10 Photography Books You Should Read Now

In a culture that wants us to disengage, I want to encourage you to take some time to engage your brain with some of these photography book recommendations to help you become a better photographer.

Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach by Kenneth Kobre

Photojournalism: A Professionals' Approach, 6th edition blends insightful interviews with professionals, practical experience, current equipment and camera technology, and high-impact photographs to create the definitive book on photojournalism. The DVD features footage of working professionals handling on-the-job challenges.

This revised edition features information on new laws affecting photojournalists, new trends in multimedia to keep skills competitive, and as the world grows smaller, a look back at some international history in the photography world. Updates throughout the a imaging chapter, feature pictures, picture editing, ethics, law and wartime censorship keep this book the bible it is known to be. More interviews and case studies with industry greats result in a stunning and dramatic showcase of the best of photojournalism.

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. 

With all new images, as well as an expanded section on flash, tips for using colored gels, and advice on shooting star trails, this revised edition will clarify exposure for photographers of all levels.

The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

Design is the single most important factor in creating a successful photograph. The ability to see the potential for a strong picture and then organize the graphic elements into an effective, compelling composition has always been one of the key skills in making photographs.

Digital photography has brought a new, exciting aspect to design - first because the instant feedback from a digital camera allows immediate appraisal and improvement; and second because image-editing tools make it possible to alter and enhance the design after the shutter has been pressed. This has had a profound effect on the way digital photographers take pictures.

Now published in sixteen languages, The Photographer's Eye continues to speak to photographers everywhere. Reaching 100,000 copies in print in the US alone, and 300,000+ worldwide, it shows how anyone can develop the ability to see and shoot great digital photographs. The book explores all the traditional approaches to composition and design, but crucially, it also addresses the new digital technique of shooting in the knowledge that a picture will later be edited, manipulated, or montaged to result in a final image that may be very different from the one seen in the viewfinder.

Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3 by Scott Kelby

Scott Kelby, the man who changed the "digital darkroom" forever with his groundbreaking, #1 bestselling, award-winning book The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers, shows which button to push, which setting to use, when to use them, and hundreds of the most closely guarded photographic "tricks of the trade" to get budding photographers shooting dramatically better-looking, sharper, more colorful, more professional-looking photos with their digital camera every time they press the shutter button.

Scott tackles the most important side of digital photography--how to take pro-quality shots using the same tricks today's top digital pros use (and it's easier than you'd think). Each chapter is packed with plain English tips on using flash, shooting close up photography, travel photography, shooting people, and even how to build a studio from scratch, where he demystifies the process so anyone can start taking pro-quality portraits today! Plus, he's got full chapters on his most requested topics, including loads of tips for landscape photographers, wedding photographers, and there's an entire chapter devoted to sharing some of the pro's secrets for making your photos look more professional, no matter what you're shooting.

The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum

Without talking down to anyone or talking over anyone's head, renowned photographer, teacher, and author Bruce Barnbaum presents how-to techniques for both traditional and digital approaches. In this newest edition of the book, Barnbaum has included many new images and has completely revised the text, with particular focus on two crucial chapters covering digital photography: he revised a chapter covering the digital zone system, and includes a brand-new chapter on image adjustments using digital tools. There is also a new chapter discussing the concepts of “art versus technique” and “traditional versus digital” approaches to photography. Throughout the book, Barnbaum goes well beyond the technical, as he delves deeply into the philosophical, expressive, and creative aspects of photography so often avoided in other books.

Barnbaum is recognized as one of the world's finest landscape and architectural photographers, and for decades has been considered one of the best instructors in the field of photography. This latest incarnation of his textbook―which has evolved, grown, and been refined over the past 45 years―will prove to be an ongoing, invaluable photographic reference for years to come. It is truly the resource of choice for the thinking photographer.

The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

The source of any photograph is not the camera or even the scene viewed through the viewfinder-it is the mind of the photographer: this is where an image is created before it is committed to a memory card or film.  In The Photographer's Mind, the follow-up to the international best-seller, The Photographer's Eye, photographer and author Michael Freeman unravels the mystery behind the creation of a photograph.

The nature of photography demands that the viewer constantly be intrigued and surprised by new imagery and different interpretations, more so than in any other art form. The aim of this book is to answer what makes a photograph great, and to explore the ways that top photographers achieve this goal time and time again.

