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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk
Thread started 13 Jan 2005 (Thursday) 08:54
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STICKY: Photography Books

 
Scottes
Trigger Man - POTN Retired
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Jan 13, 2005 08:54 |  #1

It seems we've been getting this question almost daily lately, so I decided to start a thread on good beginner's photography books and sites. I've scoured the site to find people's recommendations and I've posted them here. If someone had some comments I've posted them and credited the author. Every book here has been recommended by several people, but I just picked a good quote. I also happen to agree that every book & link is something that I would recommend.


PLEASE NOTE: There are *still* a lot of books on this list - too many to make an easy choice by someone new to Photography. If you can, PLEASE make a recommendation for the ONE BOOK a newbie should get.


If you have any other books or site suggestions please add it to this thread.


Authors
The following authors have repeatedly been recommended by members of this site. And I mean like 10 or 12 people recommending each of the following authors. If in you're in the bookstore browsing then look for these authors - chances are extremely good that you will get a good book.

Ansel Adams
Michael Freeman
Lee Frost
John Hedgecoe
Bryan Peterson
Freeman Patterson
John Shaw
Any of the National Geographic Field Guides

Books
Shoot!: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About 35Mm Photographyexternal link
A collection of articles covering a wide range of subjects, all written by some top people in the field. Though meant for 35mm almost all of it is pertinent to digital. The articles are very informative without being too long or technical. Though not a first book to get I found it very informative and useful, and I still read it from time to time.


The Photographers Handbook by John Hedgecoeexternal link
It is old, but it covers everything, good for a beginner/intermediate. Not a lighting specific book, though it covers it. This is probably geared to someone like you and probably a little further ahead. As far as I know, it is considered one of the "must have" books, based on the amount of times I have seen it suggested. I don't think I have seen any other book reccomended as much as this one.
Recommendation by Persian-Rice
Note: The URL I linked is for the 3rd edition, so maybe it's not so old as Persian-Rice says


http://www.shortcourse​s.com/bookstore/book.h​tmexternal link
ShortCourses.com lists a lot of free info but they also have a number of books they've written. I got the 10D book and it's very good - I'm sure the others are also good. If you're looking for a very good book specifically on your new 10D or 20D or DRebel then check these guides out. Edit: Please realize that these ShortCourses books are not just camera manuals. Do not compare them to the Canon manuals or the Magic Lantern Guides. They do more than tell you what the controls and features do. They'll teach you a bit about photography on the way, and how the different camera features relate to your photography and why, when, and how to use them.


National Geographic Photography Field Guideexternal link
The other is the National Geographic Photography Field Guide, second edition, by Peter Burian and Robert Caputo. About the first half of this book is a concise overview of equipment issues, written with an emphasis on the results, not the gadget-factor, and chock-a-block with example photos to demonstrate the difference between one piece of equipment and another. The rest of the book consists of short chapters on specific photography subject types and profiles of NG photographers. The book actually reads a lot like an issue of NG, and I think that's a good thing. This book includes advice on how to interact favorably with the people you'll meet while traveling and how to keep an eye out for a compelling subject.
Recommendation by Lagged2Death
They also have Field Guides on Digital Photography, People & Portraits, Landscapes, and maybe more. All are recommended.


Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersonexternal link
An outstanding book which has been recommended many many times by a number of people here. It's not the first book to get since it won't cover everything about the camera. But it is a thorough beginner's book, and not overly technical. This is probably the most recommended book I found in my search.


Mastering Digital Photographyexternal link
Mastering Digital Photography is by far the best book that on digital photography that I have read and I constantly go back to it. It is the best nuts and bolts digital photography and general photography book I have. This book does what I wished the others had done. From this book I actually began to understand the process of general photography. I have read "film photography" books in order to understand the basics of photography, but I always felt ripped off because half of the book did not apply to me. This book is very current. It was published in 2004. This is one of the problems with some other books. If it is 2yrs. old it might as well be the Rosetta Stone. It has an outstanding section on lighting. The best thing that I like about the book is the "Pro Tips". Throughout the book there are boxes of text labeled "Pro Tips" that cut to the chase and explain how to do, what the "Pros" do. If the book was just the "Pro Tips" it would be worth the price. If you have not figured it out yet. This is the book to buy. I will go out on a limb and say, every non-pro should buy this book.
Recommendation by robekert


Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photographyexternal link
I highly recommend Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography by Rick Sammon. I am new to Canon digital photography and Photoshop. Rick uses both, and the book is pretty darn complete for the beginner. I'm sure there's a few hints for the intermediate to advanced as well. At nearly 500 pages I felt I got my money's worth.
Recommendation by stevekwiz


