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Top Photography Books for Budding (And Professional) Photographers

Anybody can be a good photographer. Whether you want to become one on a professional level or treat the craft as a hobby is beside the point; nothing is preventing you from learning all the basic skills and techniques regardless of background. However, in the absence of a full time mentor, you will have to rely on digital photography books in order to get an idea on where to start.

For most budding photographers, this is the first stumbling block. With the sheer number of options available, it can be a challenge picking the best photography books out of the hundreds of choices on offer. There are literally thousands of digital photography books floating around on the Internet, but most of them are not effective at training novices. They’re usually fun to look at and show examples of what a skilled photographer can do, but they don’t contain easy to follow instructions, which make them completely useless for a person who wants to learn from scratch.

Photography is more than just pointing a camera at your subject and pressing a button. It’s also not completely reliant on how expensive your camera is. Someone who wants to become a full-fledged photographer needs to start studying a few basic things.

Topics That a Novice Photographer Needs to Learn

  • How to Use Your Camera – different cameras will have different capabilities and ways of doing things. Anyone who wants to learn photography should first master the usage of his or her camera of choice. After all, a craftsman who doesn’t understand his tools won’t be able to produce quality work.
  • Composition and Technique – while composition is usually subject to preference and opinion, there are still tried and tested techniques that will help an amateur photographer produce better looking pictures. For example, splicing an image into a 3 x 3 grid and ensuring that the subject is placed where the grid intersects. There are many professional photographers who go by gut feel, but it helps amateurs learn photography faster if they memorize a few simple tricks of the trade.
  • Editing During Post – photography training is not limited to the camera. A novice who wants to master the craft should also learn how to edit his photos in post. Fortunately, things are much easier in the age of digital photography – there’s no need for a dark room and one doesn’t even need to purchase expensive software, because editing in post can be done in a computer and there are free alternatives to commercial image editing suites.

To help speed up the process, here are 10 of the best photography books for people who wish to learn photography on their own. Each of these books contains all the necessary photography training for people who wish to self-study.

The Beginners Photography Guide Book

The Beginners Photography Guide Book
This book provides basic photography training for digital SLR cameras using easy-to-follow instructions and visual examples. The photography tutorials contained within cover most of the important aspects of photography – color, lighting, framing, etc – and teach them without resorting to technical jargon. While intended for people who own expensive DSLR cameras, many of the lessons will be useful even for people who are just using the camera functions of a decent smart phone or tablet.
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The Beginners Photography Guide Book

The Beginners Photography Guide Book
This book is also targeted towards novice digital photographers, and the photography tutorials are really designed around someone who may be unfamiliar with professional photography but knows his or her way around a computer, mainly because it covers Photoshop and teaches you how to use various online tools, such as Instagram.
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Picture Perfect Practice Book

Picture Perfect Practice Book
Roberto Valenzuela’s Picture Perfect Practice, while written for a novice photographer, is specifically aimed towards people who are serious about photography and determined to study the craft until they become professionals. The end goal for the book is straightforward: teach a complete novice how to master a camera until he or she is able to produce great images in a wide variety of real world locations.
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Photography Complete Guide Book

Photography Complete Guide Book
This book aims to teach beginners and hobbyists how to take beautiful pictures, using secrets that are used by professional photographers. The book reveals tried and tested tricks used by some of the best photographers in the world. Aside from techniques, the book also provides tutorials on proper handling and usage of equipment.
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How to Photograph Everything Book

How to Photograph Everything Book
How to Shoot Everything is a general-purpose digital photography book written around the premise that everything around us – from architecture to nature and even people – are worthy subjects for a beautiful picture. The main selling point of this book is that anybody can learn how to take stunning pictures of just about anything.
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National Geographic Stunning Photographs Book

National Geographic Stunning Photographs Book
Meant for any photographer who wants to be inspired by National Geographic’s long history of gorgeous photographs and visuals, National Geographic Stunning Photographs contains images shot by some of the best photographers around the world, interspersed with inspiring quotes about life and nature that add context and meaning to the images.
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Extraordinary Everyday Photography Book

Extraordinary Everyday Photography Book
Extraordinary Everyday Photography is a photography training book for amateur photographers who want to learn how to be an effective urban photographer, with the book containing important lessons not just on techniques and equipment, but also on producing amazing photos from seemingly mundane settings and objects. This is also a great buy even for people who just enjoy reading the best photography books, as it contains high quality sample images taken by the authors using a wide variety of cameras.
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Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs Book

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs Book
Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs is a contemporary guidebook aimed towards casual photographers and the new wave of DSLR and digital camera owners. The photography tutorials within are straightforward and free of technical jargon, instead relying on easy to digest visuals and step-by-step instructions covering composition, exposure, and equipment.
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Types Of Natural Light Book

8 Types Of Natural Light Book
Even though this book was written with an amateur photographer in mind, it is best bought alongside other guide books because the topic covered is focused on a single – yet extremely important – aspect of photography: lighting. The main purpose of this eBook is to teach budding young photographers how to produce masterpieces with the help of proper lighting.
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Mastering Digital Photography Book

Mastering Digital Photography Book
This is a beginner’s book, but it is meant for the kind of beginner who wants to take photography seriously and master everything. A stepping stone of sorts, as it takes some of the most complex parts of photography like framing, composition and lighting, and distills all of them into simple, easy-to-understand text.
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The Unforgettable Photograph Book

The Unforgettable Photograph Book
Written by famous photographer George Lange and magazine editor Scott Mowbray, The Unforgettable Photograph is a digital photography book that will try to teach amateur photographers how to take memorable photos. The unique approach of this book is that it relies more on encouraging gut feel instead of a by-the-numbers approach to strategy and technique.
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DSLR Photography for Beginners Book

DSLR Photography for Beginners Book
This is the perfect photography training book for people who own a DSLR camera but want to take it to the next level. The book hammers home the point that an expensive DSLR camera is not enough to shoot professional quality images – one has to learn how to use the equipment. The book contains easy-to-follow tutorials as well as practical tips on shooting and equipment maintenance, making it a great read for new owners of a DSLR camera.
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One comment

  1. Hugh Lawton’s Photography in the Digital Age would be my top recommendation. http://www.manzanita-ent.com/
    An incredible three volume set that every student and amateur photographer should own.
    I only wish I had these books years ago when I started out. They would have saved me a whole lot of time and money.
    A really excellent resource to own.

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