Andrew Zuckerman – Bird

Andrew Zuckerman seems to have figured out how he wants to use new media to spread the word about these books and films he’s pumping out. He creates a simple custom site: http://www.birdbook.org/; then a vimo channel for the 9 excerpt and behind the scenes videos: http://vimeo.com/channels/bird#5701425; then the publisher (chronicle) has a site with an embeddable preview of the book (here), plus they have facebook and twitter channels. He’s certainly at the forefront of testing all these cool new ways to get the word out. Certainly worth keeping your eye on, plus the pictures are fantastic.

Discovered it on a blog of course, Swissmiss.

Bird — Book of Photography

There Are 21 Comments On This Article.

  1. A fine example of a behind-the-scenes video with great editing and high production values, that doesn’t come off as a douchey self-glorifying piece, but rather a fun inclusion for the viewer.

  2. All I can say is if you see an ad where Zuckerman is trying to sell some used white seamless, you might want to think twice.

    I wonder how these books are going to be received by real nature photographers (i.e., the guys that go trudging up mountains and through jungles to photograph wildlife in its natural habitat). I also wonder if PETA might weigh in. There does seem to be an element of exploitation here.

    Otherwise, nothing wrong with having a marketing plan.

      • @Paul Bennett,

        I never said I didn’t like the images. And I’m certainly not saying they are crap. But looking at it from a marketing perspective the concept seems problematic and controversial to me.

        Of the universe of people who might spend money on a coffee-table book about birds, wildlife photographers (or people who buy gifts for them) and environmentalists are probably high on the list. Both of those communities have cause to cry, well, foul over shots done in a studio.

        I was simply wondering how this work might be received. Granted John James Audubon killed, and dismembered, literally thousands of birds to create his “Birds of America” folio. But those were different times. I can see accusations that this work was both cruel (forcing birds to perform for the camera) and disingenuous (white seamless isn’t a natural habitat). Hence I wonder what impact that might have on sales.

        • @Tom,

          Shooting anything on a solid background is taking it out of it’s natural habitat. That is the point. That is what makes those images so graphic, so visually interesting. Isolating the subject so completely is what allows the viewer to study it in a new way, without any distractions. This makes the photographer’s ability to both capture a moment and to pick that moment out of many very similar looking frames that much more important.

          Anytime anything is done involving animals in captivity, there are going to be accusations of exploitation.

          In this instance, I think it’s a little like saying Anne Geddes exploits babies. And if any of those people think that might also be true, perhaps they could consider redirecting some of their energies.

        • @Tom, I have no doubt that you’re correct about that. I could give my opinion on some ULTRA liberal animal rights activists who consider the the slaughter of farm animals as murder, or who might consider taking a portrait of a bird as exploitation, but….

          1. This is not the forum for such a debate.
          2. I don’t really have time because I’m about to enjoy some delicious baked salmon for my late lunch.

  3. Kudos to Andrew for figuring out a system to get his books sold. I heard he was on Oprah pushing one of his other publications. Sounds like getting a publisher is a lot easier than getting publicity.

  4. To respond to [part of] Tom’s comment above, I think there’s a place for studio “nature” photography just as there’s a place for studio photography, environmental portraiture, documentary photography, etc. vis-a-vis humans. And while I do have mixed feelings about wild animals in captivity –the reflection of a soft box and other lighting equipment in the pupil of an owl is slightly unsettling, I’ll admit– the photos are great, and the subjects are especially fantastic.

  5. I think Andrew is creative and has used some tools to create a product with value. I love nature, the wild and respect it. I am reminded of these words;

    “Gen 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

    When I watch the video I didn’t treatment the harmed any of th birds, especially since the handlers were involved. The offer mare care and protect for the animals than the average person. God Bless Andrew for using the creativity God has given him.

    • @Ed Hamlin,
      Goddamn Could you mention your lord and savior any more in one posting?

      Cool work of Mr Zuckerman

  6. I would hate to see this section get hijacked by talk about PETA and ‘animal exploitation’ (are you kidding me?). I know nothing about Andrew Zuckerman, nor his motives. And that is fine with me. I would rather just enjoy the terrific work from an obviously talented shooter.

  7. Sara Schneider, from Chronicle publishing is interviewed on an Adbase podcast, available free from the iTunes store. BTW Chronicle is the publisher of Zuckerman’s book.

    Lots of interesting info, but you have to listen carefully. Things like how they choose projects and photographers, and how they handle shoots. They may be a good fit for some APE readers.

    The Adbase interviews are mind numbing (same questions asked), but do contain some gems of info. They run about 20-25 minuets. They may be worth a look.

  8. OH My God! This is so mean to do and such a rape of the species… How dare he!….. hahahahah Just kidding. Are you guys serious with the PETA crap? Bottom line is that those are some really cool images, and Im not a bird lover, nor do I care about birds that much but…. shit…. I’d buy the book just because it looks like it was shot well and very tasteful. AND I would flip through it while I had a chicken breast sandwich in one hand and a giant 5 egg omelette sitting alongside me

  9. Fabian Gonzales

    A simple, unoriginal, even somewhat overdone, concept – but the execution is excellent. Mother nature is the real star here though. It never ceases to amaze me what exists here on this earth.

  10. new ways – yeah sure- but aehm cool?

    I’m sorry but doing all the web promotion is a work that simply sucks no matter if you do it yourself or if you are the intern who has to do it.

    I have a longing for the old times where cooking coffee the whole day was the worst scenario for an intern or assitent. now we are all condemned to use the isolated communication tools and on top of that brainwashed to think it is “cool”.

    yeah and lookig at all of it on a screen ain’t so cool either –

    I’m of to a real bookstore…

    • @doktor, You should cancel your internet after you get back from that bookstore. That would be pretty cool.