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Travel and Photography: Off the Charts Paperback – 8 Mar 2006

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"The commercial and travel photographer discusses what kind of equipment to take (film vs. digital, that is the question), light and lighting, what kind of clothing to take, as well as technical concerns (proper composition) and content (what subjects to photograph)..Includes gorgeous color photographs." - Chicago Tribune, Sept. 24, 2006

"Travel Photography: Off the Charts is an instructional manual containing technical information and guidance from this well-known master. It includes advice on equipment needed and clothing to wear, but also composition and what to photograph. There are even chapters on security and health. For those who want to learn more about travel photography or the stlye used by Lou Jones, this is a great resource." - Apogee Photo Magazine, August 2006

"Lou Jones is a commercial and art photographer. He knows his way around a camera and, more important, he knows how to get the image that he wants." - Sunday Eagle/Chicago Tribune

"Lou Jones offers advice on how to organize your photographs and tackles such diverse subjects as health, transportation and security. Includes gorgeous color photographs." - Chicago Tribue (review published in the Sunday Eagle)

"It's not hard to be swept into Jones's exuberance for his subject. Beginners and more advanced photographers alike can glean insight into the mystery of what seems simple but takes skill: a great photo" -Necee Regis, Boston Sunday Globe

"The book's layout mixes short narratives and quotes with beautiful photographs linked with informative text. It's pleasing to the eye as well as the mind. It will work well on the coffee table and, even better, will fit in your travel bag." -Necee Regis, Boston Sunday Globe

"Any day now, Lou Jones will be declared a national treasure. An impossible to classify photographer-he's adept at sports, photojournalism, travel, commercial, studio, editorial and advertising-he's an astute and witty observer of the world at large. Those lucky enough to be on the recipients' list for his postcards from the road-these days they're e-mail messages-treasure his poetic observations of people, places and cultures.
For the rest, there's this book, a compilation of a road warrior's notes and the accumulated lore of 30-plus years of photographic experience. It's a freewheeling exploration of travel photography that touches on just about everything: what cameras and lenses to carry, what to shoot, what clothes to wear, how to handle your money and how to keep yourself healthy. For good measure he throws in the 11 commandments of travel photography. Each photograph adds relevance to the text by illustrating the subject at hand: lighting, exposure, composition, lens choice and so on.
Travel + Photography: Off the Charts is the next best thing to sitting down for a long conversation about photography and the world with a man eminently familiar with both."

About the Author

Lou Jones is one of Boston's most diverse commercial & art photographers. This prolific, award-winning photographer specializes in photo illustration & location photography for corporate, advertising & collateral projects. His client list is as impressive as are his photographs -- IBM, FED EX, American Express, Oldsmobile, AETNA, Museum of Fine Arts, Fortune Magazine, US News & World Report & National Geographic. Jones' assignments have taken him to Europe, Central & South America, Africa, Japan & 46 of the 50 states. Assignments have placed Jones on location at NASA, Boeing, Universal Studios, British Telecom (England) & Saab (Sweden).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 13 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
On the Road 26 Sept. 2006
By Conrad J. Obregon - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is aimed at the inexperienced travel photographer and discusses considerations relevant to taking photographs on the road. The book does not deal with photographic technique except in the most cursory manner, such as pointing out the existence of histograms on digital cameras, but not detailing an explanation of their use to adjust exposure.

After a brief discussion of equipment and a comparison of film and digital for the traveler (digital is less likely to be harmed by x-rays), the author writes about topics like clothing, composition, what to photograph, research, editing, security, health, transportation, language and money. Most of the topics will seem like common sense to an experienced traveler. For example, Jones advises the traveler not to wear clothing which will call attention to his or herself. I would think this should be obvious to most travelers, but I have seen the clothing that some people wear when they expect to be photographing strangers, and they could have used this advice. Similarly the advice not to carry large sums of cash around while traveling seems self-evident. But once again, some people do, so I suppose the advice is warranted.

I really expected the advice on what to photograph to be meaty, but once again, most of the material seemed self-evident. For example, the author suggests taking pictures of people in traditional costume. But sometimes it's difficult for a traveler to find people in traditional dress. I'd have liked to know how the author found people wearing such garb. The chapter on what to photograph seemed to mostly deal in broad generalities.

Now it may be that taking pictures while traveling is no different than taking any other kind of picture. The principles of landscape photography probably apply, whether one is in California or India (but maybe not). On the other hand getting into a Japanese silk factory may involve some special skills that Jones could teach us.

Jones' pictures are sprinkled throughout the book. While they do not always seem closely related to the nearby textual material, they certainly are interesting travel pictures. In fact, one could probably get a better idea of what to photograph by examining these pictures and asking oneself what was going on in the picture and why the photographer felt that this was a picture worth taking.

I wondered what the subtitle "Off the Charts" meant. I would have thought it might mean that the author would show us how to go to places off the beaten path. However, there doesn't seem to be too much like that in this book.

In summery, here's a book aimed at the inexperienced traveler, telling them some basic does and don'ts about travel and travel photography.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
two snaps up, and a full circle 12 Mar. 2007
By Mr. Scott Eccleston - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is a delight, a book that you feel fortunate to have in your hands.

And it's really more than one book - it's five books in one cover, this is how I read it.

Book 1: It's a picture book.

You can't just open it and start reading; it's just not that easy. Why? Because starting with the very first page you are greeted with Lou Jones images. Lou's pictures are more than what you first see, more than the initial point of focus. As your eyes start to move it is grabbed by another point of interest, and then another. And then you realize that what you were looking at was not a picture about one thing; it was a story about many things.

