It is never a bad idea to look for content and tutorials online when it comes to learning about something new but it is very difficult to access content in its purest and expanded form in the sea of cluttered abridged information. For a ready reference to something, these add-filled spaces do provide substantial information but one must never hesitate to take shelter in the abode of books to access knowledge in its purest form. These books definitely cost some money but shouldn’t you spend a couple of bucks on your passion when you spend hundreds (maybe thousands) on less important things in our daily lives.
It’s time that not only your portfolio but your bookshelves also convey the same story. The saga of you as a passionate photographer on a mission to ‘capture’ the world! The technology has changed from Daguerreotype to Digital, the era has changed from cave paintings to wall hanging life-sized portraits but one thing has remained the same: an artist’s quest for knowledge! The world today is fast-paced and there is an urgent need to slow things down and to appreciate and understand the beauty of photography.
Here is a list of books that every photographer must read to ensure his or her long-term viability in the ocean of gazillion photographers.
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
Understanding Exposure has taught generations of photographers how to shoot the images they want by demystifying the complex concepts of exposure in photography. In this newly updated edition, veteran photographer Bryan Peterson explains the fundamentals of light, aperture, and shutter speed and how they interact with and influence one another. With an emphasis on finding the right exposure even in tricky situations, Understanding Exposure shows you how to get (or lose) sharpness and contrast in images, freeze action, and take the best meter readings, while also exploring filters, flash, and light.
How to Photograph Absolutely Everything by Tom Ang
This book delivers exactly what the title promises. Avoiding intimidating technical jargon, he explains the basic elements of photography - light, color, composition, and focus - then goes on to show how to make them work for you. From still lifes to children's parties, thunderstorms to sunsets, close-ups to panoramas, every photographic subject, technique, and challenge is covered. Using step-by-step photographs and instructions, Tom shows you how to take the best possible picture in any situation.
Humanity: A Celebration of Friendship, Family, Love & Laughter by Geoff Blackwell (Editor)
It has little writing, only inspirational quotes, and 150 beautiful photos. To sum this book up I would say it’s incredibly inspiring. The photos are about life, capturing beautiful life and when I feel like I’m in a rut, it’s the only book I will pick up.
Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies by Lee Varis
For portrait photographers, I think this book is a must have. A popular topic we always hear about on forums receive emails on, etc. are skin tones. Skin tones & color are so important to the look of your images. Good color & skin tone can take a flat image & make it look exceptional. This book is exceptional in its content and outright amazing!!
The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman
The design is the single most important factor in creating a successful photograph. The ability to see the potential for a strong picture, then organize the graphic elements into an effective, compelling composition has always been one of the key skills in making photographs. There are more books by this wonderful author like "The photographer's mind".
The Digital Photography Book (Volume 1) by Scott Kelby
It’s claimed to be the world’s best-selling book on digital photography! There are actually four volumes and all of them are heavenly. Scott Kelby’s books are easy to read and straight to the point. He has a funny sense of humor, which makes them entertaining, and he writes as if you are his friend and he is giving you advice. He skips all the technical jargon and gives tips and techniques in plain terms that he has learned over the years from some of the top pros. He covers lighting techniques, composition, camera settings, editing, posing, exposure, printing and so much more.
The art of photography by Bruce Barnbaum
This is an updated and newly revised edition of the classic book The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression. Originally published in 1994 and first revised in 2010, The Art of Photography has sold well over 100,000 copies and has firmly established itself as the most readable, understandable, and complete textbook on photography.
The Beginner's Photography Guide by Chris Gatcum
Assuming no prior knowledge, this guide's easy-to-follow, the step-by-step layout makes it accessible as it takes you through every technique you need to create stunning images, from exposure to flash to image enhancement. Handy checklists provide a quick rundown of the equipment and camera settings for each technique, and at-a-glance comparison images show how camera settings can produce remarkably different results. Hundreds of inspirational images provide even more motivation to reach your goal.
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
Based on the blog with more than four million loyal fans, it is a beautiful, heartfelt, funny, and inspiring collection of photographs and stories capturing the spirit of a city. Definitely, a must go for the book! Once you start reading it, it becomes unputdownable.
Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color and Composition in Photography by Bryan Peterson
In this book, Peterson goes beyond the rule of thirds and discusses alternative “rules” of the composition. In addition to the “rules”, he also explains when it is okay to break them. He goes into lines, shapes, forms, framing within frames, using color, patterns, diagonals….all to create more interesting images. It is definitely worth adding to the photography book collection!
Written by Shivam Tiwari for WorldPhotographersClub.com
Cover photo by Giulia Bertelli