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Outdoor Photography - People, Action and Places - Introduction - a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Outdoor Photography
11 Aug 2011
21.6 x 13.8 x 1.6cm
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Outdoor Photography

by Jon Sparks, Chiz Dakin
Book published by Cicerone Press

This practical handbook covers digital outdoor photography and the whole range of outdoor activities including walking, running, cycling, water sports (in and on the water), as participant or spectator. Covers basic concepts, equipment and processing and optimising your images back at base.

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Size: 21.6 x 13.8 x 1.6cm
Weight: 450g

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Photography and the outdoors could have been made for each other. This book is about making the most of that connection. Outdoor enthusiasts who want their photographs to do full justice to the quality of their outdoor experiences need look no further.

Building on the foundations of the original Cicerone guide to outdoor photography, this second edition has been rewritten from the ground up. Fully up-to-date with the latest digital developments, it is naturally illustrated with a host of stunning images, giving you a taste of what you may learn to achieve. Professional outdoor photographers Jon Sparks and Chiz Dakin introduce and explain essential technical concepts such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure and depth of field – all essentials in making the most of your subject matter. But don’t worry, the authors use only the clearest possible language to explain these terms, so you won’t be lost in jargon.

This edition has also been expanded to cover a wide range of outdoor activities. Whether you wish to take photos as a participant or a spectator, Jon and Chiz offer help for shooting walking, climbing, cycling, kayaking, and even underwater scenes. With advice on what equipment is needed, and how to protect it from the elements, as well as guidance on camera settings for each situation

The emphasis is on practical, realistic advice for people who want to take better photographs of what they like doing best, while still enjoying that activity to the full.

  • Activities
    walking, running, climbing, abseiling, mountaineering, cycling, MTBing, watersports (on and under the water)
We do not yet have any updates available for this book

We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).


First Light           

1  Beyond point and shoot
2  Hardware for the outdoor photographer          
3  Places and people          
4  Wildlife and nature          
5  Walking and running          
6  Roped sports – climbing, abseiling and mountaineering          
7  Wheel sports          
8  On the water          
9  Underwater          
10  Trekking and expeditions          
11  Extreme conditions          
12  Bring it back home          
13  Putting it all together           

Appendix I  Geekspeak          
Appendix II  Movies        
Appendix III  Links and further reading


‘Which comes first, photography or the outdoors?’ For us this is like the question of the chicken and the egg. The two are inextricably entwined. However, there’s no confusion as far as this book is concerned.

This book is written for people who love the outdoors and, above all, for people who love doing things in the outdoors. We assume that you want your photographs to reflect that passion. It’s not about winning prizes at the camera club, or impressing people with your latest slide show. What it’s about is getting out there. You want pictures that capture what it’s like and how it makes you feel.

Photography should add to the outdoor experience. It shouldn’t get in the way. If it helps you focus your mind on the texture of a rock or the play of light on a waterfall, it enhances your experience. If all you can think about is filters and f-stops, it does just the opposite.

However, if you’re serious, photography can’t just be an afterthought. Ideally it will be an integrated part of your outdoor activity. And if you are serious, you want to be in control of the picture-making process. You can’t control what you don’t understand. Blindly relying on camera automation leaves you clueless when the pictures don’t work out, and dilutes the satisfaction when they do.

With most things in the outdoor life, the most interesting place is around the edge of the comfort zone. You don’t improve your rock-climbing grade by trying to jump straight from VS to E6, but by testing yourself on a few HVS routes, consolidating at that grade, and then progressing again to E1. It’s the same with photography. Think about what you’re trying to achieve with your shots and where you’d particularly like them to improve. Then think about moderate, manageable steps that you might take to bring about these improvements.

A decent automatic camera will give you good results most of the time, but some understanding of the process helps you recognise when you need to take charge. This book will focus on understanding rather than ‘technique’. It will use as little technical language as possible, but won’t shy away from it when it is necessary. Essential concepts will be explained as clearly as possible. The basics of photography are not complicated, and certainly not rocket science.

To be an integrated part of your outdoor activity, photography must be light, fast and simple. This does not mean being casual or sloppy. Like the rest of your outdoor life, the more you put in, the more you get back. In photography, much of this input requires an investment of nothing more than time and thought. And much of this can be done when you’re indoors.

In the end, it’s your outdoor life and they’re your photographs. What you want from your pictures isn’t necessarily what we want, or anyone else wants. Everything in this book is based on experience, and it works for us, but that doesn’t always mean it will work for you. This much we can say: it will be worth trying.

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