- Taschenbuch: 174 Seiten
- Verlag: Lonely Planet Publications (1. Juni 2006)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1740595408
- ISBN-13: 978-1740595407
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 19,7 x 13,1 x 1,2 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 2 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 432.698 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Urban Photography (Lonely Planet How to Guides) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Juni 2006
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Valuable advice on improving technique, exhaustively illustrated and written by professional photographers. Compact enough for the road but comprehensive and indispensable reference at any time.
While the first part of the book discusses the choice and composition of your equipment, it's very short and to the point and certainly colored by I'Anson's personal preferences as well. While it's useful to know what kind of equipment a professional and established photographer takes with him, most of us mortal amateurs are dealing with limitations such as budget and the fact that our travels are recreational and not 100% photography centered, so we don't want to carry three or more cameras, as the author describes.
Part two focuses on the technical art of photography and is also just a very short review of knowledge that is already required to get the most out of this book. Read this part to refresh your knowledge.
Part three just offers a few pages of how to prepare for your trip. However, everything in this part is extremely valuable. To me, this part of the book made me switch context from taking random shots to actually hunting for specific motifs with ideal parameters for best results.
Part four is most certainly what you bought the book for. While part one to three have been laying the groundwork and set guidelines how to operate, you can make use of this knowledge when diving into actually shooting specific urban motifs as described in this part. From skyline shots to nightlife images, almost everything that describes a city is described here with very specific (SLR minded) hints as to how to take the shot and what to pay attention to.
The book as such is entertaining and beautifully illustrated. Most pictures taken and displayed are film-based - a fact I appreciate as it puts the topic photography back into perspective in comparison to the rise of books and evangelists that seem to think that photography is only good and worth its time when it's digital. The captions show the parameters and conditions in which the exposure was made. A lot of useful and valuable information is available this way. The pictures also cover a range of interesting cities. If you're planning a trip it's most certain that the book will contain motifs you will want to take yourself. In total, the pictures shown are a well of inspiration.
The only negative issue I have with the book is not editorial - it's the quality of the binding. While the print itself is good - the image prints are nice in particular - the binding gave way less than two days after I started reading. I'll have to glue the cover back to the spine using a glue that will last longer than the one the publisher used to bind it. Because of this obvious flaw the book only gets four out of five stars from me.
The book delivers exactly what you should expect from it as an ambitious, travel minded amateur photographer. I finished the book in less than three days and will use it as a reference when planning my next trip. Other than that, I'Anson's pictures are nice to look at.
Es enthält viele wertvolle Tipps von der Technik bis hin zur Motivwahl.
Wer also nicht nur drauf losknipsen will, sondern fotografisch ein bisschen mehr aus seiner Reise rausholen will, dem ist dieses Buch wärmstens zu empfehlen.
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The first chapter covers equipment and the depth of coverage is limited to telling you that there are SLRs, advanced digital cameras, and rangefinders. The author is also kind enough to tell you that there are zoom lenses, prime lenses, and that some are telephoto while others are wide angle. He does not tell you which of these might come in most handy in an urban environment. He does not discuss the pros and cons of lighter, smaller, but slower lenses compared to the bigger, heavier, but also faster lenses that cost a lot more money. He doesn't really tell you much of anything beyond acknowledging the existence of basic equipment. If any of the above is news to you, then this book will be a real treasure trove but most will find it so elementary as to be utterly useless.
Unfortunately, the chapter on equipment is exactly like all of the following chapters in the book. I have culled a small sample of the amazing revelations this book has to offer.
"Successful images have a point of interest"
"Skyscrapers are often covered in glass, which provides reflectons of the buildings around them"
"Fountains are often the centerpiece of city squares or traffic islands."
These gems are a small sample but there are many similar "tips" to be found. There is a chapter that covers all aspects of photographic technique including exposure, composition, depth of field, and light in 14 pages that is mostly photographs. You can imagine the depth of coverage this allows for the various topics.
It's almost hysterically funny that the book is published in digest size, presumably so that you can carry it in a hip pocket. What's lacking is any information or advice that you would actually find useful to bring with you.
The book's one asset is that it is filled with various travel photos and some of them are quite nice. Unfortunately, the digest size of the book prevents them from being seen to their fullest potential.
Since there were no reviews at the time I bought this, I've "taken one for the team" and am posting this so you won't have to waste your money like I did.
This section is a bit out of date, due to rapid advancements in digital camera technology. Two zooms: 24-90mm and 80-200mm is ideal, or if carrying only one lens, 24-135mm. Digital cameras remove the need for most filters, but a polarizing filter is key for minimizing reflections in shop windows. Always carry extra memory cards because you never know when you'll get good shots. Tripod, flash, etc. "Photography is about the image, not the equipment it was recorded on."
