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National Geographic: The Ultimate Field Guide to Photography Paperback – November 21, 2006

3.8 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bob Martin is a London-based professional with twenty years experience in sports photography and documentary photojournalism. In 2005 he won the World Press Photo Award for "Sports Picture of the Year," and has been British Sports Photographer of the Year three times. His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Time, Stern, L'Equipe, Paris Match, and The Sunday Times, to name a few publications among many.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (November 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0792262093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792262091
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,412,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Healey has worked in photography for over 10 years, and has written and contributed to books for National Geographic and Wiley. His photographs have been published by a wide variety of clients that include publications, hotels, NGOs, and companies large and small.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book is good but not as good as previous editions. It lacks the chapters for photographic techniques that the last field guide had. I liked that there is information for the digital darkroom but I wanted more information on how to shoot different activities.
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Format: Paperback
This is a solid, basic, but fairly detailed and up-to-date intro to various aspects of photography, that includes sensible introductions written by expert photographers, and covers a range of topics from obvious (exposure) to more exotic (using phone cameras for diaries and travelogues or putting edible versions of your pictures on a birthday cake); it includes brief 2-page interviews with luminaries that explain a particular photo or similar 2-page " portfolio" spreads that showcase their work. I wish it had more info about each of the numerous photos included, especially regarding camera, exposure info and lens info (a few examples have it, most don't). There is an intro section on photo-editing in Photoshop, a section on scanning, and a very brief but competent history of film photography every aspiring amateur should know. This is not an in-depth book on a particular type of photography (such as sports or macro or travel) or technique (such as exposure or nigt-photography), but it is a good point of departure for beginners, and a good orientation in exosting techniques and possibilities. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
This is definitely an ultimate guide. There is so much information, great tips, and very nice photos. There book is filled with amazing photos with tips on how to acquire similar looking photos on your own. The writing style is understandable, with the authors explaining things without talking down to the reader. I highly recommend this guide.
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Format: Paperback
Coverage is not very systematic or detailed. The basic principles of good photography are mentioned but not elaborated. The photos are mostly excellent but were chosen more for their arresting value than for their ability to illustrate the rules discussed. There is some nice material on using unconventional cameras such as camera phones, polaroid, and antique cameras. There are also some compelling but brief discussions of photojournalism. Nothing really wrong with this book but there are so many better books that it doesn't make sense to buy this one.
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Format: Paperback
Eleven chapters attempt to cover the following topics:
Buying Your Digital Camera
Point and Shoot
Basic Rules - composition, depth of field, etc.
Advanced Techniques - motion, portraits, wedding photos
Camera Phones
Digital Darkroom
Making Better Prints - desktop printers, monitor calibration.
Film Photography
Scanning
Archiving
Projects - calendars, prints, albums.
More On Photography - a list of websites

Most of the topics are not well suited to a book. Rapid technical advancement insures that chapters on buying a digital camera, camera phones, printing, scanning and archiving are going to be obsolete the moment the book is published. It appears the book was assembled by a committee that couldn't agree on its direction, scope, or philosophy. Scatter-shot examples (e.g. pinhole cameras, guassian blur and the history of film) coupled with a serious lack of depth (1 page on wedding photography, 1 page on wildlife) makes one wonder how they defined the intended audience.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a novice photographer, and I'm finding this book extremely helpful. The writing is un-pretentious and easily understandable. It is chock-full of useful information and tips, and is well-organized. I also like the fact that it contains many full-page examples of NatGeo photographs that illustrate the techniques written about, and the photographer profiles are interesting too. A definite must-have for someone who has gotten into photography.

I would have given it 5 stars, except for the fact that the binding is terrible on this edition. It is marketed as a "field guide", which lead me to believe I could take to the places I want to photograph. Instead, pages started falling out after reading the first two chapters in my house. I'm the type to take care not to crease the spines of my paperbacks too. Be careful handling this book.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not even halfway through this book yet, but I feel the need to pause and share my feelings about it. This book is fantastic for the beginner who wants to grab a better understanding for terminology and techniques of photography. I have taken several workshops and read several other books on photography as well, but for the first time, I'm actually UNDERSTANDING what terms mean. They have written this book so that it is easier to understand than others I've seen.

True there are some sections I feel needed to be in a different book such as selecting your camera to buy, using your cameraphone, film photography (though this is debatable since that is where it started), scanning and archiving. That said, I still think that the price paid for this book is quite a steal! ($13, Bargain Bin at Barnes and Noble)
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