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Best Photography Books

Explore the art of the lens through these top-rated photography books. These essential readings are compiled based on frequent recommendations from leading photography websites and publications.

Recommendations from 80 articles, Miranda Hart, Warren Buffett, Paul Graham and 24 others.
Best Photography Books
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Understanding Exposure book cover
Understanding Exposure
How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Bryan Peterson - 2004-08-01 (first published in 1990)
Goodreads Rating
Learn how to master the complex concepts of exposure in photography with this newly revised edition. Discover the fundamentals of exposure, including light, aperture, and shutter speed, and how to achieve successful images in any situation. With tips on how to get the best exposure in tricky situations, freeze action, and explore filters and flash, this book is essential for any photography enthusiast. Updated with all new images and captions, it's sure to be as popular as ever.
Magnum Contact Sheets book cover
Magnum Contact Sheets
Kristen Lubben - 2011-11-14
Goodreads Rating
Discover the creative methods and editing processes used by some of the greatest photographers of all time in Magnum Contact Sheets. This collection unveils the stories behind iconic photographs, from historic events to captivating individuals, through the use of contact sheets - providing a depth of understanding and critical analysis of the backstory to a photograph. With supporting texts by the photographers and ancillary material, Magnum Contact Sheets is a landmark publication spanning over seventy years of history.
Photographers Eye book cover
Photographers Eye
Michael Freeman - 2007-05-23
Goodreads Rating
This book delves into the art of design in photography and how it's the key determining factor in creating a successful photograph. With digital photography, the reader will learn how instant feedback allows for immediate improvement and image-editing tools offer enhanced design possibilities. The Photographer's Eye has been printed in over 16 languages and has reached over 300,000 readers worldwide, teaching photographers of all levels the skills to create great digital photographs. This book explores traditional composition techniques but also addresses the unique approach of shooting with the knowledge that an image can be altered or manipulated after the fact.
The Art of Photography book cover
The Art of Photography
A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression
Bruce Barnbaum - 2010-12-08 (first published in 1994)
Goodreads Rating
Discover the most comprehensive and accessible guide to photography with this newly revised edition of a classic book. This resource covers both traditional and digital techniques, while delving into the creative and expressive aspects of photography beyond just technicalities. Written by an esteemed photographer and instructor, readers of all levels will benefit from the insights provided. With over 100 stunning photographs and useful charts and tables, this book is the ultimate resource for anyone looking to make a personal statement through the art of photography.
Annie Leibovitz at Work book cover
Annie Leibovitz at Work
Annie Leibovitz - 2008-11-18
Goodreads Rating
Discover the secrets behind one of the most celebrated bodies of work in contemporary photography with this book. Annie Leibovitz explains how she creates her iconic images, covering topics such as photojournalism, studio work, and making the transition to digital cameras. Though aimed at young photographers, anyone interested in contemporary history will be captivated by Leibovitz's insightful account of her work. This revised and updated edition of a bestselling classic is not to be missed.
Henri Cartier-Bresson book cover
Henri Cartier-Bresson
The Decisive Moment
Cartier Bresson - 1952-01-01
Goodreads Rating
A renowned work in the history of photography, this book features the best early work of [AUTHOR'S NAME]. Originally titled "Images a la Sauvette," it was published in 1952, adorned with a stunning collage cover by Henri Matisse. Its title has since defined the concept of the perfect image, with all elements in the photograph reaching a formal peak. This meticulously crafted new edition is a faithful reproduction of the original. A bonus booklet features an essay by Centre Pompidou curator Clement Cheroux on the history of "The Decisive Moment."
The Moment It Clicks book cover
The Moment It Clicks
Photography Secrets from One of the World's Top Shooters
Joe McNally - 2008-01-01
Goodreads Rating
Learn photography secrets from one of the world's top pro digital photographers through a unique blend of stunning images and invaluable training. This book brings Joe McNally's on-location workshops to life, sharing his hard-earned tricks of the trade and how to get the shot. With insights on lighting, environmental portraiture, and more, this book is packed with "Ah ha!" moments that will help you make great photos at a level you never thought possible. Discover the "moment it clicks" and take your photography to the next level.
Digital Photography Complete Course book cover
Digital Photography Complete Course
Learn Everything You Need to Know in 20 Weeks
David Taylor - 2015-08-18
Goodreads Rating
Unlock the full potential of your camera with Digital Photography Complete Course. This comprehensive guide will take you on a step-by-step journey through every aspect of digital photography, using practical tutorials, assignments, and Q&As. With customizable modules and helpful visuals, you'll learn how to create stunning landscapes, still lifes, portraits, and action shots like a pro. Test your knowledge and troubleshoot issues along the way, and watch your photography skills soar.
