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Top 10 Nature Photography Books for Photographers this Christmas

Christmas is nearly upon us; if you are looking for a gift for a nature photographer this year, the round-up below is a good place to start. These nature photography books are perfect for the wildlife or landscape photographer in your life – or even just a gift to yourself!

So, in no particular order…

#1 Wildlife Photography at Home by Richard Peters £11.89

If there is one book that I would recommend this Christmas, it would be this title. It shows that travelling to an exotic destination is not necessarily what makes for successful nature photography.

In fact, with a little creativity, you can create inspiring photos right on your doorstep! For those shopping for camera trap enthusiasts, this book is the obvious choice.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: Wildlife photography at home by Richard Peters

Within its pages you will discover clear instructions on the use of remote sensors and flash setups, alongside urban wildlife and behind the scenes photographs.

Chapter six is especially helpful as it shows how a creative concept can be made into a reality, through deconstructed examples, including an image that went on to win the 2015 Wildlife Photographer of the Year’s Urban Category!

#2 Jungle Spirits by Christian Ziegler and Daisy Dent £45

Jungle Spirits is a work of art and comprises 20 years of work with innovative images captured across 4 continents. I believe it is worth every penny if you are looking for a more substantial gift this Christmas.

The front cover, with its rainbow typography overlain on an equally colourful Bell’s forest dragon, gives a brilliant first impression of the vibrant world you can discover within.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: Jungle Spirits by Christian Ziegler and Daisy DentPeople say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but in this case you would be very wise to do so! Christian Ziegler’s kaleidoscopic collection of photographs are complemented with informative text by his partner ecologist Daisy Dent.

Together, they reveal amazing symbiotic relationships between plants and animals, enchanting landscapes, macro worlds and the charismatic inhabitants of this lush habitat. 

#3 Sloths: Life in the Slow Lane by Rebecca Cliffe and Suzi Eszterhas £20-£25

This coffee table book by zoologist Rebecca Cliffe and wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas makes for a wonderful Christmas gift for fans of the world’s slowest mammal.

I love multi-disciplinary publications for their ability to make science accessible to everyone, and this book is a great example of that. I purchased a copy for a friend last year, and she was delighted with the images found throughout.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: Sloths life in the slow lane by Rebecca Cliffe and Suzi Eszterhas

The photography is outstanding and some of the sloth portraits will really make you smile, as they capture the sloths apparent laid-back attitude, unusual behaviour and humorous expressions.

The book is a practical size and printed in a well-chosen landscape format. A portion of all sales of this book is donated to the Sloth Conservation Foundation, making it an excellent gift not only for friends and family, but for sloths too!

#4 RSPB Spotlight Species Books £6 – £10

When shopping for the nature photographer in your life, it can be easy to concentrate on books which focus solely on the photography aspect of their passion.

But if you are shopping for a photographer who favours animal photography, these books will enable them to inform their photographic work with knowledge about their favourite species.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: RSPB spotlight species booksThe RSPB has published a series looking at many British species and titles include hedgehogs, foxes, bats, frogs and toads, otters, owls, puffins, and more. Many of these feature popular and well-photographed species, and I have recently used their fox and hedgehog editions to inform my own photographic projects.

Understanding animal behaviour is key to great wildlife photography. The books combine facts with high-quality photographs, and the use of colourful images means the books are both engaging and informative. They are also fairly small which makes them perfect to take out on shoots.

#5 Remembering Lions by Margot Raggett £45 

If you are looking for a gift that can create a positive impact for our planet this Christmas, the latest Remembering Wildlife book is an obvious choice.

This series, created by wildlife photographer Margot Raggett, is a tribute to the animals that we share our planet with and has already raised more than £460,000 for nature conservation.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: Remembering lions by Margot Raggett

Previous editions focused on elephants, rhinos and great apes. Within the latest book you can discover iconic lion photographs donated by more than 70 of the world’s top wildlife photographers.

Remembering Lions is printed on high quality paper and beautifully designed – the spine looks very elegant on a bookshelf – and the pages feature some truly stunning fine art lion photography.

