Best Photography Books About Photography Not Mechanics

Best Photography Books - The Photographers EyeOnce people know you’re a photographer there are two questions you’re going to get asked.  What camera should I buy and what is the best photography book.   I will leave the first question for another day but the two books I most often recommend are as follows:

Michael Freeman’s book THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

So why this book out of the hundreds that are on the shelves?  By default the most often read books about photography speak to the mechanics of digital photography such as various settings, menu’s, exposure compensations, white balance, etc. Don’t get me wrong I think everyone getting into photography should read at least one of these books and Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Books are among the best I have read.US Customers Buy Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Books Here & >CDN Customers Buy Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Books Here

These two photography books by Freeman however set off down an entirely different path.  Many photographers will recommend that you take the time to review photographs to learn from the design and compositional elements that you like and incorporate those into your own photography.  That’s all wonderful and great but wouldn’t it be good if you had some idea beforehand what it is that makes the photograph so great.  Although ultimately each photographer makes their own choice about what composition works best for their photograph, good choices are those that are deliberate so it compels each one of us to be aware of all the possibilities that are available. The Photographer’s Eye will give any photographer a better awareness and grasp of choices that are to be made when it comes to framing, design basics, graphics, light and color, intent, and process.  All you need is an open and receptive mind and viola better images follow. US Customers Buy The Photographer’s Eye Here& CDN Customers Buy The Photographer’s Eye Here

 

Best Photography Books - The Photographers MindMichael Freeman’s book THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S MIND: CREATIVE THINKING FOR BETTER DIGITAL PHOTOS as you may have guessed falls along the same lines at the Photographer’s Eye and is is the next logical step in the process of creating truly outstanding photos. In addition to composition Freeman introduces the concept of creativity, intent and style.

The book constructs the notion that a photograph is successful to the extent it achieves the aims of the photographer and explores a range of possible intentions. While many photographs aim to be beautiful others aim for a complex reflection on their subject matter. Whatever the aim, this book looks at a number of ways to achieve it bringing ordinary subjects into a unique composition that allows them to be seen in various ways.

In addition to outlining principles for how to think about image making, the book also gives a wide range of very useful illustrations. In many cases it shows not only the final photograph but also other rejected compositions with an explanation on why the final photograph was selected. Freeman also creates a model that shows what the image would have looked like from other angles. The Photographer’s Mind gives you a refreshing break from the usual books about photography and loads you up with a host of ways to enhance the creativity in your work.
US Customers Buy The Photographer’s Mind Here & CDN Customers Buy The Photographer’s Mind Here

Whether you are a professional photographer, serious amateur, or just someone who would like to better appreciate the creativity of digital photography, these two are among the best photography books about photography, not the mechanics of photography, that I can recommend.

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2 Comments

  1. rlcarle February 12, 2012 at 11:56 pm #

    Never have read those two books will have to give them a try. A book I would strongly recommend is Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Exposure. Its somewhat technical but presented in an easy to understand fashion. Anyone struggling with exposure would do well to read this book.

    • bmaynard February 13, 2012 at 2:33 am #

      @rlcarle I have read Peterson and it is a good read. My favorite book on exposure is once again by Freeman entitled “Perfect Exposure”. He just has a way of framing things up in a different way than other authors that I prefer. I’m visual so I find the multiple comparison images that he uses help me grasp the concepts.

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