The A-Z Of Creative Photography by Lee Frostexternal link
This book has one short chapter on each of over 70 different special techniques or project ideas. For example, there's a section on stained glass windows, a section on colored flash light, a section on floodlit buildings, etc. Each section offers not general photography advice, but tips specific to the subject or situation the chapter is about. This isn't meant to turn the reader into an expert at any particular technique, it's intended to show the reader something new to try, with enough advice to get started, and in that capacity, it works. Probably 80% of the sections are as applicable to digital as to film.
Recommendation by Lagged2Death


Digital Photographer's Handbook by Tom Angexternal link
My Mom bought me this on for my birthday. It is a pretty good all around book discussing everything from equipment, techniques, effects and post processing. Give it a shot!
Recommendation by Chris1le


Digital Photography For Dummiesexternal link
If this is your first camera (of any type?) you may want to look at Digital Photography For Dummies. It explains things in a very basic manner, and may help you get up to speed quickly. Despite the name, and my 30+ years of photographic experience, I bought it when I became serious about digital. I believe there is an Idiot's Guide as well. Either one will get you on track with camera basics and the essential elements of photography quickly.
Recommendation by CoolToolGuy


You can take my 100-400 L away when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
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Scottes
THREAD ­ STARTER
Trigger Man - POTN Retired
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A Little North Of Boston, MA, USA
Jan 13, 2005 09:12 |  #2

Again,

If you can, PLEASE make a recommendation for the ONE BOOK a newbie should get.


You can take my 100-400 L away when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Scottes' Rum Pages - Rum Reviews And Infoexternal link
Follower of Fidget - Joined the cult of HAMSTTR©

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OceanRider
Senior Member
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692 posts
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Whitby, near Toronto
Jan 15, 2005 14:48 |  #3

I just got this book and its EXCELLENT for beginners, Called AMPHOTO's Completye book of Photography by Jenni Bidner and photo by Russ Burden. Covers everything and has tons of before and after photo for those visual learners. ISBN 0-8174-3486-0 192 pages

Joel


Canon 20D X 2 & 580EX
Canon EFS 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
LumiQuest Pro Max; Omnibounce; Newton Di100CR

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Olegis
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Israel
Jan 26, 2005 06:22 as a reply to OceanRider's post |  #4

Sorry for not obeying the rules by recommending two books (instead of one), but I really think that these two are very good quides. These books do not concentrate on equipment, but instead they teach you to SEE - the most important thing in photography :

1. Photography And The Art Of Seeing by Freeman Patterson (ISBN: 1552636143)
2. Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson (ISBN: 0817441816)


Best wishes,
Oleg.

www.Olegis.comexternal link
My equipment list
'I take orders from no one except the photographers' – Harry S Truman

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Scottes
THREAD ­ STARTER
Trigger Man - POTN Retired
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12,842 posts
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A Little North Of Boston, MA, USA
Jan 26, 2005 06:31 as a reply to Olegis's post |  #5

Olegis wrote:
Sorry for not obeying the rules by recommending two books (instead of one), but I really think that these two are very good quides.

Considering that these are both excellent books I can forgive the rule-breaking. :-)

These books should definitely be on your list eventually. Can't compose a decent picture? Wonder why your pictures don't look as good as others? Wonder what's missing in your shots? Can't think of something to photograph? These books will help.

Either or both of these books are wonderful assets. They're both fun and easy to read and you'll end up with different - and better - thoughts about composing a photograph.

Thanks Olegis!


You can take my 100-400 L away when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
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Scottes
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Trigger Man - POTN Retired
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A Little North Of Boston, MA, USA
Feb 06, 2005 15:36 |  #6

I was playing with my flash today and realized that I kept forgetting to buy a book on it....

The Nikon Flash Guide by Thom Hoganexternal link has been recommended many times around here, notably by ScottBergerPhoto though I'm sure that others have also recommended it.

Of course - just because I want it - Amazon is out of stock. Grrrrrrr.....


You can take my 100-400 L away when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.
Scottes' Rum Pages - Rum Reviews And Infoexternal link
Follower of Fidget - Joined the cult of HAMSTTR©

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musthavemuzk
Senior Member
364 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA
Feb 13, 2005 17:49 as a reply to OceanRider's post |  #7

OceanRider wrote:
I just got this book and its EXCELLENT for beginners, Called AMPHOTO's Completye book of Photography by Jenni Bidner and photo by Russ Burden. Covers everything and has tons of before and after photo for those visual learners. ISBN 0-8174-3486-0 192 pages

Joel

i was out and about yesterday and hit a barnes and noble bookstore.
i had not read this thread yet but i did spend quite awhile scanning the books they had on photography and digital photography.
i ended up with this one. it just seemed like a good choice since i am new to this.

Monty


20D + some stuff..including a computer that is capable of editing (been without one for months now)
prepare to do some learning and have some fun.
www.pbase.com/musthave​muzkexternal link

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musthavemuzk
Senior Member
364 posts
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Thief River Falls, Minnesota, USA
Feb 13, 2005 17:56 as a reply to musthavemuzk's post |  #8

Mac borrowed this book to me awhile back. i suppose i should return it soon.

