- Books, Literature, and Writing
Best Photography Books For Beginners
How To Photography Books
Here you will find some of my recommended best photography books for beginners that I've read or even own. I am by no means a pro at photography, but with the help of these books and lots of practice I managed to learn to take some good shots of my jewelry. I'm a jewelry designer and trust me when I tell you that taking shots of jewelry is not easy. In fact I think jewelry photography and that of any small and shiny object is darn difficult.
Maybe because I started with tough items to take pictures of, learning afterwards to take shots of landscapes and people turned out to be quite easy. Again these books helped me a lot as they explained the principles behind it all, and the best settings for my camera.
While some cameras have different, specific settings from others, there are some things that each camera has in common, so you can apply the knowledge regardless of what digital camera you have.
Enjoy these photography books for beginners and let me know in the Guestbook section below if you found something else that helped you, which is not mentioned here.
If You've Never Worked With A Camera Before
BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner's Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro
by Jim Miotke
f you've never used a camera before, this is a great book to get started with. It doesn't expect any knowledge from your part, all it needs is that you have a camera and you're ready to get going.
I love this book because it really covers everything a beginner photographer needs to know, without going deeply into technical details that might scare people off. You will learn why you need to use a tripod, how close should you get to the object (or subject), it teaches you about digital cameras with explanatory pictures and text.
It goes into the various modes (portrait, landscape) and when to use which. It really goes into a lot of stuff without becoming overwhelming or boring. Of course once you get through to this you will want to pick up some more advanced books, however for a real newcomer to digital photography, this one is the best.
Really, Really, Really Easy Step-by-Step Digital Photography: For Absolute Beginners of All Ages
by Gavin Hoole
Here is another great photography book for the absolute beginner. I have it and while I got it after I've gone beyond the very newbie stage, I know I could have learned from it as well. It explains very clearly and very well about the digital camera with clear shots added, and it goes step by step in what a photography newbie has to do.
The books is quite affordable at less than $10 right now, and I think it's really a great one for the price.
It even goes into teaching you about proper storage, organization, photo manipulation, and sharing of digital images and which is the best type of camera to choose.
Mastering the Basics of Photography
by Susan Mccartney
I got this book a few years back when I started learning about photography and I found it to be a great companion. The only negative i have to say about it is that it doesn't have colored pictures, however everything is extremely well written and explained, so most people won't even notice the lack of those picture being in color.
The book explains about the various cameras, the useful settings such as exposure, film, light, lens apertures, shutter speeds, metering, and focusing, all this in a very clear language that doesn't expect too much from the beginner photographer.
It basically takes you by the hand and leads you step by step from a total newbie to a relatively good level of proficiency which then you can improve upon with other books and of course, more practical experience.
Scott Kelby's Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3
by Scott Kelby
I have to mention this set of 3 books because while only the first book is truly for the absolute beginner, the books 2 and 3 pick up where the first one left off, giving you an all around knowledge in photography upon which you can then build on, depending on what area of photography you want to specialize on.
Also this set of books is a great (and inexpensive) gift that you can give to anyone who is learning about photography - be it for birthdays, or Christmas or any other occasion.
I really have to praise Scott Kelby as he put out so many awesome photography and photo editing books, I have quite a few of them at home, each of them really teaching me something. Recommended!
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera - by Bryan Peterson
I think the title of the book is a bit misleading. Sure it talks a lot about exposure, but the book is so much more. Many people called the book a classroom in a book, as it is that complete to giving any beginner to photography the basic education needed to start taking some great shots right from the beginning.
It's true though, learning about exposure is very important, it is in fact one of the cornerstones of becoming a great photographer. However the author goes into explaining pretty much all the camera settings and which one to use when, and what I really enjoyed are the various photos in the book showing you a wrong way and a "fixed" way, so you can see almost live what you have to do and how to improve your photos. Truly an awesome book, one that I wouldn't be without.
Quick Snap Guide to Digital SLR Photography - by David D. Busch
If your first digital camera happens to be an SLR (I don't recommend it as your first, though, because it's mostly used by professional photographers), then here is a great book that will teach you the basics more than anything else. I think one of the allure of such cameras is that they are getting cheaper every year, so they can be afforded by many people who have never taken one in their hands before. Truth be said, a basic SLR photography book was really needed, so this book carved itself a nice niche for photography beginners who happen to start with such a complex digital camera.