Exposure, composition and light. Depth of field. Composition: a creative act that allows you to encapsulate in a single frame the subject matter that you think is worth photographing in a was that is pleasing to the eye. Experience and practice will teach you how to create striking compositions quickly. Rule of thirds on your point of interest. Viewpoint matters; don't assume eye level is the best viewpoint. Good compositions leave no doubt as to the subject of the photograph. A starting point is to fill the frame with your subject. What you leave out of the frame is as important as what you leave in. Orientation; would the subject look better photographed horizontally or vertically? Light: natural light at different times of the day. There is an optimal time of the day to photograph everything. Magic hour is usually the softest, best light, an hour or two after sunrise or before sunset. Incandescent light, flash, or mixed light. For urban images the mix of natural and incandescent lights produces the most attractive images.
Preparing. Different vantage points lead to better photos. Never leave your hotel room without your camera, no matter what the weather.
Skylines: every city has a unique skyline and getting to a vantage point in the first or last hour of the day should be a top priority in every city you visit. Cities beside rivers are even better.
City views: an overview from a high vantage point provides great photo opportunities; rooftop bars, restaurants, balconies. Can emphasis the bulk of skyscrapers vs. others by only showing part of them.
Architecture: cities are defined by their architecture. The most famous buildings should be high on your shot list. Still, take time to shoot them well, because it's easy to take boring pictures of buildings. Sometimes hard to get far enough away to get a good shot- tilting the camera up at the building distorts the image.
Details: use close ups to capture the most symbolic and graphic of these details.
Skyscrapers: hard to photograph, hard to get far enough away to get a clear view of the entire building. They often have dramatic atriums to photograph. Shooting their reflective glass is also interesting.
Landmarks. A challenge is to take photos of a city's landmark buildings that are as good as published images, but different from the ones you've seen before. Another idea is to get close and fill the frame with a portion of the building to create an abstract but recognizable view. The Classic View: worth taking but the challenge is to do it better than it's been done before. A Different View: think of a way to shoot it in a different way. (This is my favorite thing to do.) Takes time, clever composition and great light. The Detail View: famous buildings don't need to be shown in their entirety to be recognized, so for a third shot, fill the frame with only a portion of the structure. This is often more interesting than the classic view.
Galleries and Museums. Be clear what you want to achieve. Unless you are cataloging the entire museum, you don't need a shot of everything. Two or three shots may be enough; an overview shot of the space, and a work or two.
Streetscapes. Famous interesting streets demand to be photographed. Elevated viewpoint is best, to keep people and traffic from unbalancing the composition and blocking the view. Look for balconies, rooftops, pedestrian overpasses, all make ideal vantage points. At street level find a viewpoint with some space in front of it.
Street Art. Sculpture, murals, graffiti. Photograph it in its entirety or focus on detail to create an abstract image. Watch out for shadows when shooting graffiti; look for even light. Statues can be some of the most boring pictures possible because people feel obliged to photograph them but rarely give much thought to the image. Lighting is the key- otherwise they look flat or silhouetted. Murals are best if the subject matter reveals its location.
Urban details. Less obvious but equally interesting subjects. The details most people take for granted and walk by without a second look. Look out for urban details that are as unique and recognizable as the city. Example is NYC manhole cover, especially if it has the name of the city on it.
Waterfronts; one of the liveliest and most colorful areas in the urban environment. Start wide and high, then move in to focus on boats and architecture. Light is best early or late in the day.
Fountains: soften the urban landscape, best shot early evening, late day when illuminated. Consider shooting from all angles. Breezes can cause rainbows from their spray. Blur the water with slow shutter speeds.
Reflections. They abound in the urban landscape; windows, mirrors, wet streets, puddles of water, rivers, reflective buildings. When composing a reflected image, focus on the main subject, not the reflection. Shop windows can produce multiple exposure effect.
Shops. Window displays can be works of art. Need a polarizing filter to reduce reflections unless you put your camera right on the glass.
Traffic and Transport. Vehicles typical of the city are interesting. Traffic may annoy drivers, but it's great for photographers. Intersections are interesting; get them from elevation if possible. At road level, you can illustrate the frenetic pace. Blurred movement is a cool effect.
Industry/Factories. Oft neglected, but interesting nonetheless.
City life; for good people pictures you'll have to get close to your subjects. Candid street photography is challenging, and requires enormous patience. For street performers, tell them you'll be taking a series of shots, and contribute generously to their hat. Sometimes you're drawn by a main event such as a festival and the periphery is even more interesting to shoot. Close ups of goods at markets are interesting and colorful.
Parks and gardens: features such as conservatories, lakes, bridges, and tearooms are interesting subjects.
Beaches: ask permission. Not just the sand, stuff like surfboards can also be interesting.
Aerials: you can get spectacular photos from a helicopter- it might be worth the expense!
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