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Author Topic: Recommended photography books  (Read 30986 times)

aprotosimaki

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Recommended photography books
« on: December 06, 2012, 10:38:16 PM »
I am an avid reader and I was just wondering which books you have read that helped you further your understanding of photography, whether from a technical or a compositional angle.

Myself, I recently discovered John Szarkowski's "The Photographer's Eye" and I have been studying it slowly. This got me to thinking that there must be other great books which I have not yet discovered. I also like Edward Hopper's paintings very much and I saw its application to photography as a higher art form not realizing of course that this is a well trodden road. 

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Recommended photography books
« on: December 06, 2012, 10:38:16 PM »

unfocused

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 11:29:41 PM »
If you're studying Szarkowski's The Photographer's Eye, you are already demonstrating more discernment than most.

The Nature of Photographs, by Stephen Shore, is almost a companion or sequel to Szarkowski. Two books by Robert Adams will inspire you: Beauty in Photography and Why People Photograph. Try Szarkowski's Looking at Photographs as well. Then, if you want to challenge yourself, pick up Susan Sontag's On Photography and Roland Barthe's Camera Lucida.

All of these books are short, but contain lifetimes of lessons. Each can be read over and over again and each time you will learn something new. And, not a single one talks about f-stops, ISO, noise, bokeh, crop factor, or any of the other drivel that bogs people down. They are all about vision and understanding this fascinating and addictive craft.
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Zv

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2012, 11:46:38 PM »
This is great, I was just thinking I wanted to make up a reading list made up of good Photography books. Thanks!

Unfocused - just bookmarked your blog, will be checking it out in detail over the winter break!
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Lnguyen1203

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2012, 11:47:35 PM »
If you are into birds or wildlife, Authur  Morris " Art of Bird Photography II" is a good book.  It's available on CD only, but I loaded it on the iPad and its great.
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aprotosimaki

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2012, 07:11:01 AM »
Then, if you want to challenge yourself, pick up Susan Sontag's On Photography and Roland Barthe's Camera Lucida ...

Each can be read over and over again and each time you will learn something new. And, not a single one talks about f-stops, ISO, noise, bokeh, crop factor, or any of the other drivel that bogs people down. They are all about vision and understanding this fascinating and addictive craft.

Excellent recommendations. Thank you.

crasher8

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2012, 08:31:19 AM »
The Tao of Photography

mbiedermann

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 09:09:53 AM »
The Tao of Photography

Which author?  There are at least three books on Amazon with that title.

Cheers

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2012, 09:09:53 AM »

TriGGy

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2012, 09:30:04 AM »
Bryan Petersen's Understanding Exposure and Understanding Flash Photography

codewizpt

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2012, 09:36:50 AM »
If you're studying Szarkowski's The Photographer's Eye, you are already demonstrating more discernment than most.

The Nature of Photographs, by Stephen Shore, is almost a companion or sequel to Szarkowski. Two books by Robert Adams will inspire you: Beauty in Photography and Why People Photograph. Try Szarkowski's Looking at Photographs as well. Then, if you want to challenge yourself, pick up Susan Sontag's On Photography and Roland Barthe's Camera Lucida.

All of these books are short, but contain lifetimes of lessons. Each can be read over and over again and each time you will learn something new. And, not a single one talks about f-stops, ISO, noise, bokeh, crop factor, or any of the other drivel that bogs people down. They are all about vision and understanding this fascinating and addictive craft.

Wonderfull advice!

I would only add that photography books without text " help you further your understanding of photography"!
I go through Martin Parr's books over and over.
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crasher8

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2012, 10:36:22 AM »

crasher8

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 10:37:00 AM »
Anything by Henry Horenstein

shutterwideshut

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2012, 12:24:07 PM »
I am an avid reader and I was just wondering which books you have read that helped you further your understanding of photography, whether from a technical or a compositional angle.

Myself, I recently discovered John Szarkowski's "The Photographer's Eye" and I have been studying it slowly. This got me to thinking that there must be other great books which I have not yet discovered. I also like Edward Hopper's paintings very much and I saw its application to photography as a higher art form not realizing of course that this is a well trodden road.

There is also a cheaper alternative like e-books which can be found on this site: http://craftandvision.com

Happy reading!  :D
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Quasimodo

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 12:40:39 PM »
Brilliant advice in here. Looking forward to reading those. I am guessing that Barthes books are quite dense. I have read a few of him, and they are heavy. His book on rhetorics is the toughest I have ever read, and I have read quite a few :)
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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2012, 12:40:39 PM »

unfocused

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2012, 12:56:03 PM »
This is great, I was just thinking I wanted to make up a reading list made up of good Photography books. Thanks!

Unfocused - just bookmarked your blog, will be checking it out in detail over the winter break!

Thanks. Now I feel bad that I haven't been keeping the blog up lately. I have probably about a dozen books I want to write about. Between full-time job, hobby photography and life, it's hard to set aside the time, but this will encourage me.

I would only add that photography books without text " help you further your understanding of photography"!
I go through Martin Parr's books over and over.

Great point. I was going to suggest to the OP that he look at portfolio books by some of the great photographers. (or go online to Masters of Photography.) Martin Paar is great. Too many photographers start and stop with Ansel Adams and never get beyond that. I think every serious photographer needs to have a working knowledge of Weston, Arbus, Frank, Winogrand, Strand, Cartier-Bresson, Uelsmann, well the list just goes on and on.

Brilliant advice in here. Looking forward to reading those. I am guessing that Barthes books are quite dense. I have read a few of him, and they are heavy. His book on rhetorics is the toughest I have ever read, and I have read quite a few :)

Actually, Barthes' Camera Lucida is a pretty easy read. Although 1) you'll wonder about halfway through what the "f" does this have to do with photography?; 2) it's addictive and you can read it over and over and still get something out of it each time.

Finally, one additional pitch for Robert Adams. Adams was an English Literature teacher before he became a photographer and his writing on photography is some of the most beautiful and poetic you will ever read.
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JPAZ

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 01:42:16 PM »
Not quite an "Art" or composition or book about skills, but for anyone having trouble learning how to use any particular camera, I'd recommend any of the books by David Busch.  His books are much more interesting and readable than the manual that came with the camera and are full of tricks that add to the use of your particular camera.
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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2012, 01:42:16 PM »