Book Review: Outdoor Photographer of the Year Portfolio One

Outdoor Photographer of the Year has released a brand new hardcover book of the best photographs from the 2015 Outdoor Photographer of the Year Competition. The book includes all of the winning, commended and selected entries with contributions from entrants based all over the world. I am pleased to say that the book also includes three of my photographs from the final round of judging. Presented in hardback with dust jacket the book is over 200 pages and can now be ordered online.OPOTY CoverThe book is divided up into the seperate competition categories. The layout is logical and the photographs have been nicely matched on facing pages. My review of this book is not based on the inclusion of three of my photographs and I would feel the same way about this book regardless of their inclusion or exclusion.

Presentation: The Outdoor Photographer of the Year Portfolio One is in square format in hardcover with dust jacket. The square format was the perfect choice for the broad range of different photo ratios that needed to be included. The presentation is simple and elegant. The paper is a light – medium weight semi-gloss lustre that works well for the broad genre of images included in the book. Although I personally prefer art papers to lustre papers it was a wise decision to choose a paper that conformed to the broad range of genres in this book and that has a deep d-max. The majority of the included photographs are printed with a white paper border to help frame and contain the image and keep the eye from running off the page. There are a few full bleed images and these do help break up the book (although I do prefer white borders). The photographers name is included next to each image, along with their nationality and a short statement about the photograph. Overall, the presentation is clean, thoughtfully laid out and does justice to the photographs.

Print Quality: When I ordered a copy of the Outdoor Photographer of the Year Portfolio One book I was slightly worried that the print quality might not be up to standard (as is so often the case with books that encompass a collection of photographs from competition). I was very pleasantly surprised to find my fears ungrounded. The print quality is about as good as one could hope for. As I reviewed perviously – the 2014 APPA Gold Book is the gold standard in print quality surpassing anything I have yet seen from an offset printer. Outdoor Photographer of the Year Portfolio One isn’t quite up to the same lofty print standard as the APPA Gold book, but it is truly excellent and the publishers are to be commended for producing such quality reproductions.

Conclusion: It is hard not to give this book five stars based on all of the award winning photography included, but in the end I felt somewhat conflicted giving a book five stars that includes three of my own photographs. I am therefore going to give it four stars and recommend that you strongly consider adding this book to your photographic library. If you are a Nature photographer then there is quite literally something for just about every sub genre under the Nature banner. Secondly, every one of the images in this book either won an award or was highly commended in the Outdoor Photographer of the Year Competition. Finally the print quality is excellent and really does justice to the photographs. I recommend you consider purchasing a copy of this book for your library. Not only is it an excellent resource and reference to have on hand by which to evaluate your own work, but it is also contains a hefty dose of inspiration. **** You should own this book and consider it an important part of your photography library.

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