am 23. September 2009
Urban Travel Photography by Richard I'Anson is an easy and pleasant read. The book contains chapters on everything from the gear to preparing for a trip and following simple rules to maximize your chances for perfect shots on the road. Be warned though that this book is not for you if you're not familiar with terms such as "f-stop", "reciprocity" or "depth of field" and such. If you're not planning to use a decent, SLR-level camera then the book is also of little use to you.
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.
am 20. September 2008
Das Buch behandelt schön gegliedert alles zum Thema Fotografie von Städten.
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.