Category Archives: Books

Advanced Macro Photography & Digital Imaging

macro photography & digital imaging cover-sm

This new book was just published in January 2019 and is the ideal volume for everyone seriously interested in close-up and macro photography. Written in simple language for the digital photographer, its 150 glossy pages are cram-packed with over 270 images and diagrams in full color.

Advanced Macro Photography & Digital Imaging begins with the digital camera, basics of digital exposure, close up photography and a easy-to-understand discussion on the tools and techniques required to produce close-up and macro images. Each technique is well-illustrated with color images that enhance the text.

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This book is written with the wildlife scientist and biologist in mind, but every application is useful for any field of study where close focusing and high magnification images are used.

Included in the text are methods to standardize color and to achieve true-to life images in a manner that is accurate and repeatable.  There are sections on how to set up a macro photography studio or lab, as well as photography in the lab and in the field.

Several detailed chapters are dedicated to new digital techniques, including the use of electronic flash, very high magnification, focus stacking of multiple images for enhanced Depth of Field, and post processing software and techniques.

The ample appendix is also filled with lighting tools, techniques and diagrams, information on memory cards, electronic storage devices, file production for publication, archival standards, and much more.

The book is now available in digital format for download and in a soft cover, 8.5 x 11 inch, paper format. Both formats are available through online sales at MagCloud at .

Copyright © 2019 Brian Loflin. All rights reserved.



Just published: Bio-Medical Photography & Digital Imaging

Biomedical Photography Cover

Now available in digital and printed formats, this new publication brings the modern digital photographer the best understanding and “how-to” of producing perfectly-exposed, color balanced and true-to-life images for the scientific publishing field. This publication removes the mystery and “looks right to me” guesswork from the production of high quality images.

This publication is the culmination of years of practice and teaching digital photography. It includes information on exposure and color management, how to produce close-up and macro images with maximum detail, and the use of electronic flash for best lighting. It also includes suggestions on equipment to purchase on a budget, how to operate in a lab setting and most importantly, how to take the guesswork out of reproducing perfect exposures and color.

Also included are protocols for processing images in Photoshop and for establishing best practices and laboratory standards  for the practitioner’s own environment.

Produced by Brian Loflin, a fifty-year veteran of scientific photography and publishing. 8.5 x 11 inches. 48 pages. Perfect bound.              

To learn more, click the link below:

Loflin completes publication of book on “Austin’s Promise for Tomorrow”

Austin's Waller Creek CVR 10-2013-sm


A book about the past, present and future of the creek grew from a newspaper column.

It all started with the column published in the “Austin American-Statesman” by Michael Barnes. His recent review is reproduced in part below:

Barnes writes, “A walking survey of Waller Creek from its headwaters in the Highland neighborhood to its silty mouth on Lady Bird Lake included some excerpts from Joseph Jones’ meditative “Life on Waller Creek.”

Walter Wilkie, a recent transplant from New York, read that column. Intrigued, he ordered a copy of the out-of-print 1982 book by the late University of Texas professor.

Wilkie soon discovered what this columnist had not bothered to mention: Jones could have used a forceful editor. A man of independent means, Wilkie tried to obtain rights to Jones’ book in order to publish a trimmed edition about the urban creek that runs below his downtown high-rise.

After failing to land the rights, Wilkie, with the help of some literary heavyweights, instead backed “Austin’s Waller Creek: Promise for Tomorrow.”

The recently released picture book, edited by Phillip Fry and Carolyn H. Wright and published by Loflin & Associates, calls upon the expertise of geographers, scientists, engineers, designers and activists. It also supports the efforts of the Waller Creek Conservancy, a nonprofit seeking to transform the sometimes sketchy lower mile of the creek.

Like the result of any group effort, the book’s content is inconsistent. Yet it is unfailingly lovely from beginning to end.

The reader views the creek in its semi-natural state and then reviews its past as well as multiple efforts to revive its shores, including the current Waller Creek Tunnel under construction and a series of proposed parks that would stretch from the UT campus — where the stream is well-tended — to its mouth, where it is not.

Why a big runoff tunnel? The book’s historical sections make it clear: Waller Creek flooded badly in 1836, 1843, 1852, 1866, 1869, 1900, 1909, 1915, 1935, 1936 and 1981. Two of the worst, 1869 and 1915, were particularly destructive. During the 1915 storm, the detritus from Waller and Shoal creeks converged on the Colorado River.

