Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Better Read than Dead

I've been reading books on photography techniques since 1977. Basically (in the words of Clifford T Ward's "Home thoughts from Abroad" they all seem to say the same thing to me! Nevertheless, I love reading about photography.

Having stumbled into the world of professional travel photography, I thought I'd look for a good book on the subject that really told me what it was like to do it - warts and all. Initially, I was very disappointed. Even a recent publication (well, 2nd edition) of a travel photography book published by Lonely Planet, left me feeling cold. In my view, it's yet another photography technique book, with the word travel scattered liberally throughout - albeit with some top-class travel shots.

No, I wanted something, harder, grittier, something that almost let me smell the sweat of the camel - not to mention the feet of the tired snapper themselves.

I eventually found it on Amazon (UK) and it's called (wait for it) Travel Photography: How to Research, Produce and Sell Great Travel Pictures, by Roger Hicks and Frances Schultz - and it does exactly what it says on the cover. It tells it like it is - and if anything, probably goes out of its way to paint the most unglamorous picture (pun intended) of travel photography possible. The way Hicks and Schultz write, travel photography is underpaid, hard slog, demanding and stressful. They also manage to make it sound like the most fascinating occupation imaginable.

The book is 10 years old, and out of print. I had to buy it via a reseller. There is nothing about digital photography in it at all, and the chapters on equipment (including film) are pretty much redundant. But it's a little gem and well worth the effort of finding even if you have the slightest inclination towards working as a travel photographer. This is as close as it gets to actually running out of petrol in the middle of nowhere, and not being able to phone for help because the battery has run flat on the mobile!

1 comment:

  1. Most of the time the title giving in a book is only for attracting people. The contend inside the book will be similar to other. To overcome this situation, an old book from an experience person (you can search about the author and his experience in the net) will be good and it will give the required. The only problem is the availability. contacting some high network bookshops will get such books for its customers.. this is as per my experience. It may take some time for them to search and give the same to you. there will not be any price change in the same.

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