Outdoor Photography: Landscape, Action and Wildlife Photography for the Outdoor Enthusiast (Cicerone Techniques)

Outdoor Photography: Landscape, Action and Wildlife Photography for the Outdoor Enthusiast (Cicerone Techniques)

by JonSparks (Author)

Synopsis

A guide offering practical advice on improving your outdoor photography. Photography and the outdoors could have been made for each other. This book has been produced for outdoor enthusiasts who want their photographs to do full justice to the quality of their outdoor experience. A central theme is that ?point and shoot is a state of mind'. It's not what camera you have but how you use it that really counts. And how you use it depends first on seeing, and on knowing what you want your pictures to convey. There is still a place for technique, and essential technical concepts are introduced and explained in the clearest possible language, and with a sense of humour. Throughout the book the emphasis is on practical advice, and on integrating photography with the rest of your outdoor life. There are chapters on landscape, action, and wildlife and close-ups. Text and illustrations are related specifically to climbing, cycling, caving, and many other outdoor activities. Particular advice is given for compact camera users. The book is illustrated with over 100 colour photographs, chosen both to illustrate learning points and to provide inspiration.

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More Information

Format: Paperback
Pages: 192
Edition: illustrated edition
Publisher: Cicerone Press
Published: 30 Sep 2002

ISBN 10: 185284356X
ISBN 13: 9781852843564

Media Reviews
'Cicerone are noted for walking guides, but this well-illustrated and designed book will interest the many walkers who take photographs as a part of their outdoor experience and want to improve their pictures. Taking shots on a walk, event or trek imposes obvious limitations compared to going out from home 'just to take pictures' - less gear, no tripod, little time to compose the shot or wait for the light, and on long trips limits on the amount of film, or for digital users on battery power and storage media. Jon Sparks approach is captured in a phrase he quoted early on - 'Chance favours the prepared mind'. So his focus is on selecting the right gear to take, probably from what you have already, and knowing how to use it based on understanding the principles behind how the camera works and applying them. This all helps in understanding why a shot worked or didn't so enabling constructive feedback later. Not a new approach, but he does have some novel insights that will provoke thought in readers across a wide range of expertise, from those starting out to the experienced. Sparks gets us quickly beyond 'point and shoot' to 'see, point and shoot' first through the idea of 'framing' the shot, and then comparing how the eye sees things to what the camera 'sees', identifying the different limitations of each and how best to cope with them. He prefers 'framing', where the aim is to decide why you are taking the shot and then include only the essential elements in it, to 'composition', with its emphasis on a set of rules that supposedly 'will always get you a good picture'. And what you see is not what you get: for example everything looks in focus through the viewfinder but it won't be in the final picture, so depth of field is important and is often unnecessarily 'thrown away'; and films can't cope with the range of contrast the eye can, but a graduated filter can help. So a grasp of concepts like these is useful. He then covers the equipment side, driven by deciding the sort of pictures you want to take and then getting suitable gear, rather than the 'buy the best camera' approach. This includes print, slide or digital; SLRs or compacts, with for each film or digital; lenses, filters, flash and monopods. Three main parts follow, on shooting landscapes, action and close up/wildlife. Sparks shows how framing a landscape is about being able to 'visualise' the effect of moving what you can move around or alter - the camera and its lenses, and with luck the time of day and its character of light - to get a shot that provides a sense of 'being there'. Shooting action is additionally about representing movement and speed (but not perhaps at the end of 100!), and using tricks of the trade to produce the effect you want - it need not be the preserve of the 'sports photographer'. Close-up can provide variety in scale and detail. Sections on 'shooting at the edge' - coping with wet, cold, heat, wind, dust - and 'putting it all together' showing, reviewing and storing your work - plus appendices on exposure, a camera buying checklist and a guide to further reading complete this stimulating book. (Paul Lawrence, Strider August 2003)
Author Bio
Jon Sparks is a professional photographer and writer. He lives in Lancaster. Recent work includes the Scottish National Park guides. A keen climber and cyclist, he is presently Chairman of the Outdoor Writers' Guild.