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National Geographic Complete Photography Hardcover – September 20, 2011

4.3 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The book is clearly written, full of beautiful photos, and includes a glossary and list of resources for further reading.” –Book News

About the Author

Scott Stuckey is managing editor of National Geographic Traveler magazine, author of a magazine column on panoramic photography, and author of National Geographic Ultimate Field Guide to Travel Photography.
 
Contributors James P. Blair and Pritt Vesilind are longtime National Geographic photographers.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142620776X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1426207761
  • Product Dimensions: 7.2 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

For his Ultimate Field Guide to Travel Photography, writer Scott Stuckey, managing editor at National Geographic Traveler, interviewed the magazine's top photographers, picking their brains to get their best tips. Most photography how-to books are based on the expertise of one photographer. This one taps the know-how of 15 different shooters. Collectively, they've shot an immense range of destinations, from the streets of Calcutta to the lagoons of Bora Bora. So here, in one book, the world's top travel photographers--Bob Krist, Jim Richardson, Macduff Everton, Michael Melford, Catherine Karnow, Justin Guariglia, Aaron Huey, and many others--reveal their shooting secrets. The book covers basic and advanced techniques, with particular emphasis on specific strategies for shooting cities, countryside, people in places, adventure and nature, wildlife, authentic culture, and much more. This book covers core technical concepts, such as lighting, exposure, and composition, but goes beyond technique by delving into approach--explaining how professionals position themselves to get shots worthy of publication in the world's most widely read travel magazine. What's more, in an in-depth chapter titled "Get the Story," the book reveals how to take pictures that go beyond stunning to create a travel story, an essential quality for getting your pictures published.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
For the money(approx $25) that Amazon is selling it for, the book is worth it for someone just getting into photography who wants a broad overview of the subject. I actually bought it directly from Nat Geo and paid in excess of $35, and feel that my money wasn't well spent. On the positive side, it covers a lot of ground, including how a camera works, some history of photography, the basic discussion of f-stops, shutter speeds and depth of field. There are sections on lighting, file storage, lenses, flash photography, composition and just about every topic there is related to photography. It doesn't cover any one topic in very much detail, however. Most sections are two pages, with very little text to offer any in-depth advice. For example, the section on weddings is 2 paragraphs in which they tell you to try to get to know the bride and groom so that your photos match their style, "catch the bride as she is getting her hair done" and "try different angles". Along the side of this text are 3 tips; one about using flash, one about using a longer lens to avoid being obtrusive, and another that tells you to bring a stepladder for a different perspective. There are 3 examples of wedding photos. Other topics (gardens, still life, water sports, etc.) are given similar treatment. There are plenty of great photos as well as short profiles of professional photographers in which they give a brief summary of their line of work. There are other examples of "what makes this a great shot". I was just disappointed with the lack of real substance here. I didn't feel it helped me learn much and it's not a book I'll refer back to for anything that I can think of. They are simply trying to cover so much that nothing is discussed in depth.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was disappointed with the book as the previous reviewer has stated there is no substance. I was expecting much more detail in photography techniques etc specially as it was from National Geographic. The book lists all the topics which are more or less covered in less than half a page of text and rest with a picture example: photographing people,Portraits,,Family pictures,Babies etc. I finally returned the book.
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By ColBuckshot on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the price of this book it should have been a lot better. It is not a How-to book but What-could-be-done book. The text doesnt describe the photos, only in general terms. Very disappointed coming from Nat Geo. It is not a coffee table book as the photos are not big either. Just an average book, not many nuggets to mine here.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's very hard for me to rate this book. I found it simultaneously helpful and enlightening, while being lacking in many ways. This book talks about many different photographic situations and contains fairly disjointed tips about each situation. for example, fast-moving wildlife, moving water, city scenes, etc. Basically, the book tried to cover everything and didn't cover anything thoroughly. However, I actually got some great tips from the book. I also enjoyed the pieces written by and about the various National Geographic photographers about their well-known photos. The book as a definite lack of the "how-to" approach. it shows me a great photo, and tells me why it's great, but it doesn't tell me how the photographer achieved that. I did get some great ideas from the book, though. I will say it was a thoroughly enjoyable read, but it left me wondering "Ok, this is what I want. How to do I get this photo?"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Complete Photography offers lots of information over it's 400+ pages, but nearly all of it is presented in a sort of magazine sidebar style, with more of a general overview of topics rather than anything bordering on detailed. Personally, I wasn't looking for a basic "how to" manual as I've dozens of books that cover that side of photography. However, I was hoping for more insight and examples of how Nat Geo photogs go about composing/lighting/processing their shots, but, instead, we're only given a handful of one page examples that breakdown WHY it's a good photo, but say nothing as to HOW it was put together.

As with most Nat Geo products, the writing is superb and the images are lovely, but it simply doesn't live up to it's title or promise.
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Format: Hardcover
I come from an artistic background having been in advertising and art for some time, so perhaps that gives me a different perspective on this book as a whole. If you are looking for a detailed how-to-be-a-photographer guide, no such book exists. A person cannot learn how to be an artist from reading a book. What this book does is provide many chapters containing overviews of the aspects of photography, each of which require entire books on their own.

A book such as this gives a thorough background into photography in an easily digestible form for the beginning student. It flows well, is understandable and gives a beginner tips as to the artistry. These tips and rules should be expounded upon by the student to further their understanding. Practical experience and further, more focused and detailed books should be studied once the basics (including this book) are out of the way.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having been described as an A to Z book on photography I would have expected the book to give more details on the photographs displayed, ie. what equipment and lens has been used and what were the main settings used. I saw that this is almost completely lacking from the book. The book has fantastic photos that inspire every inspiring photographer.
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