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National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Secrets to Making Great Pictures, Second Edition 2nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 119 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0792256762
ISBN-10: 079225676X
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Written by two National Geographic writer/photographers, this fairly comprehensive introduction to taking photographs details basic equipment (cameras, lenses, and other gear), film, light, composition, exposure metering, electronic flash, subjects for 35mm photography, special situations (underwater and aerial photography), and computer imaging. But perhaps the most interesting and informative sections of the book are the profiles of Sam Abell, William Albert Allard, Annie Griffiths Belt, David Alan Harvey, James L. Stanfield, Michael Yamashita, and other notable photographers. The book concludes with helpful information on travel, photography publications, websites, and other resources. As one would expect, it is amply illustrated with exquisite, high-impact, color images made on location. This substantial book aimed at photographers looking for practical advice from the pros is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.
-Raymond Bial, Parkland Coll. Lib., Champaign, IL
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: NG Photography Field Guides
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic; 2 edition (June 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 079225676X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0792256762
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #176,591 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am new to photography and after browsing through several "how to books", I decided to buy this one. Though smaller than some other "complete" guides out there, this book offers very clear, easy to understand explainations of the inner workings of photography. It packs a lot of information within its pages, and tells you what you want to know, what is involved in taking great pictures. It covers both indoor and outdoor photography, has excellent diagrams, and uses photographs to illustrate techniques. Rather than offer the reader an endless stream of irrelevant data, this book explains the fundamentals of photography and how they can be used to create great photographs. The authors are careful to cover many different camera types, but keep the information relevant for all readers. It should be noted that this book is presented in full colour, unlike a different "complete" guide, which was 90% black and white(you have to be joking!). I highly reccomend this book for anyone looking to learn about photography, or improve on their technique. First class offering, typical of National Geographic caliber.
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Format: Paperback
It is always a delight to read- and see- a National Geographic book. They are always well written and packed with superb photographs, so a Photography Field Guide could not be the exception. In this masterpiece, Peter Burian and National Geographic star photographer Robert Caputo will reveal to you the secrets to making great pictures. From the Essential Basics, that is cameras, lenses, light, flashes, film and composition to practical topics on how to photograph a "world of subjects" ranging from people to animals, from sports to architecture and from landscapes to close-ups, this book is a real help to anyone who wants to take a picture. Like other National Geographic books, this one is also well designed, user friendly and packed with beautiful photos. It is also updated with a section on Computers and Photography and contains a useful glossary and a directory of web sites and photography magazines and books. As I wrote in the title of the review, this book is dazzling and informative. I think that everyperson interested in photography, should have this Field Guide, it is outstanding, a book worth a million pictures and a million words.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The National Geographic Photography Field Guide is an excellent guide for beginners and a good reference for the more experienced. The information is clearly presented and features such as tips in the margins make the book easy to read as well as to use for later reference. Both the technical aspects of photography and photograph composition were discussed succinctly.
Moreover, the book itself was entertaining reading and I enjoyed the sections where various photographers' styles were showcased. Not only were these sections useful in learning how to go about taking pictures, they were interesting in their own right as glimpses into how different artists work.
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Format: Paperback
The National Geographic Photography Field Guide strikes a perfect balance in its approach. Beginning photographers will find this an effective reference, and the more experienced will benefit from advice from National Geographic's greats. And the book manages to cover this range without being either condescending or talking above the heads of newcomers.
Sure, you'll get advice on how to avoid under-exposing a subject with a light background, and how to use a ceiling flash bounce to give your portrait subject a flattering illumination, but the main value of this book is the inspiration it gives to readers who aspire to take better pictures. The photographers' first-hand accounts of experiences and techniques are invaluable.
The book itself is beautifully printed and is full of beautiful color photos. Just like the National Geographic Magazine, one buys this book in part simply to look at the pictures.
An excellent book that will help you take better photographs. Covers everything from equipment to composition. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book very useful. I refer to it often. The color photographs illustrate the text beautifully and completely. The book is a size (larger than a paperback novel, but smaller than a normal hardback) which allows me to carry it around easily.
The interviews with photographers are informative and interesting. The variety of photographic styles cover a broad range of interests among these talented individuals and the reader. The "how to" portions are well-written and easily understood. The authors do not "talk down" to the reader, yet cover material well.
The text is laid out in a way that makes it easy to find information. This book should prove very useful to the amateur, advanced amateur, or beginning professional.
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Format: Paperback
The National Geographic Photography Field Guide is a well written, easily accessible guide that is a great beginners guide and reference for experienced photographers. The first half of the book covers the basics of photography including cameras, film, lenses and light. Each of the chapters is concise and contains handy tables and charts. For example, the chapter on filters has handy charts to help you determine when to use certain filter types.
The second half of the book contains chapters devoted to various subjects. Some examples are landscapes, weather and people. In between some of the chapters are small sections on National Geographic photographers that give a short bio and their options on photographing the subject being discussed. While these sections don't provide much in the way of additional information, they make for interesting reading and add character to the book.
Beyond the written content, the book itself is a work of art. It is filled with beautiful pictures that are great examples of the topic being discussed. Also, it is printed on glossy paper that adds that extra touch of professionalism. All in all, a highly recommended guide.
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