National Geographic – Photography Field Guide

I’m getting used to write that “long time no writing” and “I’ll try to keep it more frequent …” 🙂 I hope I don’t have to write this so often anymore.

Just finished reading an old book. I found this book in a friend’s shelf, when I had just got back to photography, and thought it would be a good reading for the starting pack. It took longer than I expected to read it, I had some other priority on reading during this period, but I finished.

National Geographic – Photography Field Guide (Peter K. Burian & Robert Caputo)

National Geographic - Photography Field Guide (Peter K. Burian & Robert Caputo)

The book is old, meant to be timeless, but it was published on the verge of a paradigm change, the digital photography (1999). Actually it’s quite funny the comment at the last chapter, that talks about “Computers and Photography”, about how film is not going to be replaced by digital photography.

Most of the book is indeed timeless. It starts with general concepts of photography (exposure, aperture, depth of field, blur, panning …), then goes to composition, cameras (though film was replaced by detector, the cameras are more or less the same), lenses, light/flash, exposure metering and maintenance.

Also an outdated, but curious, section on films, with a lot of information on color casts, white balance, ISO, and how metering is affected in each case.

It gets back to timeless topics like “a world of subjects”, where they describe how they approach subjects like weather, landscapes, people, sports and so on. This part goes together with a couple of pages in each subject from a national geographic photographer that is expert in the particular topic, among others, Annie Griffiths Belt talking about photographing people, Jodi Cobb talking about “cultural photography” and her work “beyond the barriers”, or Michael “Nick” Nichols talking about environmental photography.

It’s worth reading if you have the chance. The book also brings 18% grey cards on the inside of the cover and back cover.


About Cris Da Rocha

Astrophysicist, DB manager, cyclist, musician and, why not, "photographer to be". Back to enjoy photography after many years ... it's cool. Might share something nice and get something new.
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