How to Photograph Landscapes by Joseph Lange and Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach are my favorite introductions to landscape photography.
I have a bunch of books on landscape photography and they all have a lot of good information, but these two books are the best to make a big, immediate difference in your landscape photography.
Both of these books are excellent. While they overlap quite a bit on the basics of landscape photography, there are differences. Lange spends more time on the artistic side and the Gerlachs spend more time on the technical side.
Lange’s book was written when film was king, but all of his wonderful advice applies to digital photography.
Both books have chapters on Composition, Light on the Land, Equipment, and Exposure. They take different approaches to exposure and both approaches are important to learn. (For the definitive book on exposure, see my top rated book, Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies.)
How are the two books different?
Lange has a chapter on Preparation and Attitude and he has a “show and tell” Portfolio chapter where he teaches you how he created a wide variety of images. I am blown away by Lange’s photography. It is no surprise he is a six time winner of the Eastman Kodak award as the world’s most versatile nature photographer.
The Gerlachs have chapters on HDR (high dynamic range) photography, Panoramas, and Techniques for Sharper Images.
Both books have a chapter on special subjects.
Lange’s special subjects:
Streams and Rivers
Trees and Forests
Deserts of the Southwest
The Gerlach’s special subjects:
Using Flash at Dawn and Dusk.
So which book should you get? Well, you know what I am going to say. There are enough differences that you should get both.
And if you asked me to pick just one, which would I suggest? Hard to say. If you need more help with the artistic side of things and want more special subjects, I would say get Lange. If you need more help on the technical side of things, get the Gerlach’s book.
You can get either or both books at Amazon at the links below. Like a lot of the best photography books, both of them are out of print so you can get used copies at very good prices from Amazon’s third party sellers.
How to Photograph Landscapes by Joseph Lange. (The book cover was changed from a half yellow cover to the cover you see at the top, but the book is the same.)
Digital Landscape Photography by John and Barbara Gerlach
Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies by Jim Doty, Jr.
Nature Photography Books at my photography store
Store.JimDoty.com – my photography store with direct links to Amazon.com
For more reading: Nature Photography Books: The Three Essentials. If you only read three nature photography books, put these on your “must read” list.
This is one in a series of articles that will guide you to the best of all things photographic. The rest are here: Buyer’s Guide: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More.