A Photographer’s Bookshelf

A collection of photo books close at hand. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

A collection of photo books close at hand. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

[Editor’s Note:  Today we’re introducing this new feature, A Photographer’s Bookshelf, here on The Discerning Photographer. About once a month I plan to recommend a handful of books that have caught my eye. Some will be how-to, some inspiration. Please drop me a comment or email and let me know what you think of this new offering.    –DiscerningPhotog]

There was a time early in my development as a photographer when I struggled with a basic question: buy photography books or camera equipment? Frequently the books won out, as I knew even in those early days that reading voraciously about my passion would do as much for my development as actually shooting….well, almost as much.

Now, while the internet has made information easier to find, I still think that reading and absorbing as much about this craft/passion/hobby/profession of ours is critical to your ongoing development as a photographic artist. So I plan, from time to time, to suggest some books for your perusal and study.

There’s something inherently more satisfying in holding a book, turning its pages, discovering what is has to offer you, than in staring at your computer screen.

You may decide to buy some of these, or simply to look them over with a cup of coffee at your local Barnes & Noble. Either way, slow down, take your time, and enjoy the process and joy of seeing another fine photographer’s work.

Digital Photographer's Handbook, by Tom Ang.

Digital Photographer's Handbook, by Tom Ang.

Digital Photographer’s Handbook, by Tom Ang

Ang has written a number of excellent how-to books on photography. This one is no exception, comprehensive in scope, attractively laid out and presented. From image creation to printing.  $24.95

Oceanscapes, by Debra Bloomfield

Oceanscapes, by Debra Bloomfield

Oceanscapes, by Debra Bloomfield

Ocean landscapes by a fine art photographer. Simply stunning, the ocean as you’ve never seen it. With commentary and an interview with the photographer. $40.00

The Photographer's Eye, by Michael Freeman

The Photographer's Eye, by Michael Freeman

The Photographer’s Eye, by Michael Freeman

A  basic book on composition and design. All aspects of composition addressed. Attractively packaged and laid out. A nice book! $29.95

Manchac Swamp, by Julia Simms

Manchac Swamp, by Julia Simms

Manchac Swamp: Louisiana’s Undiscovered Wilderness, by Julia Simms

Now a plug for a local compatriot of mine. Julia Simms is a consummate nature and wildlife photographer and these photographs are lovely. If you thought you’d seen the Louisiana swamp after seeing C.C. Lockwood’s photographs, you need to take another look. $40.00

Examples, by Ansel Adams

Examples, by Ansel Adams

Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, by Ansel Adams

This is a great book. Adams takes you inside his head as he explains his thought process and working approach to creating some of the most famous photographs ever made. This should be mandatory reading for anyone serious about pursuing nature photography as a specialty. $39.99

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selfport1aHi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Inspire

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

4 Comments on "A Photographer’s Bookshelf"

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  1. If you wanted to become good on your craft, it is also necessary to gt some insights from the other people of the dame craft. Checking out some of the photographer’s work is also a good idea as you would also learn something from their work. These suggested photo books are perfect. I have a copy of Oceanscapes by Debra Bloomfield and its really wonderful. I get more inspired, I’ll get a copy of the other photographer’s book.. Thanks for the suggestions.

  2. When I was just beginning in photography, one of my inspirations it by looking at other professional photographers. It will be a big help to have one of these books because it will help you broaden your knowledge on how to be come good at it. I would sure get a copy of these.

  3. Jenny says:

    Think of a photo project you’ve always wanted to do. Only this time, think of it as a private project. YOU are the audience. You have to make a pact with yourself. You will NEVER, EVER show the images from this project to ANYONE. In fact, you will delete the images once the project is over – all except for one which you will use as a reminder that shooting from the heart makes the best photograph.

  4. Justin says:

    Photography is an art and I’m looking forward to developing my passion with your book recommendations.

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