The Best of the Best: Recommendations For The Best Photo Gear, Books, Software, and Online Photo Labs

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

The best of the best cameras, accessories, photo books and more.

This time each year I put together a collection of articles recommending the best photo gear, books, DVDs, software, calendars, online photo labs, and a whole lot more. The articles are revised every year throughout the holiday season, some of them extensively. The list of linked articles follows.

(Originally posted Nov. 13, 2013. Updated Dec. 18, 2013)


How To Get The Best Results From The Best Online Photo Labs


Great Deal? Don’t Get Burned!

Should You Buy “Gray Market” Photo Equipment?

Camera Choices: Using Full Size Test Images from


Best Digital Cameras – 2013 (Including 2009 – 2012)

GoPro Hero 3+: Amazing, Small, Inexpensive, HD Video Camera

Inexpensive ($4 – $80) Gifts for Photographers

Tripod Recommendations: The Best of the Best

Tripod Head Recommendations: Some of the Best of the Best

The Best Camera Quick Release System

Best Panorama Gear: Living In Pano Heaven

Light Modifiers (Softeners) for Accessory Flashes

AlienBees: High Quality, Economical Studio Lights

The Best Incident Light Meters

Keeping Your World Straight With A Double Bubble Level

Best Memory Cards for Digital Cameras

The Best Digital Photo Storage


The Messaging Devices That Can Save Your Life


Best Image Editing Software


Beautiful 2014 Calendars for Photographers (And Anyone Else)


All Purpose Photography Books

Some of the Best All Purpose Photography Books

Lighting Book

Best Book On Photographic Lighting

Exposure Books

Tim Grey Recommends Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies. This is my own, highly rated photography book. It is one of the most detailed and comprehensive “exposure” books on the market, and a great introduction to all things photographic with chapters on people, landscape, wildlife, flower, and sports photography.

Jennifer Blakeley Recommends Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies

A Great Magazine Review for Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies.

Best Book on Professional Exposure Techniques


Great Set of DVDs: Joel Sartore’s Fundamentals of Photography

Composition Books

Photographic Composition: The Best Books

People Photography Books

Excellent “How To Photograph People” Books

Nature Photography Books

The Best “How To” Nature Photography Books

How To Find Wildlife, The Best Books

Two Excellent Nature Photography Books by Tony Sweet

Great “How To” Flower Photography Book by Tony Sweet

Jim Brandenburg: Chased by the Light. A book and video to inspire your nature photography.

Astrophotography Books

Best Astrophotography Books

Ansel Adams

Books and Calendars from the Master: Ansel Adams

Digital Photography and/or Photoshop Books

The Best Digital Photography Books

Photoshop & Lightroom Books

Lightroom & Photoshop: The Essential Books

The Best Books: Mastering Photoshop Series

Mastering Photoshop & Lightroom: Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)

Mastering Photoshop: Advanced Color Correction, Part One

Mastering Photoshop: Advanced Color Correction, Part Two

Mastering Photoshop: Retouching, Part One

Mastering Photoshop: Retouching, Part Two


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