Digital Photography by Michael Wright
2004
ISBN: 1-59258-064-5
You are holding the best book on digital photography there is: with the most illustrations, the clearest instructions, the most detailed step-by-steps, and the most prectical advice. It is packed with comprehensive easy-to-follow advice and more than 1,500 full-color photographs. Covering Photoshop Elements in detail as well as Photoshop 7 and Photoshop CS, the techniques in this book can be applied to almost any image-editing program.

i enjoy it as it has photos to show what is being talked about instead of you having to imagine the before and after.

Monty


20D + some stuff..including a computer that is capable of editing (been without one for months now)
prepare to do some learning and have some fun.
www.pbase.com/musthave​muzkexternal link

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cfcRebel
Cream of the Crop
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10,252 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Austin, TX
Feb 17, 2005 17:06 as a reply to musthavemuzk's post |  #9

Hi guys & gals,

Hello! This is my first post in this forum. Glad to find such as nice place to talk about photography, especially for Canon users.

I finally bought a Canon 300D(digital rebel) about 2 months ago, after drooling for a yr because short of $$$. I was using a Canon EOS G2 before I dived into digital world.

Thanks for the great recommendations up there. I do have a question when shopping for some of aforementioned books. While hunting for David Busch's Mastering Digital Photography, I ran across another book of his. It is called "Mastering Digital SLR Photography". They are almost priced the same at Amazon. Has anyone read about the latter one? Does anyone know if one is better than the other, especially for a digital amateur like myself?
I thank u in advance.

ISBN:1592001149 (published Nov 19, 2003 - recommended in the first post)
ISBN:1592006051 (published Dec 21, 2004)


Fee

Canon | SIGMA | TAMRON | Kenko | Amvona

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lkorell
Senior Member
270 posts
Joined Dec 2004
Southern CA
Feb 25, 2005 16:54 as a reply to cfcRebel's post |  #10

It took me 30+ years to find my best material for learning:

If you're digital, read:

your camera's users manual
your histogram

If you're film, read:
your negatives
your prints

In other words, get out and shoot! Practice photography instead of reading about others who do. I spent hours browsing in Barnes & Noble that could have been spent practicing with my cameras.

I have lived vicariously through Adams, Cantrell, McCurry, Shaw, Wolfe, Brandenburg, Muensch, Rowell, Salgado, etc.
I wished I would have DONE what they have done instead of read about their lives and works. Let others read about you.

Just an opinion from a late blooming semi-pro. ;)

Lou


Lou Korell

http://www.LouKorell.c​omexternal link

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Redbird_xo
Senior Member
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542 posts
Joined Jan 2005
Mar 03, 2005 01:37 |  #11

I came across this book at a bookstore and found it to be very informative for beginners of digital photography.

Title : The Digital SLR Handbook
Author : Michael Freeman
Publisher : The ILEX Press Limited
ISBN : 1-904705-36-7
256 pages

TOC headlines:

Section I : Digital Capture
Section II : Image Workflow
Section III : Image Editing
Section IV : Film to Digital
Section V : Delivery




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karusel
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Joined Nov 2003
Location: Location:
Mar 04, 2005 05:28 |  #12

Are there any good ADVANCED books, those that on the first page it says in big fat letters: NOT for beginners? I've read 4 photography books and only one has actually taught me a few new things. I'm no expert, btw.


5D and holy trinity of primes. Now the 90mm TS-E TS-E fly bit me. I hate these forums.

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Tom ­ Camilleri
Senior Member
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Joined Jan 2005
Long Island, NY
Mar 09, 2005 08:23 |  #13

I have seen that "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Petersen is still available in at least two editions, one a few years old and one over 10 years old. Seems likely that the new "updated" one has some material relevant to digital cameras but I'm curious as to why the old edition is still available. Are there some classic nuggets of wisdom in the old edition that the new one lacks?


40D, Digital Rebel 300D; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS, EF 28-135 IS, EF 50mm f/2.5 Compact Macro, 85mm f/1.8, 28mm f/1.8, Speedlite 380 EX, Sekonic L758DR w/target, Manfrotto 3021 w/3030 pan-tilt head & quick release plate, POTN Strap

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photofinish
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232 posts
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Near Hartford, Connecticut USA
Mar 15, 2005 05:43 as a reply to Tom Camilleri's post |  #14

Here's my contribution:
Galen Rowell’s Inner Game of Outdoor Photography
By Galen Rowell

Also, check out his website articles:
http://mountainlight.c​om/articles.htmlexternal link

He did have a way with words. He and his wife died in a plane crash in 2002...

---jerry


---jerry
Visit my website...external link or my blog...external link or my Gear List...

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DustinC
Mostly Lurking
12 posts
Joined Feb 2005
Mar 17, 2005 06:58 |  #15

Amherst Media publishes a lot of great photography books by well respected authors.
Dustin Cannon
http://www.prophotosou​rce.comexternal link




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