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photo technique / technical reference / the big photography list
kayaking / birding / popular picks

Books on Photography / Portraiture / Lighting / How-To Videos

Photoshop CS4 and Digital Photography

How would you like an RIT education in photography?  Well, I can't help you get a degree, but I can tell you that the one book they frequently recommend as a resource in their program is Photography by Bruce Warren.  This is a large book (400+ pages in the last version) and could well serve as the only photography reference book you buy.  It covers everything from the basics of exposure to advanced darkroom techniques in this well organized manual.  Illustrations abound, and the text is very readable, regardless your level of expertise.  This is one of my very favorites.

Another easy recommendation is "The Trilogy"; and no I'm not talking about Star Wars. Ansel Adams put together probably the best series of books on photography: The Camera, The Negative, and The Print.  These books are generally increasing in complexity, although all have a reasonable mix of technical and non-technical information.  The Camera deals with the mechanics of cameras and optics, and discusses the benefits of the different camera formats.  Heard of the Zone SystemThe Negative contains an introduction to Adams' intuitive exposure method, and illustrates the effects of advanced exposure and development techniques.  The Print rounds out the series and provides insight into getting the best prints from your images.  These books are valuable for any photographer who wants to become more technically proficient, and anyone would certainly appreciate the photography. 

I've bought loads of books on portraiture over the years and I've got my favorites listed on my portrait tips page. Be sure to check out the big page of photography books for loads of other good portraiture books as well.

A recent thread at also compiled several great choices for those interested in photojournalism. My favorite pick of the bunch is Photojournalism: The Professionals' Approach by Kobre and Brill. If I could pick the ultimate manual on PJ, this would be it, bar none. It is a large book that covers both the artistic and the business sides (editing room) of the business and is remarkably well put together.
Other favorites named by the readers:

  • Witness in Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers
  • Magnum: Fifty Years at the Front Line of History
  • Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism
  • Shutterbabe: Adventures in Love and War
  • The Photojournalist's Guide to Making Money

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