After you absorb all of the pictures on page one, curiosity has you turn the page to see if there are more to follow. Each time you turn page, you are rewarded with up to four images. And before you know it, you've reached the last page, grateful for the almost 200 pages that make up this book, and a little disappointed that you have reached the end.

Book 2: It's an instruction manual.

There are roughly 150 images in this book, some taken for his commercial clients, others taken over several Olympics, and still more taken during Lou's travels all over the globe. Along with each image you also get the how and why the images were taken, information that would interest anyone with even the slightest curiosity of photography and the photographic process.

1. Where the image was taken

2. Why Lou thought it was an image was worth capturing

3. What the conditions were (weather, lighting, etc.)

4. How the conditions were overcome (lens choice, shutter speed, tripod, etc.)

5. How the time of the day impacted the image

It's similar to watching the Food Channel; they start by showing you the most delicious food, and then give the list of ingredients followed by step by step instructions so you too can make this marvelous dish.

This is what Lou Jones does for us in this book, he shows you the possibilities, and then arms you with the knowledge to be able to evaluate a given situation and select the tools to make it work.

Book 3: It's a helping of wisdom sprinkled with a little humor.

Throughout the book you will find quotes from photographers, the Bible, and great "thinkers" that make you pause a moment to digest the words.

Here are a few of my favorite:

"If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough" - Robert Capa

"Imagination is more important that knowledge" - Albert Einstein

"Light is an active, aggressive force" - Jay Maisel

"Photography in direct sunlight is like drinking from a fire hose" - John Sachs

"Clothes make the man, naked people have little or no influence in society" - Mark Twain

Book 4: Pearls (AKA "Yellow Boxes").

In each chapter you will find one or more "yellow boxes", highlighted areas that contain a paragraph or two, pearls of wisdom related to the chapter topic. I took it as Lou saying, "If you take only one thing from this chapter be sure this is it".

Chapter one is on equipment and the yellow box talks about the importance of a good watch, keeping track of your time zones, and the cultural impact of timeliness.

Chapter seven is about international travel and the need to do your research before you leave, that a simple thing like color can be truly important. Did you know that green is considered bad luck in England, good luck in Ireland, and absolutely sacred in Islam?

Chapter ten focuses on health. You learn why you should have your own health kit when you travel and that it should include syringes. Things that a novice traveler would give no thought to, but when you hear from an experienced traveler of what to do and why, it goes from no thought to a "no-brainer"

Book 5: The meat and potatoes.

Once you finish reading the first four "books", it's time to dig into most in-depth and detailed part of the book, the chapter content.

The first few chapters are dedicated strictly to photography. Chapters on cameras, lenses, tripods and filters. There is an entire chapter on the subject of film vs. digital and how airport security and the effect of x-rays on film is "another compelling reason to switch to digital".

The chapter on lighting that will give you an outstanding explanation of a histogram, exposure, how to use available light and the properties of light.

Then Lou moves into the important things you should, no MUST, know and do before you travel, as well as what to do and how to act when you are a guest in another country.

The subjects are covered so well and in such detail that anyone who is considering traveling internationally should seriously consider getting this book.

Lou explains the how's and why's of researching prior to leaving on your trip, covering important things to do (and not to do) with your passport, insurance and terrorism.

What about jet lag, water, food, sunburn altitude sickness and bug bites? It's covered. So is getting there and back - customs, airports, planes, trains, and automobiles.

Lou will also explain that clothing to bring and why for all weather conditions, hot, cold, and wet.

If you haven't picked up on it yet, this is one of my favorite books, the kind of book that when I lend it out I make a note of who took it, so I will be sure to get it back.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Best Travel Photography Book Yet 11 Jan. 2007
By Donald Gurewitz - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a professional travel photographer, I can unequivocally endorse Lou Jones' "Travel and Photography" as simply the best book available on the subject. It has a tremendous amount of useful information for the serious amature and the experienced professional. Although I do this for a living, I have found one useful idea after another in this wonderful volume. It has everything you could think of asking about--and more, much more. The book is actually mistitled: it should be "How to Travel--and Take Great Pictures Too", because the book really discusses photography in the context of the art of traveling--how to go to new places and really see and experience what these places have to offer. Every insight is illustrated with a story from Jones' experience, and it makes the book a pleasure to read--something much more than just a useful handbook. Jones is one of the best and most versatile photographers shooting today, and this is a must read for anyone, amature or professional, with a serious interest in travel photography.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Travel and Photography: Off the Charts 24 Sept. 2006
By Vin - Published on
Format: Paperback
Lou Jones has put together a book that any working photographer as well as a photography enthusist should have in their library. Travel and Photography: Off the Charts is full of pictures as well as information based on Mr. Jones' experiences traveling through many countries. If you're going to the next town or around the world, this book is worth having.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The travel and photography survival guide that fits neatly in your backpack! 22 Sept. 2008
By Jo Cush - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Travel and photography" is a must have survival guide for any traveller or enthusiastic photographer. It is a lonely planet, survival guide and photography book all rolled into 1.

This book fitted perfectly into the front of my backpack and travelled with me through 18 counties. With each border crossing, each extreme change of climate and the ever change in culture, this book guided me along on how to capture the ultimate moments.

In this book Lou Jones offers his expert advice of what equipment to carry, how to deal with any lighting situation along with composition tips, as well as sharing his own personal travel experiences and gives advice on how to travel safely, how to adapt to different cultures ("On another country's turf, they're right and you're wrong") and how to overcome various illnesses that come hand in hand with traveling.

If you are thinking about going traveling around the world or just across the state, this book will guarantee that your photographs will capture the excitement and beauty of this world that made you want to go travel in the first place.
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