One of the most common ways in which today, this wonderful art is learned, is through self-taught reading. To understand the basic principles of photography or to acquire information. About tricks, special techniques and tips that allow you to improve your photographs. It will not be enough to read every article that goes around the Internet. You must go to the sources of knowledge. Books are an inexhaustible source of information and inspiration for all those photographers who dare to read them.
Now, the immense amount of books and the great variety of authors available. So that you acquire all the necessary information and you can take your photographs to another level. Instead of helping you to perfect yourself as a photographer, they end up disorienting you.
That’s why, in today’s article, I’ve prepared a list of 11 must-have books. That can’t be missing from your photo library and that will help you empower the artist in you.
The Photography Books
If you do a quick search on the internet. You will find that the amount of books available about this art is abysmal. Year after year, the quantity and variety of manuals, books and articles that are published is abysmal. Which can make that, if you are taking your first steps. You do not have well in clear where to begin.
To help you get your bearings in this sea of ink. I have prepared a list of books that cannot be missing from your photo library.
Photography Step by Step – Michael Langford
To enter the world of photographic bibliography with this book is to do it through the big door. Although it was published in 1978, almost all of its content is still valid today. Although some of its contents such as developing and enlargements are only applicable to analog photography. You can take advantage of these chapters to learn a little about the history of photography. While the rest of the chapters will be of great help to learn. From the fundamentals of handling the camera to lighting techniques, types of framing, rules of composition, etc.. Throughout its more than 200 pages and 800 illustrations. The author will introduce you in a clear and effective way in the aspects. That will be the basis for all the knowledge that you acquire later. This is one of my favorite books =).
You can take a look at it using google books and if you want to get yours.
The Eye of the Photographer – Michael Freeman
This book is really a masterpiece that will help you understand what to do with your camera. With this manual you will be able to take control in each one of your photographs since. It approaches the principles of the composition and the design through diverse examples and schemes. That will help you to understand each thematic very easily. Have you ever wondered why there are more attractive photographs than others? By reading this book you will understand not only why, but also how.
Thanks to this book and the practical guides that enlarge it. You will be able to develop to the maximum your abilities to achieve that your photographs become incredible.
You can buy your copy at Amazon for only 24 euros. And once you’ve read it, don’t forget to take a look at the field guide that the author has prepared. To put into practice what you’ve learned in The Eye of the Photographer.
The Lucid Camera – Roland Barthes
The Lucida Camera is a photography book different from the two manuals I mentioned earlier. In fact, it is probably a book without equal. That’s why I recommend it. With this work you will be able to enter into the photography that is to say, in its messages, expressions. And in the way in which these process sensations to turn them into a singular photography. This work seeks to find a meaning to photography beyond the techniques to produce them. If you want to write your own photographs, this is the book for you.
You can get a copy of this issue for just 19 euros on Amazon. But if you have any doubts about its content, take a look before you buy it.
Recording Light: The Soul of Photography – Michael Freeman
This work by Michael Freeman will not only allow you to conceive photographs. But also turn them into reality by making the most of your raw material: light. Thanks to this book you will not only be able to understand the theoretical aspects. And the qualities of the different types of light. But you will also learn how to capture them in all your photographs in a quick and simple way. Chasing the light is really difficult if you always run behind it, but thanks to this book you will be able to anticipate it easily, and then register it making the most of it.
But that’s not all because, at the end of the book you will see how to apply and experiment with light in the different photographic disciplines and how to compose with it using it as a creative element and how to make the most of the different tools that the digital era introduced in photography: post production.
If you want to become an expert in the modeling of light do not leave your library orphan of this work of art.
On Amazon you can find it for approximately 28 euros.
People Photography – Michael Gnade
If I had to choose a book to take with me everywhere, it would surely be this one. =)
Thanks to this work you will be able to get into the thoughts of a photographer at the time of taking his shots, the reason for the choice of elements, their arrangement in the frame and the technical equipment necessary to make them. This book is really a relic since it was published in 1978 but, beyond the change of technology, it is completely current.
The fundamental contribution that you will find in this book is undoubtedly: the inspiration, since, the photographs that the author chose to illustrate each one of the techniques of photography of people that I use, are really spectacular. It also has another detail, each photograph is accompanied not only by a brilliant explanation but also bring schemes that will help you understand the reason for the choice of composition in each of them.
Getting one of these is really difficult, but for your fortune, there are 3 copies available on Amazon at a very low price: 8 euros each.
