Photography books


Link Posted 30/01/2011 - 10:07
Hi, as a complete novice, can anyone recommend one book that they found helpful? have spend ages on amazon, but there are just so many books out there, i ended up with a shortlist of about 20 books
I already have Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson and the Digital SLR Bible by Nigel Hicks, which is a bit dated, but would appreciate your input. There seem to be very few books out there specific to Pentax cameras, does that really matter? Thanks
S**t happens, but usually before I can get my camera out


Link Posted 30/01/2011 - 10:12
If there is an area of particular interest, how about a book, say, on Landscape photography, or Portraits and so on.

The trouble is that photography is susch a big subject that there are rather a lot of books.

They don't have to be Pentax orientated - photography is photography regardless of the camera used.
Best regards, John


Link Posted 30/01/2011 - 10:18
In terms of the basics of how the camera works and how to control the various settings to get the picture you want, the best book I have seen is John Shaw's wildlife photography field manual (I think that is what it is called)... It deals with all of the basics pretty well I think and is pretty readable, well illustrated - highly recommended by me. That said, there are so many books out there, it's horses for courses I think - might be worth finding a bookshop or library and browsing through their books to see which might suit you best...

EDIT - it's called 'John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide'...

Mat W

My Flickr: link
Last Edited by matwhittington on 30/01/2011 - 10:20


Link Posted 30/01/2011 - 10:28
thanks john and mat, i think i will have to decide which type of photos i want to take, and go from there. Oh, but the books are so tempting...
S**t happens, but usually before I can get my camera out


Link Posted 30/01/2011 - 10:34
Have you thought about doing an evening class?
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
My Flckr link


Link Posted 30/01/2011 - 10:58
Try John Hedgecoe's New Manual - published 2009. Excellent book.

vic cross

Link Posted 30/01/2011 - 11:16
Two suggestions! Join a local photography club. Try your local library to see if there is anything interesting there and if you find something you like then go and buy it if you want to. CHEERS Vic.
Born again biker with lots of Pentax bits. Every day I wake up is a good day. I'm so old I don't even buy green bananas.


Link Posted 01/02/2011 - 00:57
katiem111 wrote:
Hi, as a complete novice, can anyone recommend one book that they found helpful? ... Thanks

If you're on about film photography, see if you can find (second-hand):

"Understanding Photography", by Carl Shipman.

Very interesting, informative on all the essential techinal aspects, and amusingly written.

See link:
Last Edited by Banjo on 01/02/2011 - 01:00

Dr. Mhuni

Link Posted 01/02/2011 - 06:12
I found 'Understanding exposure', which you have, to be a very useful starting place for more technical aspects such as use of aperture/shutter speed.

For composition, Michael Freeman's 'The photographer's eye' is comprehensive and excellent. It is pretty detailed in places, which if I recall correctly some Amazon reviewers complain about (incorrectly IMO), but it's been in print in different forms for over two decades and for good reason - I doubt there's a better introduction to the subject.

On developing your own creative vision, I enjoyed David duChemin's 'Within the frame'.

For insights into how seriously you have to take your craft if you want to produce professional quality photos, 'On being a photographer' by David Hurn & Bill Jay, is excellent.

Beyond the technical, studying the work of established photographers (past and present) should provide food for thought and inspiration. For me, the best starting point would be 'The man, the image & the world', a comprehensive, well produced and reasonable (20 from Amazon last time I looked) retrospective of Henri Cartier-Bresson - he is the doyenne of 20th century photographers (probably - alongside Ansel adams) though HCB's work appears to divide PUFers. Alternatively a good collection by National Geographic, Magnum or others would provide exposure to a range of styles.



Link Posted 03/02/2011 - 05:03
I find the internet more useful than all the books I have got. If I want to try something new a google search usually finds it pretty quick. I have become write proficient in searching to find exactly what I want. I know browsing books can sometimes be quite inspirational but I often find looking something up on the net leads me to other stuff which I will then try. Though books are a far nicer experience on the whole.

My Website
Last Edited by aliengrove on 03/02/2011 - 05:11
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