A review of Cicerone's Outdoor Photography by Jon Sparks and Chiz Dakin

Posted by Mark Armstrong 19th December 2012

Authors: Jon Sparks and Chiz Dakin

About Authors: See their respective web pages for more details

Publisher: Cicerone

Outdoor Photography is a book for anyone that enjoys the outdoors and, in photographing what they see, is sometimes disappointed by the end results.

If you're a 'point and shoot' person who wonders why they don't get better results this book will start you on a journey to think a bit more about what you are trying to capture. It will give you the basics to understand what you have done wrong or indeed right when you capture a really good shot. Part of that is understanding how cameras and lenses see the world and relating that to how you see it.

The book has a chapter devoted to help you find the right camera for you. But the real value of this book lies in its common sense approach of getting the reader to focus on capturing the feeling of a place, rather than any obsession with technical skill. For example, the importance of being clear about what you want to say with the shot and then ways in which you can capture this with framing, light etc.

Of interest to us at High Point Holidays, and anyone going on one of our independent or guided walking holidays, is the chapter devoted to walking and running. There is information on what equipment to take or leave behind and the book looks at ways of capturing the 'I was there' picture, so you can show how you are connected to the landscape - the emotions of any companions you were with and the exhilaration that being out in the elements can bring.

The book builds throughout, moving through varying degrees of outdoor activities; from roped sports, underwater, trekking and extreme conditions and concludes with bringing it back home and putting it all together

This book is a great way to help you get the most out of your time outdoors and improve your photography. It shows how your activities and photography can fit together and even enhance your enjoyment of both.

Jon Sparks Cycling

Jon Sparks, Lancashire Carrying the camera on the chest is one possible solution.






Outdoor Photography


Kayaker, Holme Pierrepoint, Nottingham: A compact camera will struggle (and often fail) to capture fast-moving action at the ‘decisive moment’.


Emperor Penguin Chicks (Aptenodytes forsteri), Antarctica: Depth of field is too important to ignore. In this case it was deliberate that the far chick was in soft focus.


Tody’s Wall, Froggatt Edge Many of the best shots will occur naturally when a climber’s at their limit. No posing now!