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4.2 out of 5 stars23
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 20 January 2011
The new Insight Guide Travel Photography How to take striking images (ed. Tony Halliday) is an object lesson to other publishers and their editors in how to produce a great, readable, perusable instructional book.
For some bizarre reason such books are often the opposite of what you'd expect for a visual and exciting subject with very wide appeal. Example: the absolutely dreadful Canon Eos Digital Photography Photo Workshop by Serge Timacheff which does the nearly impossible - it combines poor picture selection, with poor picture quality, bad layout and impenetrable captions. Think that's unusual? Don't bother to buy this next one, just trust me: the Collins Complete Photography Course is as clunky as clunky gets and is so badly laid out that it is actually unreadable. A quick perusal of the photography section of any major book store will produce dozens more like these.
Why? There are two good reasons. First, publishers make the dire mistake of having these books created by photographers rather than good book editors, on the dubious principle that techies must know how to create a book on their specialist subject. Usually, they don't. Second, photo selection is a skilled and highly creative business in which art comes way before educational purpose. If, like the Collins authors John Garrett and Graeme Harris, you work on the principle that images used must only illustrate the point being made (which sounds logical) you will end up with the equivalent of a restaurant which offers unpalatable ingredients rather than seductive dishes.
The Insight Guides are rightly famed for the brilliance of their imagery and the sharp layout of text and graphics all of which, in a great book, need to be offered in an integrated whole. It's no accident that this new and impressive book is edited by someone who has two decades of experience producing great travel books. It's evident from every page of this book that he has exactly the corpus of editorial experience and archive materials needed to avoid techie-dom, to side-step clunkiness and do what should be done with such a rich subject: produce a celebration of imagery, colour, visual excitement and... yes... wait for it.. it's coming... instruction that you want to act on. Result: exactly what is needed by a market full of people like me, who wander the globe taking a lot of poor shots and an occasional great one but never quite knowing why. The solution, more or less guaranteed: buy the book and take Tony Halliday and his team on holiday with you. They'll chat to you about the boring stuff - light, composition and the camera; they'll explain the Rule of Thirds and Golden Section in a visual way you'll instantly understand; and they'll take the classic subjects - mountains, seascapes, city lights, peoples and safari and the rest, and shake life back into them for you.
One reason I think this book moves the genre way beyond the simply instructional is that it also combines some fascinating photographic travel history (and the appropriate images) with a truly classic archive of great shots by the known and less well known. It's really good to know in whose footsteps we tread as we raise our cameras to take another image. It might just help make our own better and more memorable.
In ten years time you'll be looking through this book and planning the next journey and the pictures thereof with pleasure. Your Canon and Collins books will linger only as a bad dream in which you threw them out of a train window in Peru to return them to the environment from which the paper wasted in making them should never have been wrested in the first place...
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on 1 September 2014
Oh dear, where was the copy editor? Some booboos are funny -"The Rule of Things", or "angle of view less than 50 degrees is called wide angle". Others are annoying - example photos missing for instance.

In general the book is let down by poor examples, using agency photos, often of doubtful relevance, where the authors don't seem to know the exposure details. Even when illustrating exposure bracketing there are no captions to say what the exposure was. Likewise when illustrating different focal lengths.

And there aren't enough examples either - for instance the section on using histograms doesn't have a single example.

However, if you can see past all that, there is a lot of useful information here. Much more than most books that sell for under £2. And a lot of it is applicable generally, not just for travel photography.
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on 17 August 2013
Having just completed a book (on Kindle) with the same title I bought this book in order to see how the authors tackled this very broad subject.
Their approach surprised me. Where as my book has a very practical bias (i.e. it deals with issues we all face when travelling) this book takes on a much broader approach. The two books make a perfect pairing.
This Insight Guide is superb at what it does. It comes close to being a comprehensive text book on the history of photography, the techniques of photography, and the opportunities (and pitfalls) of photography in different environments.
A great read, too much to take in at one sitting but a good book to return to over and over again.
A MUST BUY FOR EVERY PHOTOGRAPHER who is interested in photography. It certainly is not limited to (but is directed towards) those whose main interest is in travel photography.
You will never find better at the price.
If you want to see my approach to the same subject please use this direct link. TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY (POPULAR GUIDES TO GREAT PHOTOGRAPHY)
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on 23 June 2015
I have been impressed by the Insight travel guides and tje photos within, so I bought the Kindle version of the book. I must say it is quite mediocre and really only suitable for beginners. There is a considerable section of the book covering the history of photography and of Insight guides. The history of photography is unnecessary for this book.
The kindle format means photos are spread over two pages also. I had to bookmark the contents list in order to navigate my way around. Unimpressed.
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on 14 December 2010
This book was ideal for me as an amateur photographer, I love travel and photography but without going on an expensive course it can be difficult to work out what your doing wrong when it comes to your pictures. I loved the way it guides you through different situations rather than just telling you what each setting on your camera does. I also now understand what the histogram actually represents thanks to this book, which gives it an extra star from me. I also like the tips it gives you on touching up your photos digitally, and how to try and make money from your pictures (which we all secretly wish we could do :) )

All in all a very good book which will have a space reserved in my travel bag for a long time.
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on 30 September 2011
I bought this as a present for a friend, so can't exactly comment on everything that's inside the book. However, my friend is very into her photography and was about to embark on a trip across Asia, so I thought it was appropriate. Seemed good value for money with lots of info inside and some great tips.
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on 20 September 2014
Excellent read if you fancy becoming a travel photographer, as I would!
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on 28 July 2014
Good for the beginner wanting some tips and things to try.
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on 3 February 2012
This is a super book. Not too technical but giving a huge amount of info. on almost every subject with some delightful photos to illustrate. Any enthusiast will find something of interest.
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on 25 August 2014
Excellent photographic advice and tips
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