Blue Pixel Guide to Travel Photography

by PocketGoddess on December 13, 2005

Blue Pixel Guide to Travel PhotographyThe Blue Pixel Guide to Travel Photography is relatively small, weighing in at just over 200 heavily illustrated pages, but it packs quite a punch. I learned several tips and tricks very quickly when I first flipped through the book, and after reading it from beginning to end I’m amazed at how much I learned. In a way I’m surprised, since this book is geared more towards the adventure photographer than the typical tourist. There isn’t any jargon at all, but some of the situations discussed are rather unlikely unless you’re a professional. Then again, after reading this book and seeing some of the amazing photographs that came about due to respecting local customs and just being in the right place at the right time, there’s no reason why anyone interested in taking gorgeous photos can’t have some adventures of their own. There are seven chapters, each covering a variety of subjects:

  • Chapter 1: Choosing the Right Gear
  • Chapter 2: What to Take and What to Leave at Home
  • Chapter 3: Preparing For your Photographic Adventure
  • Chapter 4: A Good Attitude Makes Good Pictures
  • Chapter 5: Photographing the World
  • Chapter 6: Managing your Gear, and your Photos, on the Road
  • Chapter 7: Sharing your Photos with the World
     

    The first chapter has a good overview of the the things you should look for when buying a camera, be it a relatively simple “point and shoot” model or a more advanced digital SLR. Some of the more commonly confused terms are nicely defined, such as focal length and aperture, and the discussion also includes different types of lenses such as wide angle, telephoto, etc. Chapter 2 was one of the most useful in the book, with detailed checklists and suggestions for what you should and shouldn’t take on your trip. Granted, every situation will be different, but I found the guidelines to be rather complete. Even better were the various scenarios–Minimalist, Specialist, and Pessimist–with discussions of what each type of photographer will need. Chapter 3, on preparation, was particularly helpful, with information on planning your trip, testing your equipment, safe packing, dealing with customs and security. Good trip planning takes special features of the destination in account, such as seasonal and astronomical conditions, holidays, politics and religion, etc.
    Chapter 4 covers some of the courtesies of picture taking on a trip, such as local customs and ideas of personal space, as well as how your attitude as a photographer can lead to some amazing experiences to go with your photos if you have an open mind. Chapter 5 covers two different topics, composition and photographic safety. Composition is what makes a good photo, so I appreciated the discussion about how to do it right. It wasn’t overly technical or filled with jargon, did give me some good ideas to try out. There was also some good information on exposure settings, shooting panoramas, and tips on how to photograph animals. The end of the chapter discusses how to dress for inclement weather or extreme conditions, how to protect your camera from the rain, and the like.
    The final two chapters of the book discuss how to safeguard and share your images, on the road and at home. You’ll learn the best techniques for archiving your photos so you can find them later, as well as how to edit your photos for email and printing to share with friends. Overall I found the Blue Pixel Guide to Travel Photography to be useful, informative, and fun.Many of the techniques are illustrated with amazing color photos, and even after reading the book from cover to cover I still find myself picking it up and flipping through the pages just to look at the photos again. A comprehensive index makes it easy to find information on every topic included in the book, including the real-world stories and anecdotes. This book would be a nice gift for anyone interested in photography, and fills a nice niche between the “Dummies” type books and the more advanced how-to guides. The Blue Pixel Guide to Travel Photography is priced at $24.99, and published by Peachpit Press.
    4.5 out of 5

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