10 Best Photography Books for Beginners + 20 More to Consider


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Searching for a good photography book can be a quite difficult task that may simply waste your time and efforts. So I decided to help you in this pursuit. I have been browsing the web and reading customers reviews for two days in order to find the best photography books for beginners. Here I have collected 10 photography books recommended for beginners that are easy to read and to understand, even if you have never worked with a camera before.

Photo by blackracer

The books you will find below have great illustrations of various tips and techniques. Here you will find brief descriptions of each book based on readers’ reviews. I hope they will help you to choose a book that will perfectly fit your needs and your photography level.

1. Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3

What people say: this book is easy and simple. Just like you’re learning to shoot with your friend and he answers your questions, shares his secrets without dull technical explanations. The author is not going to dwell deeply within every tip or to explain why everything works as it does. This book is for a reader to find out all he needs regarding topic researched.

2. Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson

What people say: this book can be called “understanding your camera”. It’s the best photography book ever. Peterson encourages a reader to think outside the box in order to understand and use all of the creative features of a camera and your imagination.

3. The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

What people say: Freeman is one of very few photographers, who can articulate his art-related thoughts into accurate, concrete and analytical findings. This is the best composition book that you’ll find, and it goes for both professionals and hobbyists. The book covers the basic elements such as shapes, lines, dynamic tension along with more emotionally-related issues.

4. Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are by Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwarin by Jim Miotke

What people say: this book teaches you to see a striking image and once you noticed it, to record the image photographically in a few steps. The book will help you to open your eyes and wake up to things that were always around you.

5. BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro by Jim Miotke

What people say: it is very easy for beginners to understand. The book is useful for anyone who is going to get into photography. While reading this book you will learn a lot of features of a modern digital camera. It helps beginners to quickly take their photos to the next level.

6. The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum

What people say: every paragraph of this book teaches you something new, really teaches, instead of repeating how important it is. Some books leave you even more confused about composition and other issues, but not this one. The book is well-written and everything is explained clearly.

7. David Busch’s Mastering Digital SLR Photography by David D. Busch

What people say: this book covers all the subjects on photography in addition to digital photography. It’s like taking a class in photography art that is written in easy to understand language. The book is super helpful for self-taught photographers. If you already know enough about your camera and its settings, this book will be brilliant investment to your education.

8. Basic 35mm Photo Guide: For Beginning Photographers by Craig Alesse

What people say: this book is excellent for adults and hobbyists who are new to photography field. This book is helpful to learn the basics: shutter, aperture, speed, depth of field, stopping motion, and so on. It is a great quick tutorial for the very beginners, so come on and grab it!

9. How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures From Your Digital Camera by Tom Ang

Tom Ang’s credentials as a pro photographer are unquestionable. He has managed to achieve a tricky balance between quenching the thirst for knowledge of the beginners and keeping the professionals interested. His goal is simple: the book is full of tips to get the novices started with as many photo skills as possible. The book is full of examples of how to take good and interesting shots in any situation. It also has small useful tricks that are useful to learn. Without this book it would have taken years to gain all this experience through learning on your own.

10. 50 Photo Projects – Ideas to Kickstart Your Photography by Lee Frost

What people say: this book pushes you to explore all the aspects of photography, ranging from such issues such as color, shadows, graphic design, and processing to technical challenges such as shooting in low light or choosing an optimal shutter speed. This book provides inspiration to work on your skills and knowledge.

20 More Photography Books to Consider

11. A Short Course in Photography (8th Edition) by Barbara London

12. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) by Scott Kelby

13. Color Management in Digital Photography: Ten Easy Steps to True Colors in Photoshop by Brad Hinkel

14. Digital SLR Photography in Easy Steps: Now Includes Clever Photography Techniques by Nick Vandome

15. Adobe Photoshop Elements 6: A Visual Introduction to Digital Photography (book with CD) by Philip Andrews

16. Digital Photography Visual Quick Tips by Gregory Georges

17. LIFE Guide to Digital Photography: Everything You Need to Shoot Like the Pros by Joe McNally

18. Mastering the Basics of Photography by Susan McCartney

19. 101 Quick and Easy Secrets for Using Your Digital Photographs by Matthew Bamberg

20. Exposure Photo Workshop: Develop Your Digital Photography Talent by Jeff Wignall

21. Canon EOS Rebel T3i / 600D: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Jeff Revell

22. Beyond Snapshots: How to Take That Fancy DSLR Camera Off “Auto” and Photograph Your Life like a Pro by Rachel Devine

23. Nikon D3100 For Dummies by Julie Adair King

24. David Busch’s Olympus OM-D E-M5 Guide to Digital Photography by David D. Busch

25. Digital Photography for Seniors in Easy Steps: For the Over 50s by Nick Vandome

26. Digital Portrait Photography 101 (Digital Quick Guides series) by Bill Hurter

27. Complete Digital Photography by Ben Long

28. Speedliter’s Handbook: Learning to Craft Light with Canon Speedlites by Syl Arena

29. Digital Photography in Easy Steps by Nick Vandome

30. Digital Photography: An Introduction by Tom Ang

Feel Free to Experiment

They say “nothing can be gained without effort”. Therefore don’t hesitate to experiment and to implement your ideas into reality. Read these books, follow tips you like the most, and free your imagination.

Nancy Young is an ambitious and extraordinary writer. She writes a lot of inspirational articles on photography and web design. Nancy Young reads tons of books and travels a lot in her spare time. You can follow her on Pinterest.
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  • Garrett

    I have all four of the Digital Photography Books by Scott Kelby; they are a great addition to any photographers library.

  • Koji Kawano

    Thank you for the great list of photography books! I will definitely get some from this list.

  • siddharthbandhu

    This is a great list.
    Thank you.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.youngg Nancy Young

      Sure, thanks for your feedback! :)

  • AndreaACME

    I’m now reading book #3 and I must admit that is has a VERY lateral approach to photography explanation … one of the few book which attempts to explain the reasons of certain rules which we have to learn but never knew why and where they come from. Great book, I advise that book too!

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