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The Photographer's Guide To Landscapes Paperback – 1 Oct 2005
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About the Author
John Freeman is a highly-experienced photographer as well as the creator of many books including the acclaimed architectural volumes London Revealed and Moscow Revealed. This book is part of a 12-title series aimed at the intermediate photographer covering every aspect of the profession - including Light, Portraits, Composition, Travel, Children, Nature and Nudes. He is also the author of the bestselling book Photography: The New Complete Guide to Taking Photographs (ISBN: 1 -84340-270-X). Based in London, SE1, he travels extensively and works regularly in the field of publishing for both books and magazines.
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The essentials chapter deals with equipment, exposure, depth of field and basic composition, among other things. The subjects include each of the seasons and then topics like rivers and canals, the weather and even the urban landscape (but no topics like mountains.) The further techniques include filters, close-ups and computer post-processing. The book is illustrated with many of the author's pictures.
The discussion does not go into much depth about either equipment, technique or vision. For example, the discussion of cameras says that single lens reflex cameras are the most versatile and that digital cameras let you preview the pictures, but not much more. The discussion of lenses tells you about the differences between lens focal lengths as far as angle of view but then tells an inadequate story about depth of field, and doesn't discuss the use of focal lengths to control perspective. When the author discusses deserts he tells you about the importance of shooting early, but tells you nothing about how to photograph the flora and fauna that live in the desert.
When I encounter a book like this, I often think that the author/photographer had a nice portfolio but couldn't find a way to put together the pictures to deal with a common theme so he or she decided that an instructional manual would sell better. But instructional books have to give instruction and this book falls down on the job.
If you want to read a book that covers the same ground but provides a lot of useful instruction (even though it doesn't deal with digital photography), read John Shaw's "Nature Photography Field Guide". More advanced photographers may benefit from reading Brenda Tharp's "Creative Outdoor & Nature Photography." For those concerned about developing their landscape vision, read Niall Benvie's "Creative Landscape Photography" or for an interesting, off-beat approach, David Ward's "Landscape Within". Finally, if you really want a book of pictures disguising as an instructional manual, try Tom Mackies's "Landscape Photography Secrets"
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