Title: Top Travel Photo Tips
Author: Chuck DeLaney
Publisher: Allworth Press
About the author
Chuck DeLaney has been a professional photographer for over thirty years. As director of the New York Institute of Photography, he’s taught basic photography techniques to more people than anyone else in the field.
Author and director of the New York Institute of Photography, Chuck DeLaney has interviewed ten outstanding professional and well travelled photographers and asked them to share their favourite tips and techniques for taking great travel photographs. Insisting great travel images can be taken without fancy and expensive equipment, the strategies presented in this book are accessible to everyone with a basic digital camera.
Hobbyists and amateur photographers can now come back rom their outing and trps with excellent photographic art for their walls, websites, blogs, and family albums. This essential guide shares:
- How-to advice from world-famous pro travel photographers
- Advice on getting great shots
- Everyday techniques to capture your images
- Inspiring travel tales and safety tips
- Coaching to help you develop your own style
- And much more!
Review of Top Travel Tips
The book is structured around the interviews with the ten photographers that are featured. Each photographer tells their story, shares their inspirational stories, and answer some questions. The book is formatted in an interview style, so you can see the questions that are being asked of them by Chuck. Chuck also introduces each photographer with why he chose to feature them in this publication.
At the end of each interview section, each photographer shares a list of their top photography tips. Some of these tips may be quite useful for the hobbyist photographer; such as tips regarding equipment or how to approach people to ask them if you can take their portrait. Other tips are perhaps less useful to the hobbyist or amateur photographer; such as tips regarding model releases.
Pros of Top Travel Tips
I found the book contained a lot of inspirational stories and content. Hearing the story of the 15 year old professional photographer, or the man who entered professional photography after deciding to quit his corporate job and start travelling around the world really showed the point that anyone can become a great photographer if they have the drive and focus.
Although not all the photographers mentioned what type of gear the travelled with, it was enlightening to learn that many of them do not travel with as much gear as one would think they would. Some of the photographers still prefer to use film cameras instead of splurging on the latest model of digital camera (not something the average hobbyist can afford!). Although some of the photographers did mention that they travel with quite a few expensive lenses and equipment, several of them mentioned that they only take one or two lenses with them at most – dispelling the myth that you have to have a whole heap of equipment if you want to excel at photography.
Another thing that I found interesting were some of the tips given by the photographers. One of the photographers provided a check list for setting up a planned shoot. This is something I have never considered doing while travelling, but would be especially worthwhile if there was a particular shot I really wanted to make sure I was able to capture. When setting up a planned shoot there are a lot of factors to consider, and this checklist will definitely help. A planned photography shoot is definitely something I would consider for when I visit iconic landmarks such as the pyramids, taj mahal, or macchu piccu.
Cons of Top Travel Tips
If you are looking for a beginners photography book that will explain how to use you camera, or how to achieve great travel photos through composition and lighting tips, then this is probably not the right book for you. Although the photographers do all list some of their top tips and advice, the majority of these tips pertain to attitude, patience, and the mindset required to achieve a great shot. You will not find much along the line of technical advice in this book.
I suppose though that this book is aimed at all levels of beginner photographers, and those who don’t own a DSLR or more advanced point and shoot camera wouldn’t have much use for tips surrounding aperture or shutter speed anyways.
Finally, some of the tips would probably not resonate with most beginner or hobbyist photographers. For example, several of the photographers spoke about carrying light reflectors with them. This is something that I don’t think many beginners would be interested in. Another thing that probably wouldn’t interest hobbyist photographers is the issue of model release forms. A few of the professional photographers who were interviewed discussed the issue of taking photos of people and the need to get a signed model release form. This is probably not something that will affect the average traveller who only wants to take nice photos to keep for later years and share with friends and family.
This is a great book for someone who wants to improve their travel photography but is at a loss of where to start. The stories from the professional photographers will serve as great inspiration to the beginner who is just about to set out. By being more personal anecdote focuses rather than technically focused, it will hopefully inspire beginner photographers to take the steps needed to advance their craft further.
The book also does a good job of highlighting the attitude needed to excel at photography. All of the interviewees stress that it is not so much about having the most expensive and latest equipment, but more about attitude, patience, and the willingness to work for a shot.
In conclusion this book is a good starter point for someone who needs that little bit of inspirational push to start developing their photography. For those of you who want more technical and instructional tips, you may want to also seek out a book which focuses more on composition instruction, using camera settings, and technical tips.