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Photography book suggestions?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by jloden, Jun 21, 2012.

  1. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Something that would be really helpful for me in learning how to improve my photography would be a book or two that looks at great images with a discussion for each photo that talks about why the composition works, what settings are used and why, that sort of thing. Anyone know of any books along those lines?

    I do have the Scott Kelby Digital Photography Book volumes 1 & 2, as well as Understanding Exposure, and both are excellent and have been very useful... I anticipate re-reading them several times as I learn and progress. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for additional books that are worth having? I'm especially interested in improving my composition skills as that seems to be an area I struggle with a lot and it's such a key element of good photography.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
     
  2. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Look at other's work. Just do an internet search for a particular type of photography and look at the image results. You can also try Flickr. Look at photographer's web sites and museum sites. when you find a photographer whose work you like, see if they have a book.
     
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  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks... I do follow flickr and other photo sites, (and here at mu-43.com for that matter - lots of great photos in galleries and threads here!). It's definitely helping me grow.

    I was thinking it'd be helpful to see some more photo examples with discussion/explanations the way Understanding Exposure has for its sample photos. Basically talking about the why factor for a given shot. Obviously there's an element of personal opinion & taste, but I find it really helpful seeing what other experienced photographers look for, not just what I like. If my taste was that good on my own, I'd probably be a better photographer :biggrin:
     
  4. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 25, 2012
    Cincinnati
    Lou Doench
    It's different for every shooter, but here are a couple of books I love.
    Spirit of Place: The Art of the Traveling Photographer, by Bob Krist
    Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing, by Phillipe L. Grosse and S.I. Shapiro
    Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop, By Freeman Patterson. (This is my favorite photo book, I pull it out as a nightstand book every once and awhile, just to refresh the lessons)
    Why Photographs Work: 52 Great Images Who Made Them, What Makes Them Special and Why, George Barr. (This is a great book I just got for Xmas this year. A great resource for understanding critique)

    Also, check out your local used bookstore or library sale to see if you can find the textbook that the local photo school is using. I still have my textbooks and they are still useful (despite the fact that I was amongst the last class to work exclusively on film and slide.)
     
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  5. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    I have enjoyed and learned a lot from books by John Freeman. I started with his basic Photography book and moved to his Photographer's Guide to Portraits. Since you already read the books you listed in your above post I would say skip his basic book and try one of his many other books that are more focused on single topics like portraits, composition, b&w, etc. I was about to find some at my local barns and noble or amazon.com has a lot of them.
     
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  6. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    186
    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    +1 for the Tao of Photography. I am still making my way through that book but it's worth the buy just for some of the wonderful b&w photos in that book.
     
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  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Great suggestions, thanks! That George Barr books sounds like exactly what I was describing too. I've picked up a couple of those books to peruse through in my spare time and marked the rest for later on amazon :)
     
  8. fljoe

    fljoe Mu-43 Regular

    101
    Dec 30, 2011
    FL
    • Like Like x 1
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Thanks fljoe, will definitely check those out, and I've added that book to my kindle read list!
     
  10. JimmyK

    JimmyK Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Apr 11, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    James Knodell
    One of the most helpful and thought-provoking books that I know of is "The Photograph" by Harald Mante from Rocky Nook Publishers. Rocky Nook, Inc.

    I've read this book numerous times, and each time, I've learned or discovered something I missed (or didn't absorb) in earlier readings. Lots and lots of photographs to illustrate the author's points and tips. I think the current edition was published in 2009, but a new revised edition will be coming out this fall.
     
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  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Excellent, thanks... I pre-ordered the new edition set to be released this October. I love doing that because it means I'll completely forget about it by then and get a nice surprise in the fall of an interesting book to read :smile: