Photography books, websites, blogs, etc.

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Bullfrog, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Mu-43 Top Veteran


    What are your favorite photography books, technical or otherwise? A few of mine:

    Attached Files:

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  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Thanks Bullfrog, really appreciate you taking the effort to post these.

    This is where being a 'virtual community' has its' drawbacks... wouldn't it be wonderful if we could share a photographers library!

    I have a number of books on photography, but to be honest - I enjoy seeing folks present their work on forums and seeing high quality C&C... this is something I expect we will develop here in due course.

    The "Genres" section should become a wonderful showcase and learning resource over time... I'm hoping to spend a lot of time learning there!

    Thanks for your recommendations - I'll see if I can check them out more closely. Which are your favourites amongst the above, and why?


  3. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Hi Brian,
    Of the ones I mentioned there are three that I keep coming back to again and again:

    50 Photographers You Should Know
    It's a wonderful overview of some well and lesser known artists from the birth of the medium up until more or less present times. It's, of course, quite selective and someone's 'favourite' or 'best' may not be there but that's not really the point. It has nice little biographies with a small sampling of key images and a nice timeline that helps place peoples' work in a wider historical context.

    The Photographer's Eye
    My "go to" book for technical help and inspiration. Very readable, covers all the basics and more advanced things very well.

    Don McCullin

    Just an astonishing photographer, never mind 'war photographer'. Heartbreaking, shocking, intense.
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  4. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Great thread - and I like those attachmed covers. I am a real fan of the "war photographers" of old - as well as new, and of course love Cartier-Bresson.

    Here is the Capra book that caught hold of me many years ago. And another one I love for the history of photography is "The Magic Image", though it surely needs an update from 1975, it is still a keeper. Another great classic photo book and a fine one for anyone who is interested in photographing people is Steichen's "The Family of Man". Neither Capra's nor Steichen's is going to tell anyone how to take photographs but both will show what photography can do at its best. For anyone who isn't familiar with it, it was put together by Steichen, published in 1955, after a hugely successful exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. As he described the exhibit's photographs "a mirror of the essential oneness of mankind throughout the world. Photographs made in all parts of the world, of the gamut of life from birth to death."

    Bullfrog, you've now gotten me started down the photography book aisle at Amazon - I'd better get BillNUK's wife over here to stop me before it's too late!:biggrin:

    Attached Files:

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  5. steve

    steve Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 18, 2010
    Havertown, PA
    I just had a conversion with BB in which I referred her to one of my favorite photography books, "Understanding Exposure," by Bryan Peterson. And that got me to thinking that it may be beneficial to start a thread where members can recommend their favorite photography books, websites, blogs, videos, or what have you. So in no particular order, I'll start with a few I like.

    1. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. Goes into so much more than exposure. A great, overview of photographic techniques.
    2. The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman. All about composition, aesthetics, and learning to see images around you.
    3. The Moment it Clicks and The Hot Shoe Diaries by Joe McNally. All about flash and lighting technique. Joe is fun and an amazing talent.
    4. Soundimageplus' Blog. I found this link here and have become addicted. Great stuff.
    5. Texas Photo Forum. A great online community. It's not just for Texans.
    6. Planet Neil. Everything you need to use on camera bounced flash. Maybe not so much for the mu43 user, but the blog is entertaining and informative.
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  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    A must read is,
    A Primer of Visual Literacy by ; Donis A Donis
    it's out of print but worth the search.
    It is the single most important book on seeing and composition.

    Another great series is by Rudolph Arnheim.
    Art and Vusual Perception starts it off.
    Available at most College book stores.

    After those 2, enuff reading... Make photos...
    Your set for life.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    My list is almost a copy of Steve's. I also recommend:
    On being a photographer - David Hurn / Bill Jay
    Photography and the Art of seeing - Freeman Patterson (and his other books)
    Learning to See Creatively - Bryan Peterson (but get his Exposure book first)
    The making of 40 photographs - Ansel Adams

    If you use Lightroom, I recommend Scott Kelby's book. It's a step-by-step introduction to the application and will make you a power user very quickly.

    I am a lot more circumspect about photography books than I used to be. I prefer books of photographs or books about the creative process to 'how to' books, .

    I flit between blogs, generally preferring those that are about photography rather than gear. I especially like photojournalism blogs.
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  8. pete

    pete Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 26, 2010
    Phoenix, Az
    I am not an avid book reader but I frequent a couple of blogs that I love.

    1. - down to earth, and has his own style, does reviews (Leica) but loves MFT cameras

    2. - wonderful black and white photographer, writer and gets you thinking.

    Both these guys follow their own beat which is why I like them. Plus Steve's mom is my only follower on my personal blog :)

    Cheers all,

  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Great thread, Steve, and one that I'd been meaning to start myself!
  10. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Alan Wolf's 2/3/2010 post about a photo websites

    I'm going to bring in a post that was the beginning of a new, earlier thread that seemed to have gotten lost in the rush of things, and will notify the poster, Alan Wolf. He had begun a thread just about websites...but since this thread has already gotten going, I'm going to repost Alan's comments here:

    And here is a post that Alan wanted to be part of his thread, as it references another website:

  11. JohnKendrick

    JohnKendrick Mu-43 Regular

    I'm more than new to photography but am an avid reader of books about it. So have something of a collection. The one book not mentioned here is John Szarkowski's The Photographer's Eye.

