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National Geographic Complete Photography


Comprehensive Guide on Making and Appreciating Great Pictures

WASHINGTON — For more than a century National Geographic’s legendary photographers have been chronicling the world in images that have touched our hearts and inspired us to care about the planet. Now National Geographic offers readers the opportunity to learn both time-honored photographic methods and the latest techniques — directly from the best photographers in the business — in the upcoming book NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC COMPLETE PHOTOGRAPHY (ISBN 978-4262-0776-1; on sale Sept. 20, 2011; $40 hardcover).

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC COMPLETE PHOTOGRAPHY is the first book from National Geographic to celebrate the art of picture taking, explain the science behind it and provide know-how on the technical wizardry behind the latest advances. It’s a one-stop creative reference that offers practical, easy-to-understand tips and provides authoritative explanations of the workings of the camera. It also takes readers into the mindset of a professional photographer and carefully analyzes the elements of some of the most breathtaking and important images of our time.

Stunning National Geographic photographs illustrate the tips and techniques. Other special features include “My Perspective” profiles of 12 accomplished National Geographic photographers — Sam Abell, Jodi Cobb, David Doubilet, Annie Griffiths, Chris Johns, Frans Lanting, Steve McCurry, Michael Nichols, Paul Nicklen, Joel Sartore, James Stanfield and Mike Yamashita — along with a selection of their work and some words of inspiration. These acclaimed professionals share some of the basics, like the function and purpose of lenses and why someone might opt for black and white over color. They also offer personal perspectives, such as Jodi Cobb capturing a shot of America’s first female coal miner and James Stanfield’s impressions of crossing the desert on camel with Tuareg tribesmen, and seeing whole continents from a biplane.

Another highlight of the book is the “What Makes This a Great Photograph” feature, in which veteran National Geographic photographer James P. Blair analyzes 12 iconic images, detailing how the subject matter, composition, lighting and exposure contribute to each picture’s success.

The book is divided into four sections. In Part I, readers will learn their way around a camera, how to get beyond the auto button, the breakdown of light and more. They will discover techniques such as:

• What different lenses can do
• How to frame a picture to enhance the subject
• How to incorporate backgrounds and foregrounds into one’s compositions
• How to photograph in various lights

Part II provides a historical timeline of photography, from 1490 to the present. It features milestones like the first photograph of the moon in 1839, the advent of the Brownie camera in 1900, the first survey of the night sky during a seven-year project from 1949 to 1956, and the last roll of Kodachrome in 2010.

Part lll, “Photographing Your World,” covers the ins and outs of photographing people and pets, nature and landscapes, action and adventure, familiar places and travel pictures, and explains the special techniques to use when shooting fire and fireworks, underwater shots, aerial and panoramic images and night-time pictures.

Part lV includes a comprehensive glossary, useful online resources and a list of further reading suggestions.

Thoroughly cross-referenced and indexed, user-friendly and comprehensive, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC COMPLETE PHOTOGRAPHY is the ultimate Everyman’s guide to photography, appealing to all those who have looked through a lens and strived to take better pictures.


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