As you delve deeper into this subject, The Photographer's Mind will provide you with invaluable knowledge on avoiding cliché, the cyclical nature of fashion, style and mannerism, light, and even how to handle the unexpected.

Michael Freeman is the author of the global bestseller, The Photographer's Eye. Now published in sixteen languages, The Photographer's Eye continues to speak to photographers everywhere. Reaching 100,000 copies in print in the US alone, and 300,000+ worldwide, it shows how anyone can develop the ability to see and shoot great digital photographs.

A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book: 95 Inspiring Ideas for  Photographing Your Friends, Your World, and Yourself by Emma Chapman and Elsie Larson

Whether it’s of your sister’s smile, your morning coffee, or your new puppy, photos are a way to connect on Facebook and Instagram, keep a visual diary of our lives, and create momentos for future generations. Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman, creators of the mega-popular DIY style blog A Beautiful Mess, are in love with photographing everyday life. Here, they share that love with 95 all-new tips and photo challenges that will inspire you to style and snap better photos and then transform them into simple yet stunning projects and gifts. You’ll learn how to:
 
   • Take the most flattering self-portraits
   • Be your own stylist to turn dull, cluttered photos into pretty lifestyle photography
   • Capture adorable couple portraits
   • Turn everyday moments, hobbies, and rituals into amazing photos
   • Show off your favorite photos by turning them into handmade jewelry, home décor, and gifts
 
Packed with Elsie and Emma’s happy spirit and unique style, A Beautiful Mess Photo Idea Book will inspire you to capture your days, your friends, and your dreams in beautiful photos!

In Camera: Perfect Pictures Straight Out of the Camera by Gordon Laing

With amazing low-light capabilities, incredible definition, intelligent autofocus and a host of other features, it's fair to say that digital cameras have now become so powerful that they have left many of their users behind. Most photographers are able to take competent shots in a range of conditions, or fix imperfect exposures in Photoshop or Lightroom, but very few have the skill to really push their cameras to the limit and capture the perfect shot, under all conditions, with no post-processing required.

In Camera is the perfect way to take your photography to that level; to master your camera, understand light, exposure and composition, and make amazing photographs, whatever your camera, without cheating after the event. 100 of Gordon's photos are given his own expert commentary; full settings and camera details are included, and a host of tips and tricks let photographers of any level learn something from every example. The shots are taken with a wide range of cameras, including mid-range, compact and mirrorless models, and the emphasis is on getting results by improving your own skills, not wasting money on expensive professional-level equipment and software.

Read This If You Want to Take Great PhotographS by Henry Carroll

Photography is now more popular than ever thanks to the rapid development of digital cameras. Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs is for this new wave of DSLR dabblers and users of compact system, and bridge cameras. It contains no graphs, no techie diagrams and no camera club jargon. Instead, it inspires readers through iconic images and playful copy packed with hands-on tips.

Split into five sections, the book covers composition, exposure, light, lenses, and seeing. Images taken by master photographers – including Henri Cartier- Bresson, Sebastião Salgado, Fay Godwin, and Martin Parr – serve to illustrate points and encourage readers to try out new ideas.

Today's aspiring photographers want immediacy and see photography as an affordable way of expressing themselves quickly and creatively. This book answers that need, teaching readers how to take photographs using professional techniques.

Vivian Maier: Street PhotographeR by Vivian Maier and John Maloof 

The original, instant classic which set the world afire. The first book to introduce the phenomenon that is the life story and work of Vivian Maier.

A good street photographer must be possessed of many talents: an eye for detail, light, and composition; impeccable timing; a populist or humanitarian outlook; and a tireless ability to constantly shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot and never miss a moment. It is hard enough to find these
qualities in trained photographers with the benefit of schooling and mentors and a community of fellow artists and aficionados supporting and rewarding their efforts. It is incredibly rare to find it in someone with no formal training and no network of peers.

Yet Vivian Maier is all of these things, a professional nanny, who from the 1950s until the 1990s took over 100,000 photographs worldwide—from France to New York City to Chicago and dozens of other countries—and yet showed the results to no one. The photos are amazing both for the breadth of the work and for the high quality of the humorous, moving, beautiful, and raw images of all facets of city life in America’s post-war golden age.

It wasn’t until local historian John Maloof purchased a box of Maier’s negatives from a Chicago auction house and began collecting and championing her marvelous work just a few years ago that any of it saw the light of day. Presented here for the first time in print, Vivian Maier: Street Photographer collects the best of her incredible, unseen body of work.

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