Extraordinary Everyday Photography book cover
Extraordinary Everyday Photography
Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are
Brenda Tharp - 2012-08-21
Goodreads Rating
Improve Your Photography Skills Anywhere with Extraordinary Everyday Photography. In this book, authors Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring teach readers how to use composition, available light, color, and point of view to create stunning photographs in any environment. From city streets to your own front lawn, this book will help you find the beauty and capture compelling images that aren't overworked. The authors provide inspiring photo examples that show it's not about the gear, but the photographer's eye and creative vision that make a great image.
The Americans book cover
The Americans
Robert Frank - 1998-01-01 (first published in 1958)
Goodreads Rating
A stunning collection of photographs taken by Robert Frank during his travels across the United States in 1955 and 1956. These images offer a powerful and poignant snapshot of America during this time, depicting both hope and despair, beauty and tension. Frank's understanding of Americans' love for cars is particularly evident throughout the book. This volume features more than 80 photographs, each with its own page and limited caption information at the back, providing an intimate look at the images. Jack Kerouac's original introduction adds a complementary narrative dimension to Frank's stunning imagery.
Recommended by
Michael McKean
Stunning Digital Photography by Tony Northrup
Vivian Maier by Vivian Maier
The Hot Shoe Diaries by Joe McNally
Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson
The Beginner's Photography Guide by Chris Gatcum
BetterPhoto Basics by Jim Miotke
On Photography by Susan Sontag
Ansel Adams by Ansel Adams
Light Science & Magic by Fil Hunter
The Photographer's Guide to Posing by Lindsay Adler
Studio Anywhere by Nick Fancher
Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll
Picture Perfect Practice by Roberto Valenzuela
Bystander by Colin Westerbeck
LIFE Guide to Digital Photography by Joe McNally
Best Business Practices for Photographers by John Harrington
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
Sebastião Salgado. GENESIS by Lélia Wanick Salgado
Ansel Adams by Ansel Adams
The Negative by Ansel Adams
Within the Frame by David Duchemin
Ansel Adams in the National Parks by Ansel Adams
Black and White Photography by Henry Horenstein
Photography by Tom Ang
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby
What They Didn't Teach You In Photo School by Demetrius Fordham
Overview by Benjamin Grant
Gregory Heisler by Gregory Heisler
Picture Perfect Posing by Roberto Valenzuela
Diane Arbus by Doon Arbus
Peter Lindbergh. A Different Vision on Fashion Photography by Thierry-Maxime Loriot
Alex Webb by Alex Webb
Examples by Ansel Adams
Scott Kelby's Digital Photography by Scott Kelby
Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth
Mastering Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and Exposure by Al Judge
The Flash Book by Scott Kelby
Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a Book by Andrew Faulkner
Personal Best by Elliott Erwitt
Film Is Not Dead by Jonathan Canlas
The Photographers Eye by Michael Freeman
Creative Black and White by Harold Davis
Photography Demystified by Professor of Government David McKay
Obama by Pete Souza
The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Stephen Shore by Stephen Shore
The Print by Ansel Adams
Portraits by Steve McCurry
Walker Evans by Lincoln Kirstein
Speedliter's Handbook by Syl Arena
Steve McCurry by Steve McCurry
Road to Seeing by Dan Winters
Annie Leibovitz by Annie Leibovitz
Women by National Geographic
Understanding Close-Up Photography by Bryan Peterson
Bryan Peterson's Understanding Composition Field Guide by Bryan Peterson
The Visual Toolbox by David Duchemin
Trent Parke by Trent Parke
Understanding Flash Photography by Bryan Peterson
Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image by Alex Webb
Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4 by Scott Kelby
The Dramatic Portrait by Chris Knight
Camera by Todd Gustavson
Birds by Tim Flach
The Photographer's Playbook by Jason Fulford
Garry Winogrand Metropolitan Museum, New York by Leo Rubinfien
Digital Photography by Henry Horenstein
Joel Meyerowitz by Joel Meyerowitz
Mastering Portrait Photography by Sarah Plater
Richard Avedon by Michael Holm
National Geographic Image Collection by National Geographic
Bill Brandt by Sarah Hermanson Meister
Direction & Quality of Light by Neil van Niekerk
Beyond Snapshots by Rachel Devine
Understanding Color in Photography by Bryan Peterson
Shooting in Sh*tty Light by Lindsay Adler
One Face 50 Ways by Imogen Dyer
Man Ray by Guido Comis
Advancing Your Photography by Marc Silber
Tabletop Photography by Cyrill Harnischmacher
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Robert Petkoff, Donna Dale Carnegie, Simon & Schuster Audio
National Geographic The Photo Ark by Joel Sartore
Helmut Newton. SUMO. Revised by June Newton by Helmut Newton
Nick Brandt by Nick Brandt
Mastering Photographic Histograms by Al Judge
Chasing Light by Stefan Forster
Penguin by Stefan Christmann
Apollo Remastered by Andy Saunders