The secrets of the photographic exhibition – Bryan Peterson
The primary raw material of each photograph, light, must not only be molded but also know how to capture it. This work will allow you, in a simple and clear way, to understand all the secrets of the photographic exhibition through the compression of its three key factors: shutter speed, aperture of the diaphragm and ISO sensitivity.
With this book, perform a correct measurement and exposure of your photographs freeing you once and for all from the automatic or semi-automatic modes. After all, you’re the one who should make the decisions, not your camera.
You can get your copy of this issue for approximately 21 euros at Amazon.
About photography – Susan Sontag
This essay is far from everything you can find in the vast majority of photography books that you may come across. This work delves into the deepest corners of this wonderful art: its role as a means of ideological communication.
Although it was published in 1975, all the questions and reflections that it raises around photography still remain and will continue to be in force for much longer since they make art in itself, beyond the medium by which it is expressed.
You will find in this work very interesting reflections on the role of photography in today’s society as an artistic discipline that will stimulate you to investigate, experiment and reflect not only on how to carry out photography, but art itself.
For only 10 euros you can take a trip to the depths of photographic art. Are you ready?
The Photographer’s Vision: Understanding and Appreciating Good Photography – Michael Freeman
By now you will have realized that I am really a fan of Michael Freeman, and once you read some of his works, I’m sure you will be too.
Analyzing and understanding the messages of a photograph is not as simple as you can imagine, so this work comes to give you a hand in it. Through this book you will be able to understand the complicated photographic medium and identify those factors that make a photograph successful.
By analyzing the work of the great masters of photography, you will learn how to observe, analyze and understand their work, as well as transfer all that knowledge to your own projects.
This book is not only to read and enjoy but also to reflect and debate all the opinions that the photographs awaken in each one of us.
You can buy a copy of this book for about 23 euros.
Read this book if you want to take good pictures – Henry Carrol
If you were looking for a book that, in a simple way, introduces you to all the technical concepts of photography but without falling into innumerable and tedious technicalities, this is the work for you.
This book is far from being a manual so its reading and comprehension is ideal if you are looking for relaxed photographic reading material, that is, you should not study it but rather enjoy reading it. If the typical manuals, even some of the ones I have recommended here, intimidate you, starting by reading this book will be of great help to you.
This book will allow you to know the basics of photography but through more than 50 photographs and case studies taken from the great masters of classical photography of the stature of Henry Cartier Bresson, to incorporate the knowledge as you read.
Another good news: since you lack all the technicalities of this type of work, you don’t need to have a reflex digital camera because the concepts in this book are applicable to any type of photographer, whatever camera you have in your hands.
Where to buy it? You can get your copy at Amazon for only 11 euros.
Composition in photography: the language of art – Jose Benito Ruiz
If you are a photographer and you don’t know José Benito Ruiz you should worry and if you don’t know him you are Spanish, you should worry even more. José Benito Ruiz is a Spanish photographer who, in my opinion, is a master among masters, so ignoring his work is almost a sin.
As its cover indicates, composition is the language of art, so if you want your photographs to speak for you, you can’t leave it outside your library.
This book deals with a subject as complex as composition, in a very didactic way, in which there is not an exhaustive enunciation of the photographic rules, but rather it teaches you how to reason them. You will learn the how and why of the distribution of the elements in the frame so as to convey the sensations you want, using one or another composition and a certain technique for it.
This book more than a manual is an experience, so you are almost forced to get your copy.
However, not everything is perfect: it only uses examples of nature photography and its price is somewhat high and tends to run out quickly.
Image merchants. Photography as passion and profession – David Duchemin
If you are thinking of taking the leap to become a professional, you can not stop reading this spectacular book as it aims to combine your passion with your job: being a photographer.
This book will help you overcome many of the obstacles you will face as you try to walk the paths of professionalism in a very peculiar way: through experience and motivation.
Although there is no single way to travel the life of a professional photographer, this book will serve as a guide not to get lost in the road.
You can get your own roadmap to professionalism for 28 euros at Amazon.
Let your imagination run wild with these fantastic books
In order to achieve true knowledge in this beautiful art that is photography it is necessary that you combine two elements: Information and experience. If you only acquire information and do not put it into practice, you will not have really incorporated it and, at the same time, in order to be able to polish the techniques through practice and acquire experience, it is necessary that you acquire the knowledge that will allow you to have control over your work.
That’s why, if you don’t want all the pages of the books I’ve just recommended to go blank, as you acquire all the information, put it into practice. In this way you will transform information and experience into real knowledge.
If you’ve read one of them or have another book to recommend, don’t miss it in the comments! =) And don’t forget to share this article!