These are my favorite all purpose photography books. All of these links take you directly to Amazon.com. Some of them are out of print but you can find them at the Amazon links below. If a link doesn’t work (some links come and go) search for the book title at Amazon and you should be able to find another link for the same book.
Digital Photography Exposure for Dummies is not only an excellent introduction to photographic exposures, it introduces you to the basics of people photography, landscape photography, wildlife photography, sports and action photography, and night and low light photography.
The Joy of Photography, More Joy of Photography, and The Joy of Photographing People are all Kodak classics and a great place to start to improve your photography. They are out of print but you can use these links to find used copies at Amazon.
The Joy of Photography
More Joy of Photography
The Joy of Photographing People
The Art of the Photograph by Art Wolfe is the best introduction to photographic composition and is a must read for anyone who is serious about the visual power of their images.
Light, Science, and Magic is the best introduction to photographic lighting.
Mountain Light by Galen Rowell is first rate at getting inside the photographer’s head and thinking along with him as he creates images. The photography is stunning. If you aren’t inspired by this book, you might as well put your camera away. This is a must read for anyone interested in landscape, nature, and adventure photography. Any of Rowell’s other books are also well worth reading.
Freeman Patterson’s practical and inspirational books get to the heart and soul of photography. Look for Photography and the Art of Seeing, Photography for the Joy of It, Photography of Natural Things, and Photographing the World Around You.
Photography and the Art of Seeing
Photography for the Joy of It
Photography of Natural Things
Photographing the World Around You
Photography: The Definitive Visual History by Tom Ang is a visual feast. If you want a visual history of photography, this is the book to get.
Some of the older photography books were long on text with less photos (many of them in black & white), but they are still filled with a wealth of valuable information. You can still find these books on the used market. The The Amateur Photographer’s Handbook by Aaron Sussman is first rate and worth reading in any edition. Andreas Feininger has written several excellent classics. Look for The Complete Photographer, Photographic Seeing, Principles of Composition in Photography, Light and Lighting in Photography, and The Creative Photographer. If one of these used book links doesn’t work, look around on Amazon for another link to the same book.
The Amateur Photographer’s Handbook
The Complete Photographer
Principles of Composition in Photography
Light and Lighting in Photography
The Creative Photographer
Page created November 1, 2017. Updated May 4, 2018.