Sunday, June 19, 2005
BOOK: "The Photographer's Guide to the Grand Canyon -- Where to Find Perfect Shots and How to Take Them," by John Annerino (Countryman Press, $14.95)
TARGET AUDIENCE: Shooters looking for the most scenic vistas at and near Arizona's Grand Canyon.
This 96-page guide works reasonably well as a planning tool for people visiting the Grand Canyon and adjacent areas. But a photographer's guide it is not.
"I will guide you to each vista and tell you the story behind the scenery while you're waiting for the light to change," Annerino writes in his introduction. "But I will not be presumptuous and tell you how to photograph the scene." Trouble is, "how to" is exactly what's promised in the subtitle.
His treatment of technique is scanty, as is his discussion of the specific gear -- such as filters -- helpful for this kind of photography. But the biggest flaw is not telling the reader when a particular scene is in best light. For example, Annerino wisely suggests going to the remote but spectacular Toroweap Overlook, but he fails to point out that the best photos there will be gotten at sunrise, so you should plan to camp there overnight or arise early to navigate the 60-mile dirt road to it.
Still, the book is rich in history and Indian lore, and it directs readers to scenic, out-of-the-way places not mentioned in other guides. -- Gary Anthes