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Author Topic: Recommended photography books  (Read 29939 times)

mb66energy

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2012, 02:08:16 PM »
I like Bruce Barnbaum: The Art of Photography - he tells a lot of technique, but technique is for him a precursor for the  expression of your vision of a photograph. Nothing less, nothing more.

It helped me to get focused on the photograph itself and reconditioned me to use cameras just as a tool which is without any value by itself.

(And a good opportunity to refresh my english knowledge by reading the original version!)

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2012, 02:08:16 PM »

GuyF

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2012, 02:33:04 PM »
If you are mostly interested in portrait photography (as I am), the following list of books might prove to be very educational.
Sometimes you don't need to read about the technicalities of an image to gain a vast amount. Simply absorbing the image itself will educate you immensely - the pose, the composition, the props used etc. As I look through the many books I own I sometimes wonder if the image is fantastic because it depicts a famous person I like or whether it would still be a great photograph if it were of the man next door. Mostly it would be a great image no matter who it was of - the great photographers can make anyone look remarkable. That's the trick.

Two pieces of advice I'd give anyone doing portraiture:
1. Rarely have the subject smile: it can sometimes look too much like a snapshot.
2. Have them do something with their hands: we are so graphic with our hands when talking that it can change a portrait into a story - "I wonder what was being said?".

Anyway, I highly recommend all of these (get 'em off Amazon or wherever):

1. Vanity Fair Portraits
2. Patrick Demarchelier (self-titled and currently out of print - second-hand on Amazon currently for £300!! Glad I bought my copy a few years ago!)
3. Planton's Republic
4. Taking Aim by Graham Nash
5. Star Trak by Anton Corbijn
6. Degrees by Andy Gotts
7. Portraits by Uli Weber
8. UFO by Albert Watson
9. Jeanloup Seiff (self-titled and published by Taschen)
10. Les Indescretes by Jeanloup Sieff

Assuming all except 2. are still in print and easily available, they offer a lot to the aspiring photographer. Considering what we spend on equipment, a few bucks spent on books will provide years of pleasure. Plus think how much nicer your living room will look with quality books on its shelves.

aprotosimaki

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2012, 10:32:54 PM »
Thank you very much for your responses.

I should add one book to this list: Vivian Maier: Street Photographer.

I lit upon this book by accident sitting on a friend's night table. I find it remarkable.

Not sure if I am allowed to link to it but here is the site with some great examples of her work:

http://www.vivianmaier.com/


RustyTheGeek

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2012, 06:19:36 PM »
Bryan Petersen's Understanding Exposure and Understanding Flash Photography

+1000
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

RustyTheGeek

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2012, 06:33:38 PM »
Not sure what level or type of book you are considering, art, composition, technique, lighting?

Anything by Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, Joel Sartore, Bryan Peterson and Ansel Adams.

However, you might have a great time going to HALF PRICE BOOKS after dinner one night and going over what they have.  That's always fun and I've found some gems from as far back as the '70's.  One I got that is lots of fun to look at is a large thin book by Mary Ellen Mark and Annie Leibovitz from 1974.  It has some great images from that time including a great shot of Canice Bergen shortly after her father passed away.

I've learned a lot from just looking at pictures and trying to see what works in them and makes them interesting and distinctive.

Have fun!
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

aprotosimaki

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2012, 07:27:16 AM »
Not sure what level or type of book you are considering, art, composition, technique, lighting?

I am less interested in technique per se and more interested in composition. In particular, I want to explore the ideas informing high art photography and how the image works on the mind. I just picked up Stephen Shore's book which for me is expansive. Sontag on the other hand I find to be trite but perhaps she just annoys me and I am being unfair.




tolusina

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 03:36:37 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. ....
..... Then, if you want to challenge yourself, pick up ....... Roland Barthe's Camera Lucida.......

.......
Thanks!!
Based on these comments, when my daughter asked for my Christmas list, I listed these three, all three arrived on Christmas Eve Day.

I've started with Barthes already, challenging is an understatement, deep and ephemeral all at once. While I'm finding some disagreement with some of his concepts, I am grasping those concepts and find my disagreement with them constitutes growth.
Unlike with many authors I find disagreement with and so discard them as a load of useless, I quite like how Barthes inspires by challenge.
 
My reaction to Barthes is quite unlike my reaction to Ansel (yes, I feel first name with a mentor), with A.A. I'm like 'Yes sir, this is how things should be done'.

 
 
 
 

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2012, 03:36:37 PM »

HoneyBadger

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2012, 03:59:20 PM »
I found Tony Northrup's How to shoot stunning digital pictures to be a great starter book. It puts into words and examples a lot of useful information that you may already know but arn't exactly sure about. For the kindle price of 10 bucks I consider it money well spent. If you are already an experience photographer then it might be useful for a quick look up of something you have forgotten. In any case, search inside of it on amazon and see what you think.

http://www.amazon.com/Tony-Northrups-DSLR-Book-Photography/dp/0988263408/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356555255&sr=8-1&keywords=stunning+digital
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paul13walnut5

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2012, 04:23:16 PM »
Magnum Revolution:

Won't teach you a thing technically, and these guys have composition in their blood, just soak it in and be inspired.

The genius of Photography (book and dvd):

Very interesting well assembled charting of the social impact and role of photography.  Join some contemporary masters as work.  Not a learning book, more an enjoying experience.

The Kodak Encyclopedias (junk or thrift shops, dated in terms of kit used, timeless in terms of technique and quality of illustration)

jthomson

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2012, 04:37:34 PM »
See It: Photographic Composition Using Visual Intensity
by Ellen Anon

Got this after she spoke at our photography club and really enjoyed it.

KacperP

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #25 on: December 26, 2012, 04:58:24 PM »
Everything that comes from Michael Freeman, and for composition basics - his "The Photographer's Eye"

When it comes to quality of lecture, that man is unbeatable.

papa-razzi

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #26 on: December 26, 2012, 05:08:24 PM »
Ron Martinsen has reviewed many books and has a list of the ones he recommends.

http://www.ronmartblog.com/2008/05/which-books-should-i-read.html
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shining example

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2012, 05:22:10 PM »
The genius of Photography (book and dvd):

Very interesting well assembled charting of the social impact and role of photography.  Join some contemporary masters as work.  Not a learning book, more an enjoying experience.

I second this recommendation; the DVD is absolutely brilliant - informative and entertaining. (I have the book too, but haven't yet given it the attention it deserves.)

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #27 on: December 26, 2012, 05:22:10 PM »

Kumakun

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #28 on: December 26, 2012, 05:51:32 PM »
Bryan Petersen's Understanding Exposure and Understanding Flash Photography

+1 on Understanding Exposure.  I haven't read his book on flash photography, but as someone with little formal training in photography I found Understanding Exposure and his "Field Guide" to be very helpful, easy to read, and interesting.

Fotofanten

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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2012, 06:58:06 PM »
My recommendation would be Joey L - Photographing shadow and light for the avid portraiture photographers out there.
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Re: Recommended photography books
« Reply #29 on: December 26, 2012, 06:58:06 PM »