Luckily the book doesn't go over a newbie's head, so practically anyone can pick it up, read through it and practice with a SLR camera. The explanations are easy to understand and follow, and the main topics are divided into small chunks without all that geeky technical jargon that so many other photography books have. So if you do have an SLR, pick up this book, you won't be disappointed, and your learning curve will be greatly cut!
Helping You Expand Your Beginner Photography Skills
The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression
by Bruce Barnbaum
Once I got past the complete beginner stage, a friend told me to buy the latest edition of this book as I would learn a lot from it. I have to say that he was right: I am still using the book as a textbook for everything I am learning on taking pictures with a camera.
One of the reason why this book grew on me is because it connects with the reader on another level. It's not so much about the technicalities involved in photography (it certainly doesn't discuss the latest cameras - there are plenty of other books on that subject). It almost reads like an autobiography and you really find enjoying the book.
If you are an artist and want to enhance your photography knowledge, creativity and your intuition, this book is one that should not miss from your shelf. It is a type of learning that other more technical books simply don't touch upon.
Improve Your Photography: How Budding Photographers Can Get Pro Results - by Jim Harmer
First of all let me say that this is a Kindle downloadable book. At least when I got it there were no hard copies of it. Having said that, I find it quite useful for anyone who has some idea about photography and simply wants to become better at taking great shots with a regular camera. It has lots of easy tips and ideas that people simply don't think about usually or they never come across them otherwise. It has technical information, but it's not all that, so the book doesn't get overwhelming or extremely dry.
It has less than 100 pages, so it's quite short, but that makes it quite accessible as it's not full of fluff. Everything written in the book can be adapted right away by any amateur photographer.
Complete Digital Photography
by Ben Long
I was initially thinking of adding this book to the completely beginner section, however I am using this book even today and I'm a bit above the total newbie stage at taking pictures. So I think it's really best if you've already used a camera and used the general settings without trying to figure out too many things on your own.
Of course if you're new and got this book as a gift, for example, it's a great book to learn from, just be advised that at some point it does get a bit technical. However you can always learn from the book upon what you've already gained before. Luckily the author, Ben Long, explains even the most complex technical matters in a very easy and understandable way.
In the book you won't find specifics of a digital camera, but the author goes into the common features and options found on most cameras of today and how to use them to your advantage. Also the many great photos included with the book help understand the points the author is trying to make. Recommended!
How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
This is a book that I bought quite recently and it's perfect for my level of photography. Actually even complete beginners can start with it and then learn more from the book as they gain more experience. Certainly there are many things in the book that are a bit more advanced than my own level right now.
What I particularly like about the book is the many examples included for every level of knowledge. Includes sections such as night and HDR photography, adjusting the aperture, tips about composition and how to control the camera, and it gives pointers on solving some of the common problems photographers are experiencing.
All in all quite a great book, one that will remain on my shelf.
The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
This is a book that will be really useful to a photographer only he or she is beyond the absolute basics. Else it's like learning how to drive a car the first time (mirror, clutch, handbrake, gas, etc) while also trying to enjoy the view...it's just impossible.
This is a book that will be really appreciated by many amateur photographers who want to learn that extra something to push them to a new level in photography. In short, the book is about image design and composition; about what composition works best for each image.
If you want to take a shot of a landscape, how is best to approach it at all to get the best photo. It talks about the intent and the actual process behind it all. It is almost like a philosophy on photography, however one that actually teaches. Not everyone will appreciate this book, but those who do will be much better photographers for it.
The Beginner's Guide to Underwater Digital Photography - by Larry Gates
I understand that not everyone will shoot photos underwater, but if you do decide to try your hands at underwater photography maybe as a diver or simply if an opportunity arises at some point, this is one of the best books to get right now. Underwater photography is not so easy, there are some techniques involved that you simply need to know and master. Thankfully the book makes it easy to learn those without breaking into a sweat.
It is a very practical book with lots of tips that one should remember along with the best equipment needed for great shots. I love the color photos of the underwater fauna and flora, they are so vivid and fun to look at. When you go to Amazon just click on the cover of the book and scroll down a bit. You'll see exactly what I'm talking about as luckily the author allowed some of the pages of the book to show through. They're just amazing really!
Once You've Taken That Great Photo
How To Edit A Photo In Photoshop
Once you've taken that great holiday shot, now it's time to learn how to edit it the right way - easy, fast and without a lot of fiddling around