From the city’s inception in 1839, people have lived right next to the creek. Although some prosperous neighborhoods grew up there — and the upper creek still cuts through the leafy Hyde Park area — those living closest to the water were generally impoverished. The arrival of a noisy, smelly train line across the creek in 1876 pretty much drove out all residents except those who had few options.

Kevin M. Anderson contributes a helpful natural history of the riparian system, making sure to include references to the great naturalist Roy Bedichek, who lived on the creek’s banks near the UT campus. He also nods to UT’s Joseph Jones, who packed his lunch to Waller Creek for more than 40 years and meticulously recorded his observations, including lists of mundane objects fished out of the valley.

Oliver Franklin informs the reader about the stretch of the creek domesticated by sculptor Elizabeth Ney, including her controversial Lake Ney, which the city ordered her to drain in 1898.

Joe Nick Patoski adds a short chapter on the history of music-making near the creek — an essential part of its cultural legacy, since the Conservancy’s plans include preservation of the Red River Street entertainment district. (One revealing photo shows the 1879 Saengerrunde Halle clad in wood planks, not brick.)

Dramatic pictures of the tunnel will make readers want to tour the underground course before it opens later this year or early next. A particularly instructive set of schematics shows how three inlets allow water to flow downhill to an outlet that actually starts below the level of Lady Bird Lake. A pond in Waterloo Park and a lagoon at the lake exit will contribute to the ongoing improvements.

Conservancy leaders such as Tom Meredith, Melanie Barnes and Melba Whatley write about their areas of interest, while Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole relates the city’s role in the process. The book gives over plenty of space to images from the MVVA design team, chosen in a Conservancy competition to create the vision for the lower creek. Their delicate, aerial traceries sometimes look like something out of the film “Avatar.”

One historical note: The book generally follows the accepted notion that Edwin Waller, the city’s first mayor and Texas President Mirabeau B. Lamar’s agent during the capital city’s founding, designed the grid plan that set Austin between Waller and Shoal creeks on high banks above the Colorado River. It also reproduces W.H. Sandusky’s weirdly truncated version of that grid from 1839.

L.J. Pilie, the man who actually surveyed the land and drew the famous “Plan of the City of Austin,” is credited with the drawing only. Waller, a man without any known background in surveying or city planning, continues to be honored for laying out the city in such a rational and beautiful manner. ”

This substantial full-color, coffee-table volume measures 9 x 12 inches and is 240 pages in length. The book designed by Brian Loflin has 312 photographs, diagrams and illustrations, some dating from as early as 1838-39 and others as of 2014.




Texas Cacti

Many of my readers believe that Arizona or maybe New Mexico are the Southwestern states with the most abundance of cacti. This is perhaps because of the large land mass covered by the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts.

It is actually not surprising to discover that Texas has a great number of cacti species as well. More than 150 species have been documented in Texas from dime-sized button cacti to seven-foot tall barrel cacti. A large portion of the Chihuahuan Desert that covers Texas west of the Pecos River and the geographic proximity of Mexico with its vast semi-arid and semi-tropical flora augments these cacti numbers. This number is also showing diversification due to the science now available allowing greater differentiation in plant species.

To get an in-depth look at cacti in Texas, you may want to review our recent book Texas Cacti, published by Texas A&M University Press.

Lace cactus, Echinocereus richenbachii,Nikon D2Xs, 200mm f 4.0 Micro Nikkor, SB-800 flash on Gitzo tripod.

I will add some additional images from the book in later posts.

© Brian Loflin 2011. all rights reserved.

Winner of Carroll Abbott Award

Shirley and I were thrilled to recently receive the Carroll Abbott Award from the Native Plant Society of Texas for our book Grasses of the Texas Hill Country. Named for the founder of the Native Plant Society of Texas, this award is presented annually for the best writings about native Texas plants in a popular vein. (Non-scientific.)

The Native Plant Society of Texas promotes research, conservation and utilization of native plants and plant habitats of Texas through education, outreach and example. NPSOT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with over 30 local chapters around Texas.

Grasses of the Texas Hill Country was our first photographic field guide published by Texas A&M University Press. We have also recently published Texas Cacti and just completed Texas Wildflower Vistas and Hidden Treasures, both by the A&M Press.

© 2011 Brian Loflin. All rights reserved.