- Series: A Lark Photography Book
- Paperback: 192 pages
- Publisher: Lark Books; 1st edition (October 7, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1600591108
- ISBN-13: 978-1600591105
- Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #497,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Digital Masters: Travel Photography: Documenting the World's People & Places (A Lark Photography Book) Paperback – October 7, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
One of his key approaches is choosing minimum gear for maximum impact on the road. This, for instance, is of great value to me on my upcoming trip to Central America. Old shooters with bad backs (and young shooters who *will* one day develop bad backs) will both benefit form this advice. I am transitioning from the latter to the former, FWIW.
It is an excellent overview for people who had long travelled with their film cameras but are a little overwhelmed on how to approach the 10,000-slides-of-the-Grand-Canyon problem with digital. He spends a chapter on organizing and sharing photos in the digital age. (Thankfully, hard drives now take up far less space than did boxes of chromes.)
If you have been shooting travel for the last 30 years (like Bob has) the travel shooting techniques will be a refresher course, but a look into his modern workflow and approach more than justifies the ridiculously low price of this book.
If you are just starting out on your journey as a travel photographer, this book will serve as en excellent guidepost. It is a shame to invest so much time and effort into the trip of a lifetime and have your photos suffer for not having had this kind of overall advice.
And that is the main value of this book -- it is the ideal "Survey of Travel Photography" course. It is systemic, and up to the minute. It will not turn you into a travel photography rock star. That part is up to you. But it will absolutely keep you from doing something photographically stupid on a major excursion and regretting it later.
Which to me, was far more important.
Bob Krist obviously doesn't think so. He's been taking wonderful photographs during his travels and writing about travel photography for years. In his latest book he discusses the gear to use for travel photography; the workflow of a digital photographer on the road; the nature of light; composition; what he calls "moment" which seems to be the picture element that deals with exciting or interesting content; the use of flash; portraits; archiving and sharing; and survival tips. He even includes an afterward that stresses that exciting content is far more important than technique.
Krist emphasizes the importance of doing research before traveling so that one has some idea of subjects to photograph, and in the chapter on sharing he emphasizes the importance of planning the categories of shots one might want to capture. I was reminded that after at least one trip, I realized that, although I had some magnificent pictures, I had failed to capture a few images that would have allowed me to tie those pictures into a story.
His chapter on portraits emphasized the method of getting people to pose for the photographer rather then camera techniques, and included a discussion of tipping. I suspect that many travelers have missed good portraits because they didn't know how to approach a possible subject.
Experienced photographers probably can skim much of this book. If you know how to take landscape, architectural and portrait photos there is not a lot you will learn about these subjects from Krist's writing that will improve those skills (although his tips on protecting your equipment in far-off places may be helpful). On the other hand looking at his photographs may provide a wealth of ideas. The author's images adorn every page, but often there is no explanation of the individual picture, although one can usually draw a connection between the text and the picture, Still, I would have liked a little technical data and often wondered where the picture had been taken.
For the inexperienced photographer, who expects to go on vacation and wants to get ready to capture more than just snapshots, and who doesn't want to spend the time to read several books, the book may provide a needed boost. But, and Krist doesn't say this, that individual should also spend time learning about his or her camera and actually taking pictures to see what needs to be learned. The middle of an exciting event in an exotic location is no time to find out that you don't know how to use your flash.
The book is a curious blend of topics. For example, Krist spends time describing the differences between point-and-shot cameras and digital single lens reflex cameras (DSLR's), which is really a very fundamental issue, and then presumes the reader knows how to control depth-of-field. My guess is that anyone who knows about depth-of-field doesn't need information about the advantages of DSLR's over point-and-shoots. Similarly, he suggests using a graduated neutral density filter, without providing any further instruction, and then details what fill flash is. Some books are aimed at beginners and some at experienced photographers, and it's probably a mistake to try to appeal to folks at both skill levels in a short book.
This book will provide a nice introduction and over-view for a person who plans to take a photographic vacation, but no one should think he's going to capture pictures like the author by reading just this one book.
Unfortunately, for those who already know about those techniques, there is not a lot of new information here. There are some great pictures, and it never hurts to review the images and techniques of a legendary shooter, but outside of some information on approaching people in different countries to take their picture, you probably won't pick up anything new.
For someone new to photography, you can't go wrong. And, considering the low price, experienced photographers won't feel jipped either. But if you are already pretty comfortable with your camera, you would be better using the $16 to take even a small trip to a neighboring city and try some "travel" photography of your own would be a better suggestion.