A comprehensive illustrated reference about photography and the camera, this book combines how-to advice, knowledgeable commentary, and useful tips on how to take and look at photographs. Not just a how-to book, it is a how-does-it-work book, focusing on cameras, photographs, and photographers. Throughout, voices and photographs from the greatest of National Geographic photographers add authority to these pages. Chapters build from camera basics—like how a digital camera works, what different lenses do, and the definition of exposure—to advanced and specific techniques—such as taking the best family candids, underwater photography, or techniques for capturing fireworks on film. Every chapter includes a feature called "My Perspective," highlighting a National Geographic photographer and his or her work with a personal note on photography. Every chapter ends with a feature called "What Makes This Photograph Great?"—twelve different iconic National Geographic photographs are analyzed thoroughly for their subject matter, composition, lighting and exposure—by James P. Blair, longtime National Geographic photographer. A fascinating illustrated timeline of photography places milestone moments in the developing technology and art of photography into historic context. With something for everyone, novice and experienced amateur alike, designed in such a way that a reader can dip in and out of page after page, this complete reference will become a family favorite, to which young and old will refer over and over for years to come.