was difficult.  Their relationship had to progress slowly.  Joe, too, had past issues, and he gradually opened up about his Cajun upbringing.

I enjoyed the book, but I would recommend reading the first two in the Crossroads Crisis Center series before this one or be prepared to make a flow-chart to keep track of characters!

I was provided a review copy of Not This Time by Vicki Hinze in return for an honest review. link to purchase Not This Time (I receive no compensation if the book is purchased through this link.)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Downfall by Terri Blackstock

Emily is a former drug user who caused much trouble and danger for her family.  She is now clean and sober and attending college when trouble seems to find her again. Just when things seem to be going well, her life starts spiraling out of control. 

This is a good mystery with twists that kept me guessing until the end.  The theme of trust runs throughout this book as evidence shows up that makes Emily look bad.  Her family loves her, but can’t help but wonder if she has slipped back into addiction.

The family dynamics were outstanding as we see a family in recovery.  Her brother and mother also suffered from Emily’s past, but they try to put it all behind them and trust her again.

The characters are realistic, not perfect people, but individuals trying to do the right thing.  At first I was a little put-off by Emily’s impulsiveness and the way she jumped into some situations without thinking, but I realized how realistic that behavior is with an addictive personality.  It was that impulsiveness that continued to cause problems for her. 

While I haven’t read all of Terri Blackstock’s books, I have read quite a few and have never been disappointed. I definitely recommend Downfall for those who love a good, fast-paced, mystery. link to purchase Downfall (I receive no compensation for purchase).
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