logo
RSS Twitter YouTube

National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Travel

Express Summary

National Geographic's Photography Field Guide: Travel is a general photography book with emphasis on travel photography and photography while traveling. Although it is part of a series of Field Guides, this book stands alone by covering equipment, photography basics, composition and travel subjects. As such, much of its content overlaps the excellent National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Secrets to Making Great Pictures.

This book emphasizes travel photography by focusing on the aspects of composition needed to capture a sense of place, equipment choices, locations, weather and various travel subjects. The text is well written and easy to understand but many passages are too vague to be useful. Overall, there are things to learn from this book but it is far from being as good as the original Photography Field guide.

Book Review

Travel photography can be fascinating. While traveling we may encounter many subjects and events which are unusual to us. Naturally, photography can be used to share and remember travels. The National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Travel is a slim guide meant to help accurately capture and represent such travels.

At 159 pages, most of them with full-color photographs, this book represents a quick read and, although it covers numerous aspects of travel photography, is light on content. This Field Guide covers both technical and creative aspects to Travel photography. The technical aspects include: camera choices, lens options, shutter-speeds, apertures, ISO and traveling with photography gear. Creative aspects include: conveying a sense of place, composition and travel subjects.

As indicated by the book's title, emphasis is made on travel photography but good part of the material is general enough to serve for most types of photography. This is expected because travel photography may cover various subjects such as architecture, landscape, wildlife and people.

This book starts with a chapter entitled Bringing Back a Sense of Place which essentially describes the most important aspect of travel photography. That chapter is immediately followed by one of the three National Geographic photographer interludes. Each such interlude is designed to offer a different perspective on travel photography by world-famous photographers.

The second chapter of National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Travel deals with equipment choices and practical advice on traveling. with such equipment. It covers camera choices, both film and digital, lens choices, miscellaneous gear and gear packing.

The immediately following chapter covers general composition. While the coverage on composition is better than with most books on digital photography, very similar content can be found in all good photography books, including the original NG Photography Field Guide. Like every other chapter in this book, this one is full of colorful images to illustrate the advice given.

The fourth chapter, called The Right Stuff, discusses general technical aspects like lenses, ISO, shutter-speeds, apertures and equipment care. It is followed by another NG photographer's profile which gives timeless advice such as "wear good shoes". And now back to photography...

The remainder of the book covers travel photography conditions (Location Lighting, Weather Conditions and Time of Day) and travel subjects including a separate chapter on extreme travel. While these chapters form the heart of the book by being specifically geared towards travel photography, their advice is too frequently vague. Well, there are examples and even photographs to illustrate the advice, but a few too many explanations are left to the reader's imagination. That being said, there is also a decent amount of useful travel photography advice.

On its own, this book is a decent and up-to-date book on travel photography. It covers the essentials but not in so much depth. However, there is much more to learn from the original field guide than from this one. As a complement to the original National Geographic Photography Field Guide, this book is rather thin due to the large overlap in material. The general text may be different but all the general advice, including some travel advice, is the same. In the end, if you read only one Photography Field Guide, get the original.

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

    2014.09.02

  • 2014.09.02

    Canon EOS Rebel T5 Review

    Canon EOS Rebel T5 Review

    Entry-level DSLR with 18 MP, 9-Point Phase-Detect AF, 3 FPS drive and full 1080p HD video in a compact body. The lowest-cost Canon DSLR yet.

  • 2014.08.08

  • 2014.08.08

    Nikon D810 Review

    Nikon D810 Review

    Professional DSLR with anti-alias-filter-free 36 MP CMOS sensor. Ultra-low ISO 32 to 51200. 5 FPS and 1080p @ 60 FPS. Large 0.7X magnification 100% coverage OVF. All new processing-pipeline and Highlight-Weighed metering.

  • 2014.08.02

  • 2014.08.02

    Fuji X-T1 Photographer Experience

    Fuji X-T1 Photographer Experience

    Photographer Experience report on using the Fuji X-T1 along with the Fujinon XF18-135mm F/3.5-5.6R LM OIS WR and Fujinon XF10-24mm F/4R OIS lenses.

  • 2014.07.24

  • 2014.07.24

    Olympus Stylus 1 Review

    Olympus Stylus 1 Review

    Premium compact with bright F/2.8 constant aperture stabilized 10.7X wide-angle optical zoom lens. Full manual-controls with dual control-dials, plus a huge 1.15X EVF with 1.4 MP and an Eye-Start sensor. 3-Stop ND-Filter and WiFi built-in.

  • 2014.06.27

  • 2014.06.27

    Canon Rebel SL1 Review

    Canon Rebel SL1 Review

    The smallest DSLR yet packs a 18 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with hybrid Phase-Detect and Contrast-Detect AF. Captures images at 4 FPS and 1080p HD video.

  • 2014.06.16

  • 2014.06.16

    Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2014 Review

    Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon 2014 Review

    The lightest 14" ultra-book features a high-resolution 2560x1440 QHD non-glare display in a carbon-fiber body with illuminated and spill-proof keyboard. WiFi, WiDi, 4G and Gigabit Ethernet all in one sleek design.

  • 2014.06.10

  • 2014.06.10

    Nikon D4s Review

    Nikon D4s Review

    All-new Nikon flagship professional DSLR with a 16 MP sensor capable for ISO 50-409,600, 11 FPS continuous drive for 200 JPEG or 78 RAW, full 1080p HD @ 60 FPS with clean HDMI out, Time-Lapse Video, Interval Timer. Built-in HTTP and FTP servers, plus Gigabit Ethernet and more.

  • 2014.05.24

  • 2014.05.24

    Nikon D3300 Review

    Nikon D3300 Review

    The newest entry-level Nikon DSLR features a 24 MP APS-C CMOS sensor without Anti-Alias filter. 5 FPS Drive, full 1080p HD and 11-point Phase-Detect AF in a simple and compact body.

  • 2014.05.19

  • 2014.05.19

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

    16 MP Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless without anti-alias filter. Built-in 5-Axis stabilization and 37-point Phase-Detect AF. 10 FPS drive plus full 1080p HD. Freezeproof body with dual control-dials, a 2.4 MP EVF and 3" tilting touchscreen LCD.

  • 2014.04.30

  • 2014.04.30

    Exclusive Fuji Finepix S1 Review

    Exclusive Fuji Finepix S1 Review

    Weather-proof ultra-zoom with 50X optical zoom stabilized along 5 axis. 16 megapixels sensor delivers 10 FPS drive and full 1080p @ 60 FPS video. 3" rotating 920K pixels LCD and 0.2" 920K EVF plus plenty of controls.