    It was recommended to me on another forum. I checked it out of the library, skimmed it, but wasn't ready for it. As I get further into photography, however, my mind keeps coming back to the little bit I picked up from skimming.

    Thanks to the stimulus of this thread I've just now ordered a paperback copy of it from Barnes and Nobles. It's been out of print for some time but no longer.

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  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Great book, John. Thanks for posting about it.
  13. pointoneeight

    pointoneeight Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Brighton, UK
    Bobs Books and Photo Books in general...

    Has anyone had experience of these photo books or any others?

    I'm thinking of getting the first quarter year of my picture a day printed as a nice momento.


  14. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    A photography book preliminary review

    So, I was at B&N and I was looking at some photography books and I picked this one up:
    Travel Photography: A Guide to Taking Better Pictures

    The book is about 350+ pages long and I've only skimmed/read the first chapter. The first chapter starts out with discussing camera gear. I was suprised that the author mentions :43: format cameras. The author goes into detail everything from memory storage, filters, bags, tripods, etc. I think the one reason that I've liked this section of the book as there is no real biasness towards gear, but there is always the caveat of understanding the gear's limitations.

    Toward the end of the chapter, the author discusses preperation, workflow on the road, how to take pictures when on vacation with family, and finding vantage points.

    This book, so far, is definantly better than many beginners books, at least for me, because most of those books go into discussion like the reader is a real Novice. This book, so far, seems to expand on that quite a bit.

    I will keep this thread up to date as I continue to read the book. But so far, it looks promising.

  15. hohoho

    hohoho Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 24, 2010
    I hope you get your money's worth. As I understand what I see via Amazon's "preview", only part 4 of the book is about travel photography, and a lot of that seems to be about the same old same old subjects, cliches that will already have been done by pros who are willing to wake up at or before daybreak and to carry ladders around with them.

    Where are you planning to go?
  16. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    Actually, much of even the begining of the book talks about travel photography. For example, in many cases, camera gear is recommended all the time. But this book goes into further discussion of what is needed for on th road. Hard drives, laptops, camera cards, light tripods, and the type of camera. Now, I realize much of this is common sense, but It does have descriptions on how to make this stuff easier.

    Now, with any form of photography, or even in the general sense of photography, technique can be read about in any book. But an approach to travel photography is going to take technique within the context of travel photography, which might be benificial to me. I don't travel alot, but when I do, anything that can help my technique is worth reading.

    On edit, looking at Amazon's preview, its from the 2004 edition. This one is August of 09 edition. like I said, its 350+ pages long.
  17. ahuyevshi

    ahuyevshi Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 9, 2010
    Berkeley, CA
    I concur the Moment it clicks and Light:Science and Magic
  18. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Real Name:
    Many good ideas here. I have taken seminars with Joe McNally and Bryan Peterson as well as many others. I have been taking photography classes and workshops for over 35 years, there is always more to learn especially in digital everything is always changing. Next week I am attending a Lightroom 3 seminar at B&H.

    I have hundreds of photo related bookmarks (favorites) of tech guides, forums, blogs and instructions. Needless to say I also have a photo book collection that includes many of the books listed above.

    A recent find though it is just starting is
    Rick Sammon is a photo generalist/instructor has a lightroom intro all this week.

    I found this through twitter. I follow many photographers and photo related tweeters and find good links through it. Anyone else on twitter? I'm
    on twitter so you can see who I follow.
  19. Zakkattack

    Zakkattack Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 28, 2010
    Herne Bay, Kent, UK
    My favourite an most helpful book is "Digital Photography Masterclass" by Tom Ang.
    I particularly like the assignments given after each main topic. Very helpful indeed.

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  20. Vic B

    Vic B Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Books and Blogs

    I prefer books of great photographs to how-to-do-it books (though I have plenty of both).

    Two books by John Szarkowski (one already mentioned) are superb both for their choice of photos and for JS's elegant comments: "The Photographer's Eye" and "Looking at Photographs".

    Surely two of the most spectacular photo books ever produced are those recently published by Steve McCurry (of Afghan Girl fame): "Looking East" and "The Unguarded Moment". Breathtaking and inspirational.

    For blogs, the top of my list is TOP, <a href = "">The Online Photographer</a>, edited by Michael Johnston. This covers the culture and practice of photography in a way that no other site does. Runner-up is Michael Reichmann's <a href = "">The Luminous Landscape</a>. When you've run out of current things to read, his back-list of essays, locations, tutorials, etc. will keep you busy and interested for hours (if not days). Another one I find of value is George Barr's <a href = ""> Behind the Lens</a>, "Musings on photography, the art of creating images, technical talk, useful tips, rants and ravings of a published photographer of 40+ years experience."

    Vic B