#6 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Volume 3 £7

This light-hearted book provides welcome humour and fun, after a year that has seen a huge increase in awareness of the global wildlife extinction and climate crisis.

Despite the challenges our world faces, there are often times when I am out with my camera in nature when I cannot help but smile, and I think this book captures that feeling.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Volume 3

Whether it is a king penguin’s bad hair day or a terrapin practising yoga, this uplifting book is bound to spark joy. The book includes over 100 photos from this year’s Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards alongside hilarious captions.

It is also the most affordable nature photography book I’ve come across and, with its small size, is a convenient gift option for posting to family and friends away from home.

#7 The Lynx and Us by David Hetherington; Images by Laurent Geslin £25

I picked up my copy of The Lynx and Us at the Rewilding Conference in Cambridge, UK, earlier this year, after attending a fascinating talk by the author.

The book has high production values, with careful attention to detail and includes original photographs of the secretive wild lynx throughout, alongside maps, in-depth science, data visualisation and a case study looking at the UK.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: The Lynx and Us by David Hetherington, images by Laurent Geslin

This book is a great option for those interested in rewilding, but also for anyone interested in camera trap photography and conservation photojournalism. The images are a stellar example of conservation storytelling done right.

The photographer’s notes in the closing pages of the book are relatable to any passionate wildlife photographer, as Laurent Geslin writes about the feeling of euphoria after encounters with ‘the ghost of the woods’ and provides insight into his work as a nature photographer.

#8 Urban Jungle by Vicky Woodgate £12

This title may seem a bit out of place amongst a selection of nature photography books, however I have included it because I think it would make a lovely gift for urban wildlife photographers.

This large, illustrated book details the most exciting animals to look out for in many cities across the planet, from wild boar on the streets of Berlin to otters in Singapore!

Within beautifully illustrated double page spreads, you can discover fun stories and species to look out for on trips to the urban jungle.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: Urban Jungle Vicky Woodgate

I have used this book to inform my own photo project ideas in the past so it really is worth considering. It might not be suitable for every nature photographer you know, particularly those more interested in the technical side of photography, but it is a strong contender for anyone keen on photographing city wildlife, particularly if they also appreciate illustration or if the gift is for a younger reader (although I am 24 and love this book)!

#9 The Adventure Game by Keith Partridge £24.99

The Adventure Game is the story of cameraman Keith Partridge, who left a secure job at the BBC to pursue a dream which could combine his passion for adventure with a career in film-making.

For me, what makes this book interesting is the storytelling. The photography complements the words, but it is the text alongside those images that makes you turn each page to discover what happened next.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: The Adventure Game by Keith Partridge

Alongside detailed paragraphs and mountaineering photography are some brilliant pull quotes, one of my favourites being “Film-making has always been a can of worms and in the adventure film game those worms come spring-loaded.”

As a gift, this book would suit those interested in mountaineering, landscapes and adventure.

#10 Animals by Steve McCurry £32.50

Whether it’s a spider sitting upon its shimmering cobweb floating in a Ugandan forest, charismatic wildlife in the Galapagos, or a dog waiting hopefully for an escape from a flooded Indian street, this book has images that will inspire and demonstrate the emotional power of photography.

The photos are presented without judgement of any one culture in what is an outstanding book by famed photographer Steve McCurry. Informative captions are presented beside thumbnails in the later pages and a small selection of thoughtful quotes add to this memorable book.

This title is a great choice for nature photographers interested in conservation photojournalism.

Top Ten Books For Nature Photographers this Christmas: Animals by Steve Mccurry

In conclusion

I hope this blog has provided you with some helpful inspiration for your gift shopping this year.

If you would like to recommend some additional books, feel free to add them in the comments!

Stephanie Foote is a photographer and videographer, currently based in the historic city of Cambridge (UK) where she works with charities and NGOs to communicate conservation and science. Time spent in rural France exploring her relative's farm as a child inspired her love for wild adventures.

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