There are millions of photography books out there, and I often get asked if I recommend any books in particular for learning, study or inspiration. Personally I have really enjoyed the books that I have listed below, I think the most important book for an aspiring photographer is my top choice, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. The others are excellent too, so buy them all at the same time and read them all back to back, you’ll instantly be in a better position next time you are out with the camera practicing some of the ideas that these books will teach you.
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera – Bryan Peterson
This is just a fundamental book that every photographer, no matter what level should read – really helps get a real world example of how to think about exposure and using different exposures makes such a a difference to your photographs, and how it changes your way of thinking. See more >
The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos – Michael Freeman
This book I really loved, it is more of a book to teach you how to think and be creative, rather than another book on technique, and is a book I really didn’t want to come to an end. Really inspiring and gets you to think about the photograph – and not about the camera. Covering age old creative vision ideas – to really try and get you in the zone. Can’t recommend this book enough, it really should be on the top reading list of all photographers, no matter what the level.See More >
Basics Photography: Lighting by David Prakel
If you have an interest in how to use external flash or lighting systems to improve your photographs, then this is the book for you. Documenting differing ways of approaching lighting a subject, tailored to each level of photographic knowledge – I think most people will get good use out of this great photography book. See more >
Black and White: The Definitive Guide for Serious Digital Photographers (Digital Photography Expert) – Michael Freeman
This book really does help you understand what is going on with a black and white photo, whether you are new to the process of converting colour to monochrome, or you are just looking for a book that will help perfect the final touches to your black and white images. I found this book really helpful, it’s well written and not out of reach for beginners. See More >
Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Celebrity Editorial Photography – Michael Grecco This book I quite enjoyed, somewhat over the top in places, but definitely one more for inspiration rather than technique, but still a great book I would recommend. Talking mostly about using external flashes and extra light to help your photography ‘pop’, I found it to be useful and well worth a read. I have referred back to this book a number of times, so it’s not just going to sit on the shelf and gather dust.
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