Best Photography Books – Camera Jabber
The best photography books challenge you to see and think in different ways, while teaching you at the same time. Although we are firmly in the age of the Internet, it is always nice to have a book on photography at your disposal to inspire you or as a reference for a specific question you may have at the moment. Google is a wonderful tool, but a book with an index that can quickly point you to your answer is so much better than having to navigate through pages of semi-relevant search results.
For our list of the best photography books, we’ve included a mix of beginner’s guides, ideas and inspiration, challenges, and essays on specific photography disciplines. Did we miss one of your favorite photography books? Let us know in the comments, and we can include it in our list!
A Year With My Camera, Volume 1: The Ultimate Photography Workshop for Complete Beginners: Volume 1
By Emma Davis
Emma Davies’ hugely popular book is a companion to her online course. Printed in black and white, A Year With My Camera is meant to be a book you pick up and put down, a book you write and revisit regularly. Davies’ approach dispels the idea that you have to learn everything about photography at once. This book is about going at your own pace, laying the groundwork for understanding how your camera works, and letting your creativity flourish from there. Plus, it’s about finding your own personal style.
A year with my camera, volume 2: The ultimate photography workshop for complete beginners: volume 2
By Emma Davis
Picking up where Volume 1 left off, A Year With My Camera Volume 2 assumes greater confidence in your skills and a better understanding of how your camera works. In this book, you’ll ditch your camera’s automatic mode and start exploring the ways you can work with light. Like the original, this is a book that’s not meant to sit on your shelf. It’s designed to be written down, carried in your camera bag, and be your companion as your photographic style develops.
52 Missions: Street Photography
By Brian Lloyd-Duckett
This creative photography book offers the reader 52 commands to capture different street photography concepts. Along the way, Lloyd-Duckett suggests ways to avoid the usual clichés of street photography by offering new ways to compose or expose your shots. It also suggests techniques to use to achieve certain types of looks and provides sample images to inspire you.
52 Missions: Nature Photography
By Ross Hoddinott and Ben Hall
In the nature installment of the popular 52 Assignments series, Hoddinott and Hall provide a year’s worth of commissions to capture striking animal images and macro masterpieces. You will learn how to set up a power station, work from a hiding place and much more.
The beginner’s guide to photography
Posted by DK
One of the best photo books for beginners, it’s also a great reference even for advanced photographers. A perennial bestseller, The Beginner’s Photography Guide is great for putting concepts into simple terms and showing you how to master your camera with step-by-step illustrated tutorials. There are also lots of nice touches, like sample photos with camera settings to show you the effect on an image, and projects and ideas at the end of a chapter to help you use the techniques you just learned. This comprehensive guide deserves a place in any photographer’s library.
Complete digital photography course: everything you need to know in 20 weeks
Posted by DK
A great guide for beginners, the complete digital photography course combines demonstrations, step-by-step tutorials and photo assignments to put your new skills into practice. Plus, the book has just been updated to show you how to achieve different effects using the latest cameras and lenses. You’ll learn everything from photo composition to the best camera settings for different subjects. It is also worth noting the superior quality of the book. With a sturdy hardcover and thick pages, it’s worth every penny and more of the low price.
The book of photography
By Ian Jeffrey and Caroline Kinneberg
It goes without saying that one of the best photo books should feature the best photographers, and Jeffrey and Kinneberg’s book does just that. This exquisite book is a showcase of 550 of the best images by photographers dating from the mid-19th century to the present day. Encompassing reportage, fashion, sports, portraiture, documentary, nature and a multitude of subjects and disciplines, you will be impressed by the role that photography has had on all facets of our culture. Next to the mages you will also find text explaining the images and, in some cases, ideas from the photographer. This is a coffee table book to end all coffee table books.
Tate: The Photography Ideas Book: Inspiration and advice from over 80 photos
By Lorna Yabsley
It’s a really fun book and a must-have for any creative photographer. Yabsley’s book is based on the philosophy that there is always a new way to photograph a subject. It might be a different angle or another shade of light, but there’s never an excuse to stop exploring. On each page you will find a new concept with an example image and suggestions on how to create an original and exciting image. If you’re looking to breathe new life into your photography, this photo book is for you.
The Photographic Storytelling Workshop: A Five-Step Guide to Creating Unforgettable Photographs
By Finn Beales
If Amazon ratings were the definitive criteria for being the best photobook, Beales’ bid would win hands down. With 625+ reviews, The Photography Storytelling Workshop is a five-star masterpiece that takes photographers beyond the basics of beginner photography and teaches you how to tell a story with your images – and get paid for it. Beales’, award-winning photographer and influencer, shares a five-step course on pitching, preparing, shooting, editing and delivering a photo story. Most important are the lessons on how to craft a visual story that creates intrigue and engages an audience. Beales suggests key shots to capture from events, landscapes, portraits, and other experiences, and how to edit your work into a concise series. If you’ve ever had the ambition to create narrative images, this is the best photo book money can buy.
Mastering Exposure: The Definitive Guide for Photographers
By David Taylor
Taylor’s book is aimed at more experienced photographers and is designed to help you get creative with light. Starting with the exposure triangle and the fundamentals, Taylor continues to show how to make creative interpretations of the “correct” exposures to achieve different results. The book explores the nature of light and the relationship of light to color. Along with some of Taylor’s images, you’ll also see histograms for different types of exposures, the effects of different white balance settings on a scene, and dynamic range. Additionally, Taylor takes the different types of exposures he shows how to make and applies them to different genres, such as landscapes and portraiture.
Landscape Lessons: 80 Techniques for Taking Better Photos
By Peter Watson
The bible for any budding landscape photographer, Waton’s book covers 80 proven techniques and offers a masterclass in landscape photography. From composition to exposure, the book serves as a complete course in outdoor photography. Watson’s striking images help illustrate the techniques to show you what’s possible. At under £10/$10, Lessons in Landscape is a bargain for the amount of information inside.
Edited by Jeff Meyer
Alright, so we said at the start of this guide that the best photo books are in physical form because you can get them quickly to hand, but that’s not always the case. Photography Week is an app-based photography magazine – shameless take – edited by this writer since 2012. Because it’s an app, the great thing about Photography Week is that it’s not just always close at hand, yet comfortably in your pocket at all times. For its low price, you get 52 issues a year with the latest news and reviews, plus tutorials on a myriad of topics, providing a nice archive of tips and tricks throughout the year.