Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

by John Batdorff


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Whether you’re heading to Paris or San Francisco, Patagonia or Yosemite, you need a book that goes beyond the camera manual to teach you how to take great shots. This guide by pro photographer John Batdorff will help you conquer the fundamentals of travel and street photography and capture stunning pictures.

Batdorff starts with the basics–composition, light, and exposure–and how to plan and pack the right equipment for different types of shooting conditions. He also covers all the key camera features that affect your image. Once you’ve captured those shots, John takes you step-by-step through an effective workflow in Lightroom to organize your images and develop your own personal style.

This guide is for beginning-to-intermediate digital photographers to understand the basics and bring their own unique artistic expression to any situation whether you’re taking landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, or food and drink shots.

Beautifully illustrated with large, compelling photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the image you want every time you pack up your camera and take it on the road.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780321988232
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Publication date: 10/21/2014
Series: From Snapshots to Great Shots Series
Pages: 264
Sales rank: 1,142,242
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

John Batdorff is an award-winning travel and street photographer who splits his time between Chicago and Montana. He is the author of Black and White: From Snapshots to Great Shots, Plug In with Nik: A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Dynamic Images with Nik Software, and Nikon D7100: From Snapshots to Great Shots. John loves the outdoors, traveling, and sharing his images with others. He also leads workshops and mentors other aspiring photographers. See his work and read his popular photography blog at

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Equipment
What’s in My Bag
Camera Selection
Packing Light: Getting the Most Bang for Your Buck
Chapter 2: Planning the Journey
Where and When to Go
Shot List
Etiquette: The Street and Travel Photographer’s Code of Ethics
Hiring a Guide
Chapter 3: Composition
Rule of Thirds
Getting Creative: Finding the Local Flavor
Chapter 4: Exposure
Be Prepared
Golden Hours
Bright Daylight
Chapter 5: Cities and Streets
Street Portraits
Environmental Portraits
Festivals and Parades
Food and Drink
Open Markets
Chapter 6: The Countryside and Vistas
Wildlife: Big and Small
National Parks and Monuments
Local Flora
Chapter 7: Observation vs Engagement
How to Approach Street and Travel Photography
Getting Caught in the Act
Don’t be Paparazzi
Effective Communication
Having an Authentic and Respectful Presence
Chapter 8: Postprocessing
Getting Organized
Choosing a Style
Backing Up
Chapter 9: Sharing
Creating an online gallery for sharing
Social Media
Chapter 10: The Legalities of Street and Travel Photography
What are your rights?
International Laws
Model Releases
Selling Street and Travel Images
Stock Photography Sites
Selling from a Personal Gallery

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Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have been a fan of John Batdorff's photography for some time, what I didn't know was how good of a writer he is. In this book he writes about the gear that he uses on the go, to backing up your images while out of town. In between the author touches on exposure, composition, lighting and much more. There are many informative tips throughout the book. The big tip that I am taking away from this experience, is to convert my RAW files to DNG. They will be readable in the future and they are smaller too. Thank you for that tip John Batdorff.
photojunkie More than 1 year ago
John Batdorff's new book, Travel and Street Photography:  From Snapshots to Great Shots, is another example of this fine authors' ability to effectively communicate, educate and demystify all of the seemingly complex concepts surrounding photography and its  application to travel and street photography.  Batdorff has authored (or co-authored) something like a half-dozen books on photography over the past several years, and this may be, perhaps, his best work to date.  I have read, and re-read, this work on black and white photography and I find myself returning to it on a regular basis.  Travel and Street Photography may well become a staple in your camera bag when you travel. The book is written for the beginning photographer, although those with some more advanced skills will find some novel tips and techniques that they can apply to their work.  This book is the perfect gift for someone who has just purchased a camera, or is planning that exotic trip, or for that aspiring photographer with a point and shoot camera. Batdorff covers concepts that are applicable to photography.  They are not, necessarily, concerned with the equipment.  The point here is that while a good deal of the book instructs us on how to use DSLRs in Travel and Street work, the fundamental concepts apply to that small point and shoot camera that you carry in your pocket, or to those of us who still use film (he dedicates a section in one chapter to this area!). The book is broken down into a few broad areas.  The first 2 chapters start at the very beginning covering equipment choices, trip planning and all of those little details that you might not consider when traveling with photographic gear.  The next sections cover the fundamentals of making a good photograph.  Concepts concerning exposure, lighting and composition are covered.  John also does an excellent job of explaining how to use the dreaded histogram!  These concepts have a lot of heavy duty science behind them.  This book distills all of that information into a no-nonsense, "this is what you need to know" format.  The chapters on various types of street and travel photography cut to the chase on "how to" and "what to" do in various situations.  The volume concludes with 2 very important and often overlooked concepts: legal rights and responsibilities of making photographs in public places, and the all important work flow for getting those captured photons into some form for presentation. The book does not take a deep dive into the concepts that it covers.  It was not written to do so.  Rather, it provides the reader with a solid guide and foundation in travel and street photography.  I found two very helpful snippets in the book.  The various chapters are interspersed with what I refer to as Pearls of Wisdom that are contained in shaded green boxes.  These are tricks and tips that come from the author's experiences. Each chapter also concludes with a set of exercises.  These are quite helpful, as they reinforce the concepts that were discussed in the chapter. Reading this book is like sitting with John and enjoying a cup of coffee.  It is written in a very conversational style.  It's a very easy read. I only wish that I had been able to secure a book like this when I began making photographs!            
mhz889 More than 1 year ago
This is the second in the "From Snapshots to Great Shots" series I've read, and it is consistent in style and content with the other tome (Black and White Photography, same author). The first four chapters cover some basic photography fundamentals, such as exposure, gear selection, and composition, with a chapter on planning a photographic trip tossed in. Seasoned photographers could probably skip all but the chapter on Planning, as the material is basic, however, there are a few tidbits germane to travel and street photography thrown in, making it worth a skim. A novice photographer, however, might find this information quite useful, as it makes the book more self-contained, and serves as a primer for the heart of the book in chapters 5-9. The meat of the book is in those later chapters, and the author does a great job sharing personal experience and expertise in this genre of photography. He goes into greater depth about his gear choices for different types of trips and styles of shots, explaining clearly where it's better to choose wide angle lenses and when it is better to use zoom lenses, when to use flash, and when not to. He covers a number of topics that will really help catalyze the growth of any photographer starting out in this genre, such as the difference between observational style and engagement style of street photography. Since the latter requires more interpersonal contact, with the possibility of rejection, the author shares many of his tips on how to overcome the barriers that great street photographers seem to handle with ease. He touches on the ethics of photographing this style, as well as covers some legal rights photographers have in Chapter 8, answering many of the most common questions about photography in public, such as model releases and copyright issues. Overall, I found the presentation style of the book to be refreshing and easy to read. It felt like you and John were hanging out together, packing for a trip, while giving you advice and expertise from his experiences. It was like virtually flipping through a photo album on the plane, as he described what went into the making of each photo, and how his experience would make you better too. Each chapter starts with an outstanding Travel or Street photo, and contains call-outs with elements the author considered when creating and editing the shots. I found these tips really helpful, and it was a part of the book I looked forward to each new chapter. At the end of each chapter, the book has some in-depth exercises that take the reader through some practice of the techniques inside the chapter. For someone who hesitates to get started, like me, these provide a no-excuses, get-out-there-and-do-it way to put the content into practice. If you've read any of the others in this series, I think you'll like this book. If you haven't read the others, it's a great place to start your collection in this series of excellently written works about a genre that can be challenging and rewarding.