So you’ve finally made the jump and decided to learn photography. Of course you go online, hit Google, and have a seizure from all of the search results. It’s hard to separate what you need to know from what you don’t, and even what information is correct. That means it’s time to pick a few books on photography. They’ll have the information you need and, lets face it, you’ll look a lot less silly referring to a book instead of your laptop when you’re out photographing the world.
You visit a few websites, a few bookstores and guess what? There’s just as many books as there are websites on photography! Well if you’re having trouble figuring out what books you need the most, here are some suggestions:
Photography by London, Stone, and Upton – Buy Now!
The priciest book on this list, it’s well worth it. Photography is a well written and illustrated manual that covers the basic technical aspects of digital and film photography. Don’t even know the names of your camera’s parts? This book will walk you through that. One of the best illustrations in the book breaks down the concept of shutter speed and aperture by comparing it to a faucet filling a bucket. It’s foolproof.
Light – Science and Magic by Hunter and Fuqua – Buy Now!
Light has many qualities, is it hard, is it soft, what color is it, how bright is it? Light – Science and Magic walks you through the qualities of light and how to reproduce them. You’ll understand why photographers use large softboxes and umbrellas to produce soft light. Did you know that the sun and a light bulb don’t produce the same color white? Besides the basics, the book covers more advanced topics like controlling reflection in glass and metal. A dry read but packed to bursting with information.
Digital Photography Masterclass by Tom Ang – Buy Now!
You’ve learned the basics with the first two books on the list, now it’s time to expand your creativity. Digital Photography Masterclass explores the technical aspects and applies them with creative assignments at the end of each chapter. You’ll be shooting everything from pet portraits to architecture while creatively applying shutter speed, aperture, exposure, color, composition, and light. After going through the assignments, you’ll be exposed to subjects you never thought about photographing before, in ways that never crossed your mind.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers by Martin Evening – Buy Now!
You’ve nailed down camera and lighting, but now you want to spice up your photos. Adobe Photoshop is the defacto standard in the photography world, the new digital darkroom, and there is no better way to learn its powerful tools than with Adobe Photoshop CS4 for Photographers. This book goes in depth with every single Photoshop tool, how, and when to use them. With over 600 pages, this book even includes a DVD with sample photos and QuickTime videos. By the time you’re done with it, you’ll be photoshopping yourself onto the surface of Mars.
Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer by Tad Crawford – Buy Now!
Now you’ve been shooting a few months and developing your style, your friends start asking you to take their photos and they even offer to pay! You may not want photography to be your day job but Starting Your Career as a Freelance Photographer is a great reference for anyone who makes a little side money. This book will help you figure out what to charge your friends, family, and any other clients you gain. Mistakes and disputes happen so this book even has sample contracts and invoices to keep you safe. Who knows, maybe your passion for photography will keep you fed and clothed.
Now that you’ve seen some suggestions, it’s time to hit the bookstore. Photography is the life long passion of many people, and if it’s starting to become yours, there’s no excuse to learn all you can about it.