on 28 January 2003
I've been an amateur landscape photographer for around 15 years and have many photography books. The National Geographic field guide is absolutely excellent, whatever your level of expertise. There's something in here for everyone. The book covers composition of a wide range of subjects, plus technique. There's good coverage of metering techniques etc, which many books skip.
I would strongly recommend this book to any keen photographer, and after reading it it leaves you wanting more - I'm about to buy the National Geographic Landscape guide now and hope that this is as good!
on 25 March 2001
It is not often that one finds a comprehensive book on photography that features both the technical and creative elements. An amature photographer will find all the basic, and not so basic, information about cameras, films, light, composition, and lots more; while a more advanced one is sure to enjoy the pages covering the works and attitude of NG photographers. I find the book a trifle too big to be a proper "field guide", and one yet has to see anything better than Richard Platt's "The Professional Guide to Photo Data" (ISBN 0-8553-730-3), most unfortunately unavailable from Amazon; but the NG publication gives a lot more than raw data: it gives the reader the course to pursue if one wants to grow as a photographer.
on 27 January 2001
Do National Geographic photographers produce the greatest pictures? I think so. I read this book in the hope to learn a little of their magic. For a long time I could not put my finger on that extra ingredient, the thing that gives National Geographic images that extra edge. In the end it is obvious that the NG photographers know their stuff (no surprise there) and I think what gives them the edge is their commitment and dedication to their work.
This is an excellent book for beginners. It covers the basics in technique well, without labouring the subject or missing the essentials. More advanced picture takers will also get plenty from the book, especially the insightful material on a wealth of potential subjects. Thre are lots of tips and ideas to wet the appetite. However the unique element of this book, and the piece that gives it the NG edge, are the features on the NG photographers. Their thoughts, motivation, and personal tips. And of course it is always worth just looking at the pictures.
on 26 September 2013
A good guide to photography in general. Produced in 1999, the book centres on film photography with only a few pages dedicated to digital. As the principles of photography are the same whether the pictures are recorded on silver compounds on a gelatin base, or on a silicon chip, the book is still as valid today. Photos from the National Geographic are used to great effect, including a few favourites that I recognized from such luminaries as Jodi Cobb and Sam Abell. Recommended to all with an interest in fine photography.