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.
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!
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.
I have just finished reading this book and it has probably been the first time in a few years that I have learnt "new" things from a photography guide. e.g. The book clearly shows in photographic terms how much better a tripod will make a photograph. My favourite sections were those that looked at a variety of NG photographers and how their individual approaches all contributed to the NG look and style. Go buy this book.
National Geographic has been known all over the world for it's beautiful social geographic and wildlife photography. They managed to reach this high level by working with the best photographers available at this lonely planet. The question is however; do they master the talents needed to teach this craftsmanship to beginners and more experienced hobbyists? If you try to make up youre opinion by reading this book I guess you may say they certainly do! Almost half of this guide is about the basics. The other half is about choosing subjects, accompanied with other related information like website further reading etc. It has been a very useful and fun book to read. The writers do not hesitate to use various examples to make his point. I wouldn't mind a reprint with more detailed info about the published photos though. So I love the book. If you are just starting out with your new hobby it helps a lot reading this book. Also the more experienced amateur will find this book helpful as reference guide. Hence the insides cover functions as a gray card. The title has well been chosen. One will shoot better pictures with this field guide but I never found those secrets.
I needed a new copy of this book for someone as a present to go with a film SLR I'd given them and this edition (hardback) arrived quickly and in pretty much new condition – which is great for a secondhand book. Very pleased to have it. I used my copy a lot when I first got into photography and there is so much in the pages to inspire anyone who wants their images to have some bite.
I got it last week and I still carry it around with me! I love their photos and the way they explain their tactics for each level. Lots of different tips. Lots of advice about all you can buy. Now I'm getting ready to go out and take great pictures of the beautiful countryside where I live! It even fits just right in my photo bag. I just wish that each level could be divided into separate books with more info and more examples with details of camera caracteristics.
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.
National Geographic provide some great field guides (except the Digital Photography one) and this little book covers all you need to know to improve your photography. The pro tips and guides are excellent. A little dated because it relates to film but the Digital version is pretty useless as far a photography goes. Recommended along with the Travel Field Guide.