In this edition of the Art Tools series, we take a look at some of the best digital photography books for beginners and for those looking to take their skill up a notch or two. To that end, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites for the best digital photography books.
First is the very popular “The Digital Photography Book :Part 1” by Scott Kelby. Scott Kelby is the editor and publisher of “Light It!” digital magazine and “Photoshop User” magazine. He also teaches photography, Lightroom and Photoshop workshops around the world. This book is the best-selling book on digital photography because it is not full of confusing technical jargon. It contains specific tricks, advice and secrets for taking high quality digital photographs. The 2nd edition of the book contains updated information on professional photography equipment and a new chapter with advice on getting starting with photography. This book is great for the digital photography beginner or photo enthusiast who wants to quickly learn tricks for producing quality photographs. This book is simple and easy to understand but could go more in-depth on technical matters instead of simply providing tips. The Digital Photography Book: Part 1” by Scott Kelby is available on amazon for $15.44.
Understanding Exposure, 3rd edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs With Any Camera, by Bryan Peterson
“Understanding Exposure, 3rd edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs With Any Camera” by Bryan Peterson is an excellent book for photographers of beginning to intermediate skill level. It teaches a solid technical and creative foundation to allow photographers to free themselves from “auto” mode and produce the best possible images. The information in this book applies to both digital and traditional photographic processes. More than 350,000 copies of “Understanding Exposure” have been sold and it is used in college photography courses.
Peterson is an internationally recognized photographer and founder of the Perfect Picture School of Photography. His writing style is easy to understand and he breaks down difficult concepts for a better learning experience. Some claim that is the best photography book out there. A drawback of this book is its lack of advanced material for professional photographers. “Understanding Exposure, 3rd edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs With Any Camera” by Bryan Peterson is available from amazon for $14.68.
Another good book for digital photography beginners is “Digital Art Photography for Dummies” by Matthew Bamberg. Matthew Bamberg is a freelance writer who contributes articles to “photography Monthly” and “Shutterbug.” He has written numerous books on photography, teaches at the University of Phoenix and has sold his photographs in many art galleries in southern California. This book teaches the beginning photographer how to go from producing snapshots to high quality photographs. Its plain-English style makes it easy to learn and create great images in a variety of shooting conditions. The “Amateur Photographer” magazine gives this book a favorable review and says that it throughly covers all of the elements of digital photography from composition to digital file management. This book is designed for the reader to jump to the part that they are most interested in, rather than needing to read through the entire book from the beginning. This book easy to understand and helpful for beginners, but could be a bit more detailed. “Digital Art Photography for Dummies” by Matthew Bamberg is available from amazon for $25.89.
“The Art of Photography: An Approach To Personal Expression” by Bruce Barnbuam is an extremely comprehensive guide on everything related to photography from its philosophical aspects such as its’ purpose in society to its creative and technical aspects such as what lens to use for a given situation. Bruce Barnbuam entered the world of photography in the 1960s and is a frequent contributor to the magazines “Photo Techniques” and “LensWork.” He also teaches photography through workshops and lectures and his darkroom printing skills are considered some of the finest on the planet. His complete approach to photography applies to both digital and traditional photography and is a great resource for every photographer from beginner to professional. This book is easy to read despite its in-depth explanation of concepts and techniques. It contains over 100 beautiful photographs in both color and black and white as well as technical charts to assist in the learning process. This book it practical, readable and extensive, but also keep in mind it’s not focused solely on digital photography. “The Art of Photography: An Approach To Personal Expression” by Bruce Barnbuam is available from amazon for $25.40.
“Tony Northrup’s DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Photography” by Tony Northrup is an excellent primer on how a photographer can get the best images out of their DSLR camera. Tony Northrup is an award-winning author and photographer who has produced over thirty educational books on photography. His book teaches a good technical foundation that allows the beginning photographer to master his or her camera and produce stunning photographic images. A full nine hours of instructional video are included with this book for those who are visual learners as well as hands on practice activities and practice quizzes for the full classroom learning experience. This book is very readable and includes some advanced techniques, but is also too basic for the serious photographer. “Tony Northrup’s DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Photography” is available from amazon for $19.69