What photography related books have you read/would you recommend?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Angus Gibbins, Feb 27, 2016.

  1. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    I'm currently working my way through:
    Digital Photography: Complete Course by DK Publishing (Digital Photography Complete Course Digital Photography Complete Course: DK Publishing: 9781465436078: Amazon.com: Books)

    Pretty good for beginners. I'm far from a pro and taught myself most of my knowledge base, so this is pretty good for picking up bits and pieces that I missed along the way (EG: I didn't know cameras had an aperture preview button. No one's ever told me this, I picked it up from this book.)

    One problem I have with this book is I tend to read through the exercises once, and then forget about them throughout the week (particularly the early chapters), but I am making it a point to review them once or twice throughout the week and to practice them, no matter "beginner" they seem. (EG: before reading this, previously I never would've thought to put my camera into P mode, I'd never use it for a big project, but it is surprisingly useful for quick and easy photos for my current (non photography related) blogging project.)

    A couple of books I'm planning on ordering this week (think I found both of these from Valerie Jarden's Street Focus podcast):
    It's Not About The F Stop by Jay Maisel (It's Not About the F-Stop (Voices That Matter) It's Not About the F-Stop (Voices That Matter): Jay Maisel: 9780321987129: Amazon.com: Books)

    The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments And Ideas by Jason Fulford and Greg Halpern:
    The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas Amazon.com: The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas (9781597112475): Jason Fulford, Gregory Halpern: Books

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    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
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  2. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    I have a bunch of photography related books in my Calibre library however I tend to not read them from cover to cover but often a chapter here and there. There are a few that stands out for me.

    Michael Freemans books are essential imo. I'm "reading" 3 of his atm and they are very very valuable for anyone who's the slightest interested in photography. Great stuff!

    The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
    The Photographer's Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos
    Perfect Exposure: The Professional's Guide to Capturing Perfect Digital Photographs

    I have The Digital Negative by Jeff Shewe which I also recommend if you're interested in reading about RAW processing. I basically learnt Lightroom from him and Michael Reichmann in their video tutorials (Guide to Adobe Lightroom) and this book is a great addition to anyone who are shooting RAW and use Lightroom. Note, you don't need the videos, the book is completely standing on its own, it's not a LR tutorial but he use LR/CameraRaw in the book.

    Another book I really like is Extraordinary everyday photography by Brenda Tharp. For those who's been around might find some of the stuff old news, but for me it was a great read and has inspired me a lot.

    I like Marting Evenening's guide books on Lightroom
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  3. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
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  4. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    I second the recommendation of _Understanding Exposure_. It's used as a textbook in a lot of photography classes, and for good reason.

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  5. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
  6. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
  7. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Good to know Barry. I've removed that part of the post. At my parents but will go through these later on.

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  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Understanding Exposure is a nice introduction to exposure triangle, metering, etc. Understanding Flash Exposure is another nice book from Peterson. Both are quite basic, brief, but practical and packed with good tips.
    Perfect exposure is an interesting, in depth, super boring, book about metering only. Worth the time but quite hard to get to the end.

    The photographer's eye by Freeman is a beautiful book, I prefer this to the other two companions (that I didn't even finished).

    Light, science and magic is a nice book about light, a borderline physics book.

    Then I'd suggest to also read/watch you a few books/videos about specific topics: portraits, lighting, macro, landscape, wildlife, even if you do not specifically do that kind of photography. Or youtube videos like this were very useful for me, not only for portraits, as all these points of view on the same subject slowly adds up to give a more rounded understanding:

  9. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I think you will find Jay's books (he has more than one out) are more about inspiration than step-by-step instruction. He tells why you might want to make an image, not so much how. He is a true master and the images in the book are worth the price alone but he won't waste time telling you what f-stop or shutter speed to use but rather what to look for and why. He is a real character and if you want a treat, spend a few dollars for a 1-month membership on KelbyOne and take his sessions - "A Day With Jay Maisel", "Another Day With Jay Maisel" and "A Week in Paris With Jay Maisel." He is funny, a bit profane at times and always insightful. And he tells Scott Kelby on camera that he is being an idiot when he is.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2016
  10. GBarrington

    GBarrington Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I bought, just today, an ebook from Amazon, "The Realistic HDR image" by Tim Cooper. It not only offers practical advice on how to create HDR photos that LOOK like photos, but it has one of the best tutorials on the in camera histogram, I've ever seen. I caught a B&H Video lecture by the author on Youtube, and was inspired to buy the book for some more depth. The video is about an hour long and very informative:


    (BTW, if you haven't looked at the filmed lectures B&H puts out, you're missing a good bet!).

    PS, I'd pay money to see a joint spinoff TV series of "The Walking Dead" and "Downton Abbey" It could be called "The Downton Dead"
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  11. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I will second the recommendation on this one for the simple fact that it is a great book for those who use ONE hotshoe flash and want to really understand how to work an external flash and know exactly what they are likely to get when they set it up. With a lot of books that deal with flash photography, they immediately jump into the assumption that you are using 3 monolights, 60" umbrellas, softboxes you can live inside, a white reflective movable wall, and 12-foot backdrops, etc. I really just want to be able to get out of TTL mode and feel comfortable doing it. I think towards the end of the book he throws in a second flash but pretty basic.
  12. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
  13. JensM

    JensM Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 6, 2016
    Oslo(ish), Norway
    As screename
    Of titles that are somewhat current, I like Scott Kelbys "The Digital Photograpy" series. Read them when I bought the first Dslr in 09, read them again when I got back into it now. May not be a very "learned" approach, if one is looking for the fellows in their Ivory towers, more to the tune of "Do this, get these results". They are short, neat and to the point and that is not wrong in my experience.

    The only thing I struggle with, are the inane amounts of wedding photography, but Kelby is not the only one hyping that, even if it in general seems to be a US phenomena, so I have probably missed something along the way.

    The first can be found here, at least for us European peeps: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Digital-Photography-Book-Part/dp/0321934946/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1465216019&sr=8-1&keywords=scott+kelby+digital+photography
  14. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    First of all, I love the Street Focus podcast. Valerie Jardin has a great outlook on life and photography. Just found that podcast a few months ago.

    I like David Duchemin's books: Amazon.com: David DuChemin: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle - he's more into the mental aspects than the mechanics, however. For street photography, David Gibson's The Street Photographer's Manual is pretty good.
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