logo
RSS Twitter YouTube

National Geographic Photography Field Guide

Express Summary

No doubt photography has taken a great part in making National Geographic famous. The National Geographic Photography Field Guide demonstrates what it takes to make such unforgettable photographs. The book covers three essential parts of photography: cameras, composition and light. It puts all that information into perspective against various types of subjects for the enjoyment of any photography enthusiasts. While the book is written with film in mind, practically all information presented there applies to digital photography as well. The book is well written with clear explanations accompanied by numerous photographs and clear diagrams.

Book Review

The National Geographic Photography Field Guide aims to teach photography the National Geographic way, yet it does not forget that such level of photography cannot be achieved without a solid understanding of the most basic photographic principles. The book's 368 pages are divided among three main sections: Essential Basics, A World of Subjects and Making Photographs Under Pressure. Each section is proportional to its relative importance, with Essential Basics being the longest, followed by A World Of Subjects.

Essential Basics covers a variety of topics using simple terms and several examples for emphasis. Just as the rest of the book, the language is accessible without skipping any important details or compromising on accuracy. Composition is introduced in general terms with a surprising amount of details as the second chapter of this section. The remainder of this section covers cameras, lenses, light, exposure and metering among other things. Each chapter here always put its information in the context of photography. This may sound obvious but it is frequently forgotten in lesser photography books.

A World Of Subjects covers composition again with much more details and in perspective with specific types of subjects which have all contributed to many National Geographic photographs. No less than eight types of subjects, from weather to evening and light, are truly well covered using inspiring text and sample photographs. Chapters on specific subjects are intermixed with chapters on particular National Geographic photographers. These chapters are equally important because they illustrate artistic and work flow possibilities as well as providing valuable tips from world-renowned experts. By reading these chapters, we get to understand the connection between a photograph and its message.

Making Photographs Under Pressure covers a topic that National Geographic probably knows best. It not only ties photography with timing and presence but also with the importance of carrying a representative message. Chapters in this section are also intermixed with short essays on particular photographers who have taken photography in intense situations.

Finally, there is a minor section on computers and photography which has a few words on digital photography. This part is quite brief and already slightly outdated but that is not the point of this book. There is much more useful and inspiring information in the previous sections. For those who feel references to film photography are not important, you may safely skip pages 34-50, 112-134 and 160-173.

This National Geographic book serves its purpose well, to explain photography in context of various photographic subjects. It does so with more depth than most introduction to photography at the expense of photographic editing and management, which are explained by many other books but are far less important than what is covered here. Also, people wanting an introduction to the digital aspects of digital photography should find another book to complement this one without dismissing it.

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:

Updates

    2015.09.01

  • 2015.09.01

    Fuji X-A2 Review

    Fuji X-A2 Review

    Mirrorless with standard 16 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor. Dual control-dials at an entry-level price, plus 3" tilting LCD, built-in WiFi and 5.6 FPS drive.

  • 2015.08.17

  • 2015.08.17

    Canon Powershot SX610 HS Review

    Canon Powershot SX610 HS Review

    Ultra-compact ultra-zoom with a stabilized 18X wide-angle optical zoom and 20 megapixels high-speed CMOS sensor. ISO 80-3200, 1/2000-15s, 2.5 FPS and full 1080p HD video, plus WiFi and NFC.

  • 2015.07.15

  • 2015.07.15

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Review

    Ultra-zoom prosumer camera with a large 20 MP 1" CMOS sensor and stabilized 16X wide-angle optical-zoom lens. Records full 4K Ultra-HD at 30 FPS. High-speed 4K Photo-Mode and 12 FPS drive.

  • 2015.06.18

  • 2015.06.18

    Canon EOS Rebel T5i Review

    Canon EOS Rebel T5i Review

    Entry-level DSLR. 18 MP APS-C CMOS sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF. 5 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video. Single control-dial and 95% crop 0.85X magnification viewfinder in a comfortable and light-weight body.

  • 2015.06.10

  • 2015.06.10

    Nikon 1 J5 Review

    Nikon 1 J5 Review

    The 1 J5 introduces a new 20 megapixels 1" high-speed CMOS sensor in a compact body with dual control-dials, a traditional mode-dial and a tilting 3" touchscreen LCD. Continuous drive up to 60 FPS at full-resolution, 4K Ultra-HD video capture and a 105-point on-sensor Phase-Detect AF system.

  • 2015.06.01

  • 2015.06.01

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II Review

    The new E-M5 brings 40 megapixels Super-Resolution capture to Micro Four-Thirds while improving 5-axis image-stabilization and showing off a new 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF with Eye-Start Sensor. Native 16 MP drive @ 10 FPS and full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS.

  • 2015.05.21

  • 2015.05.21

    Fuji XQ2 Review

    Fuji XQ2 Review

    Ultra-Compact Fuji premium camera. 12 MP 2/3" X-Trans CMOS II sensor with built-in Phase-Detect AF. Ultra-Bright F/1.8 wide-angle 4X optical-zoom. Dual control-dials, 3" LCD and built-in WiFi.

  • 2015.04.28

  • 2015.04.28

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review

    Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 Review

    Unique premium compact with 12 MP effective multi-aspect resolution and ultra-wide ultra-bright 24-75mm F/1.7-2.8 lens. 11 FPS Drive and 4K Ultra-HD video at 30 FPS. Plenty of direct controls plus a built-in 2.8 MP EVF with Eye-Start sensor, a 3" LCD and WiFi.

  • 2015.04.16

  • 2015.04.16

    Nikon D7200 Review

    Nikon D7200 Review

    New Nikon flagship APS-C DSLR with a revised 24 MP CMOS sensor without anti-alias filter. 6 FPS with deep buffer and 1080p @ 60 FPS video capture. Dual control-dials, 100% coverage viewfinder and WiFi in a weather-sealed body.

  • 2015.03.12

  • 2015.03.12

    Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide - 2015 Edition

    Mirrorless Camera Buying Guide - 2015 Edition

    Our detailed mirrorless digital camera buying guide, fully updated for 2015. This is the best and more current mirrorless guide!