Despite the patent rewiring of our brains in the modern age to get sated with just brief 140-character texts through tweets and social media posts, I am one of those who still values the written word. In fact, devouring written literature serves as my therapy of sorts as well as a fantastic source of many things about photography.
These are only three of the books on photography that have helped me become better at the craft.
I picked up Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen back in the day when I was just groping my way as a beginner in photography. It definitely stands out for being the most helpful, in immeasurable ways. This is the book I grab when I am in need of a refresher.
It has been instrumental in helping me transition from the basic point and shoot modes to the more creative functionalities of my camera. Notwithstanding the unassuming title, this book has helped me tremendously with composition, depth of field, and plenty of other essential aspects of the craft.
There are pictures galore, and the book provides an easy and straightforward reading about lighting and shutter speed, the basic photography triumvirate, the basics of aperture, among many others.
What They Didn’t Teach You In Photo School: The secrets of the trade that will make you a success in the industry by Demetrius Fordham is another great find. While joining workshops and classes provide a wonderful means of learning the critical skills that will allow you to take spectacular photos, they do not ultimately teach you how to actually be a photographer.
This book, however, helps you turn from a talented amateur to a professional with a solid reputation. If you intend to make you own mark and create a solid business in photography, you will genuinely learn a lot from the hard-earned lessons Fordham passes on from his own high-flying career in editorial, commercial, and lifestyle photography.
Not only does the book teach you how to develop an exceptional portfolio but it also helps you learn how to snag the best assistant roles and internships, impress at interviews, and lay the solid groundwork for a profitable career.
Written by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua, Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, is an amazingly magical resource on photographic lighting that has been heavily recommended in circles for years. Suffice it to say the book has become a well-respected guide and has undergone thorough updating and revisions on the design and content.
Today, it has been produced in full color. The book teaches about a logical theory of photographic lighting that novices can learn a lot from in terms of being able to foresee results prior to the light setup. Learn about the principles and nature of light, specifically the comprehensive theory of the two components in expressing creativity.
Those three books are worth the money and have helped me enormously in my journey as a photographer.