‘Getting Closer: Rediscovering Nature Through Bird Photography’ by Paul Sorrell

Getting Closer

Getting Closer

Using birds as the focus, Getting Closer is a simple, practical guide to ‘rewilding’ yourself and engaging with the natural world, while improving your photographic skills.

Across the world, as we are forced to physically distance and our travel horizons narrow, there is a huge upsurge in simple pastimes that reconnect us with nature. As a result, interest in backyard bird watching is booming. Free and easily accessible, even in urban environments, this meditative activity that encourages us to slow down and appreciate nature is a simple salve that people of all ages are flocking to.

Paul Sorrell is a photographer, writer and editor with a life-long interest in the natural world. His new book, Getting Closer, is aimed at helping us reframe our relationship with nature through bird photography. Much more than an indulgent hobby, Paul argues that birding and bird photography offer us the chance to refocus on our connection with nature, lost to most of us since childhood. In the face of impending ecological disaster, Paul considers that reconnecting with nature is our most urgent task.

Full of stunning photographic inspiration, Getting Closer presents photography as a way of achieving greater intimacy with the natural world. With a focus on birds, the book is directed primarily at photographers (of all levels of skill and experience), but also at birders and people interested in the outdoors.

The author explores ways of becoming attentive to the natural world around you, wherever you may live. Topics range from ‘the four seasons’ and ‘winds and tides’ to ‘flight shots’ and ‘colour and texture.’ Paul introduces basic, hands-on techniques that, with practice, will enable readers to both deeply connect with their environment and become proficient wildlife photographers. ‘Top tips’ on each spread provide technical information aimed at more serious photographers, but even those armed only with a phone camera will view the world differently after reading this book.

*95% of the images are taken at Orokonui Ecosanctuary in Dunedin.


Paul Sorrell took up photography in the early 2000s, giving him a new form of creative engagement with his longstanding interest in wildlife and the natural world. His images have featured in local, national and international wildlife photography competitions and widely published in print and online. Paul lives in Dunedin.

RRP $44.99 Getting Closer is available from www.exislepublishing.com and wherever good books are sold.