7 of the Greatest Books for Learning Digital Photography
7 of the Greatest Books for Learning Digital Photography
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7 of the Greatest Books for Learning Digital Photography

Jun 24, 2017
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Photography can be one of the most fulfilling hobbies (or professions) you can ever take up, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s something everyone can do well right off the bat. It takes a lot of skill and knowledge to take good pictures, whether you’re doing it for yourself or for a living.

So how does one gain that knowledge, other than through experience? Sure, you could sign up for classes, but if you’re looking for a way to pick up some great tips and you don’t have a lot of spare time or money, there are a lot of great books out there that can help you get started.

Here’s a sampling of some of the most highly-regarded instructional photography books of the last ten years or so.

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The Beginner’s Photography Guide, by Chris Gatcum

There are some photography tomes out there that can be intimidating or confusing, partially because they use a lot of technical jargon. But Gatcum’s book is a plain-spoken, easily understandable step-by-step guide through the use of digital cameras.

And it’s even grouped by themes: Color, natural light, composition, etc, to help answer the specific questions you might have.

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Understanding Exposure: How To Shoot Great Photographs With Any Camera, by Bryan Peterson

Currently in its fourth edition, this best-seller is incredibly useful for a beginner, breaking down the complexities of exposure with ease and talking to its readers in a straightforward, no-nonsense fashion.

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

It’s a pretty self-explanatory title, and Miotke gets the job done, detailing the little things that make up a great photo with an instructor’s authority. Which makes sense, because Miotke is the founder of BetterPhotos.com, a popular online photography school.

There’s literally a tip for great photos on every page; it’s a book designed to be skimmed or digested completely, and it covers everything from landscapes to portraits.

There’s even a breakdown of Photoshop for those looking to manipulate their images online. It’s essentially a one-stop-shop for the new photographer.

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The Complete Photography For Beginners Guide, by Nancy Ross

While the Miotke book focuses on information coming at you from all kinds of different angles, Ross’ book takes a more deliberate approach, with Ross taking her time and thoroughly explaining all the different things you can do to take a great photo.

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Jump-Start Your Photography In 30 Minutes: Introduction To Digital Photography, by Raymond Salisbury

This book, on the other hand wastes no time, getting into the do’s and don’ts of digital photography in a quick and efficient fashion. Your photos may not be perfect after spending a half hour with this book, but they’ll very probably be a whole lot better than before you picked it up.

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Mastering Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO and Exposure, by Al Judge

If you’ve made it through the more basic beginner’s books, then Judge’s book might be the logical next stop on your list. It’s a little more technical than the others, but still easily understandable.

In fact, the book is such a good guide that it’s been a top seller online for the last three years.

Judge doesn’t just use text, either. His comprehensive illustrations are like a how-to guide in and of themselves.

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Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are, by Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring

Another highly rated top online seller, this book contends that all you have to do is step out your front door to find the material for some amazing photos.

Rather than taking a cerebral or clinical approach to taking great photos, Tharp and Manwaring contend that the heart is just as crucial as the mind and the instincts when a photographer is looking through the viewfinder.

It’s a truly inspiring approach that brings the art back into the equation. Sure, there are moments of great instruction in the book, but it emphasizes inspiration just as much.


  • Ronda Cline

    What do you do when it is stuck in loading?