Best Books to Learn Photography

I have been a photographer for many years and in that time I have read an inordinate amount of books about the subject. Some of those books have been about the specific cameras that I own. Other books have been about the technical aspects of photography, and there have been books I have read that were about a particular type of photography. Here is my selection of what I consider to be the best books to learn about photography.Tom Ang was a senior lecturer on photographic practice for over 10 years at the University of Westminster. He also travelled extensively in Central Asia as a photographer and is the author of over 20 books about photography. Two of his books that I have read from cover to cover several times over are “Digital Photography Step by Step” and “How to Photograph Absolutely Everything”. The first of these books is a practical guide for the beginner on camera basics including setting up useful information about photo techniques for the beginner and the more experienced photographer alike. It includes a section on mastering photo subjects and another on enhancing and manipulating images. The second of the books mentioned assists you on being able to perfect photos on any subject you may encounter. It shows you the finished result in each case and provides you with the settings used, the camera mode, lens settings, ISO, flash, and provides hints and tips to achieving great results for yourself.Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen is a must for those unsure what exposure is all about. It can be a confusing subject made worse by the many and varied digital controls available on modern digital DSLR cameras. Bryan cuts though the technical jargon and provides simple explanations and apt photographs to illustrate how to take perfect exposures every time. You will read this book and like a light bulb switching on, it will make you suddenly become aware that exposure is no longer a mystery.Just about any book written by Ansel Adams is a have to have for your photographic library. He was one of the masters and forerunner of knowledge about the Zone System as a way of determining proper exposure.The book “Photographic Composition” by Grill and Scanlon, explains in detail about one of the most important aspects of photography: composition.There are many specialist area photography books on the market, far too many to detail here. However, because I enjoy taking pet portraits, one book that I refer to a great deal is “Pet Photography Now!” by Paul Walker. The content’s fresh approach looks not only at the essentials of pet photography but also looks at pets in detail. There are sections on dogs and puppies, cats and kittens, horses and ponies, birds and even a small furry friend section. If you are into portraits and candid photography, the workshop book of the same name by Erin Manning provides understanding about the technology and basics for developing an artistic eye for photographing people.If you need specific information about the camera body you use but find the user guide that came with it is too technical and confusing, I recommend the Magic Lantern Guide series from Barns & Noble publishers for information on just about any major camera model. Each guide provides in depth instructions on how to get the best out of your camera by explaining in reasonably simple terms about the camera controls.Don’t forget that the many photographic forums and websites online are a very informative source about anything you wish to know about photography. Often they provide details about eBooks on specialist subjects, many of which are low priced or even free.

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