One of the most common ways in which this wonderful art is learned today is through self-taught reading. So I bring you a list with some of the best photography books that exist today.
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 for you 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 number of books and the great variety of authors available so that you acquire all the necessary information and can take your photographs to another level, can end up making you, instead of helping you perfect yourself as a photographer, end up disorienting you.
That is why, in today’s article, I have prepared this list with 11 of the best photography books that can not miss in your library and that will help you empower the artist in you.
- Step by Step Photography – Michael Langford
- The photographer’s eye – Michael Freeman
- The Lucid Chamber – Roland Barthes
- The fundamentals of photography. High Quality Photography
- People Photography – Michael Gnade
- The secrets of the photographic exhibition – Bryan Peterson
- About photography – Susan Sontag
- The Photographer’s Vision: Understanding and Appreciating Good Photography – Michael Freeman
- Read this book if you want to take good pictures – Henry Carrol
- The art of composition – Fran Nieto
- The Personal Photographic Project – Rosa Isabel Vázquez
THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHY BOOKS
If you do a quick search looking for the best photography books on the internet, you will notice that the number of titles available about this art is abysmal. Year after year, the quantity and variety of manuals, books and articles that are published is enormous, which can make it difficult for you, if you are taking your first steps, where to start.
To help you get a little oriented in this sea of ink, I have prepared a list of books that you cannot miss in your photographic library.
1. PHOTOGRAPHY STEP BY STEP – MICHAEL LANGFORD
Entering the world of photographic bibliography with this book is doing it through the front door. Although it was published in 1978, almost all of its content is still in force today.
Although some of its contents such as development and extensions 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 you from the fundamentals of camera management to lighting techniques, types of frames, composition rules, etc.
Throughout its more than 200 pages and its 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 you acquire later. This is one of my favorite books =).
You can check it out using google books and if you want to get yours, you will find it on Amazon for approximately 30 euros .
2. THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S EYE – MICHAEL FREEMAN
This book is truly a masterpiece that will help you understand what to do with your camera once you have it in your hands.
With this manual you will be able to take control of each of your photographs since, in a very didactic way, it addresses the principles of composition and design through various examples and diagrams that will help you understand each subject very easily. Have you ever wondered why there are more attractive photographs than others? By reading this book you will understand not only the why, but also the how.
Thanks to this book and the practical guides that expand it, you will be able to develop your skills to the maximum to make your photographs become incredible.
You can buy your copy on Amazon for just 24 euros .
3. THE LUCID CHAMBER – ROLAND BARTHES
The Lucida Camera is a different photography book than the two manuals I mentioned earlier, in fact, it is probably a book without equal. So I recommend it.
With this work you will be able to delve into photography “that is not seen”, that is, in its messages, expressions and the way in which they transmit sensations to turn them into a singular photograph that produces desires in the spectators.
This work seeks to make sense of 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 copy for just 19 euros on Amazon , but, if you have doubts about its content, take a look before buying it HERE .
4. THE FUNDAMENTALS OF PHOTOGRAPHY. HIGH QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHY
It is most likely that Mellado is an author who, if you do not already have it, have seen it, it sounds familiar to you, or you have looked at some of his books.
Having any of your publications is essential for anyone who wants to learn photography self-taught. With this work with exercises at the end, very didactic and clear, full of practical advice and useful information, you can go much further than you imagine.
In this blog, we have dedicated, today, the review of this title and three others . You can take a look at them before deciding on one or the other 🙂
On Amazon you can find it for approximately 53 euros .
5. 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 inside the thoughts of a photographer when taking their shots, why they chose the 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 technology change, it is completely current.
The fundamental contribution that you will find in this book is, without a doubt, inspiration, since the photographs that the author chose to illustrate each of the photography techniques of people that he used, are truly spectacular. In addition, it has another detail, each photograph is accompanied not only by a brilliant explanation but also they bring diagrams that will help you understand the reason for the choice of composition in each of them.
Getting one of these copies is really difficult, you will most likely find it second hand, sometimes there are copies available on Amazon at a low price.
6. THE SECRETS OF THE PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION – BRYAN PETERSON
To the primordial raw material of each photograph, light, it is not only necessary to mold it but also to 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: the shutter speed , the aperture of the diaphragm and the ISO sensitivity .
With this book, make a correct measurement and exposure of your photographs freeing yourself once and for all from the automatic or semi-automatic modes. After all, it’s up to you to make the decisions, not your camera.
You can get your copy of this copy for approximately 23 euros on Amazon .
7. ABOUT PHOTOGRAPHY – SUSAN SONTAG
This essay departs from everything you can find in the vast majority of photography books 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 about photography still continue and will remain in force for a long time to come, since they make art itself, regardless of 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 on art itself.
For just 10 euros you can take a trip to the depths of photographic art. You are ready?
8. 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 any of his works, I am sure you will be too.
Analyzing and understanding the messages in a photograph is not as easy as you can imagine, so this work comes to help you out.
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 works of the great masters of photography , you will learn how to observe, analyze and understand their work, as well as transferring 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 arouse in each of us.
You can buy a copy of this book for about 23 euros .
9. READ THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT TO TAKE GOOD PICTURES – HENRY CARROL
If you are 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 compression 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.
It will allow you to know the fundamentals of photography but through more than 50 photographs and practical cases taken from the great masters of classical photography of the stature of Henry Cartier Bresson, to gradually incorporate knowledge while reading.
Another good news: lacking all the technicalities of this type of work, you do not need to have a digital SLR camera since the concepts outlined in this book are applicable to any type of photographer, whatever the camera you have in her hands.
Where to buy it? You can get your copy on Amazon for just 12 euros .
10. THE ART OF COMPOSITION – FRAN NIETO
As its cover indicates, composition is the language of art, so if you want to make your photographs speak for you, you cannot leave it off your list of best photography books that I have to have .
From our way of looking at the foundations of composition, the resources we have or our own attitude, everything is analyzed in this magnificent work on composition.
If you want to learn composition from one of the best, this book asks you to make a place for yourself in your bookstore. And, if you want to know it in depth, you can take a look at this article , since this book was one of our literary recommendations.
You can find it for about 26 Euros on Amazon.
11. THE PERSONAL PHOTOGRAPHIC PROJECT – ROSA ISABEL VÁZQUEZ
If you are thinking about starting your own photographic project and do not know where to start , you cannot stop reading this spectacular book that will take you into the complex and fascinating way that it entails.
The author will accompany you through the different stages that you will find yourself: from the search for the initial idea and research, taking the image or editing, the presentation format of the photograph and even editing.
Although there is no one way to navigate the life of the professional photographer, this book will serve as a guide so you don’t get lost on the road.
You can get your own roadmap to professionalism for 28 euros on Amazon .
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, to be able to polish techniques through practice and gain experience, it is necessary that you acquire the knowledge that allows you to have control over your work. .
That is why, if you do not want all the pages of the books that I have just recommended to you to remain blank, as you acquire all the information, put it into practice. In this way you will transform information and experience into true knowledge.
Knowledge does not take place.
If you have read any of them or have any other book to recommend that you consider should be in a list of the best photography books, please, do not stop doing it in the comments! We can’t include all the ones we thought of in the article, but the comment list can be as long as you want =) And don’t forget to share this article!