The Photographer’s Bookshelf

Photography Books. Click the photo to see a larger version.

Michael Freeman’s Capturing Light is new to this bookshelf. It is a Christmas gift from one of my children. If you aren’t acquainted with Freeman, and you love photography, it is time you meet. So I took a picture and decided to write about the books in this photograph. You are looking at one half of one shelf of two bookcases filled with photography books. I learned long ago that great photographers read a lot. Photo books, composition books, lighting books, art books, location guides, and a whole lot more. So I read books too.

Over on the left is my book, Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies. If you are a beginning to intermediate photographer, this is the book you should read first. To get the most out of my book, you will need a camera that allows you to take control of the apertures, shutter speed, and ISO of the camera, and you will need a lens you can focus manually.  I will show you how to make your camera do its tricks so you get the kind of images you want. You can learn all about my book here.

Michael Freeman’s books are for advanced photographers. The first three books (Eye, Mind, Vision) are a master class in advanced composition skills. Before you tackle these three books you should read Art Wolfe’s The Art of the Photograph. You can learn all about it here. Art is an amazing, world class photographer and his book is the very best introduction to beginning and intermediate photographic composition. After Art’s book you can dig in to Freeman’s books.

Capturing Light is, as you would guess, all about making use of photographic light to create dramatic and beautiful images. The kind of light you have available determines how you should shoot and what you should shoot. The best light for doing grand landscapes is usually not the best light for doing flower portraits. I cover the basics about light in my book. Freeman does the advanced stuff.

Perfect Exposure covers advanced exposure techniques. It is the best follow up to my book about exposure. After you master the basic and intermediate exposure techniques that I cover, then you can dive in to Freeman’s book.

Ansel Adams in on this shelf because he is one of my favorite photographers. There are several more of his books on another bookcase. I write about and recommend my favorite Ansel Adams books here.

Andrew Wyeth is one of my favorite artists. He fascinates me in part because our styles are so different. I have been studying his paintings. I write about him here.

Patrick Demarchelier is a remarkable fashion photographer. I photograph professional models so I am always looking for ideas.  I reflect on his life and share some of his classic images in this article.

Leonard Nimoy (yes, the actor) has combined the Jewish mystical experience with his own photography in a fascinating book. Using light, cloth, and the female form, he has created some beautiful images. I write about this book and give several examples of his work in this article.

There are also two oldies but goodies by Aaron Sussman and Andreas Feininger. There are some really good photography books from the 60s and 70s that are well worth finding and reading and several of Feininger’s books are on my shelves. I mention some of them in this article.

I recommend my favorite photography books in several categories in series of articles you will find here.


Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies

The Best Book on Professional Exposure Techniques by Michael Freeman

Ansel Adams: Books by (and About) the Master

Channeling My Inner Andrew Wyeth

Patrick Demarchelier (21 Aug 1943 – 31 March 2022)

Remembering Leonard Nimoy, The Photographer

Photographic Composition: The Essential Book by Art Wolfe

Advanced Photographic Composition: The Best Books by Michael Freeman

Some of the Best All Purpose Photography Books

Buyer’s Guide Series: Recommendations For The Best Photography Equipment, Software, Books, Magazines, DVDs, Online Photo Labs and More