Great Photography Books for Christmas!

This time of year can be challenging for photographers who want to get out and about with their cameras. Although we've had a couple of days of glorious weather, it doesn't always coincide with when we are free!

A great gift for Christmas is a photography book - for learning something new, for inspiration or just as a great book to have.


So, here are my four favourite books that I bought this year and some on my wishlist to give you some ideas!


Four Books That I Loved This Year:


These first two are great for dipping into if you're in need of some inspiration or a challenge.


Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker

Not only is this an inspiring book - whether you are on Instagram or not - but it is a beautiful book to handle. Sara is a blogger and social media expert - especially Instagram. Find her on Instagram: @me_and_orla

Sections cover Storytelling, Making Pictures, Archiving your Life and Sharing your World.

There are loads of tips and thoughts about how and what you might want to capture about your world and how you see it.

If you're not on Instagram this book can help inspire you on creating great images of your memories.


Conscious Creativity by Philippa Stanton

I've followed Philippa on social media for years (Instagram @5ftinf) so I was excited to get my hands on her book when it came out. For this of you who have discovered the My Month of Noticing group with me on Facebook - you'll understand why I love this one! It's another beautiful book to have.

Like Hashtag Authentic there are lots of practical tips and little exercises for you to try out to stretch your creativity and help you take beautiful photos of your world.

Sections include; What Sort of a Creative are You?, Texture and Wabi Sabi, Light and Shadow and Colour.


Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson (4th edition)

I think I will always recommend this book to any of my students. It's written in a really clear way and chock full of beautiful pictures to illustrate the pints. Bryan always gives details of equipment and settings for all the photos he has included.

Why did I buy it this year? I 'upgraded' to the latest version. The original is still valid (and is off to a new home this week!) but Bryan has extended some content and updated it with new images.

So if you want to develop or refresh your understanding of shutter speed and aperture and light then this is a great book.


The Secret Lives of Colour by Kassia St Clair

This is not a photography book but I have included it as it's not only fascinating to read but it's also a great companion to any books on composing with colour.

I dip into it if I'm thinking of working in a particular colour palette and it sometimes sparks an idea!


Four Books on my Wishlist:


The first two books are on my list as next year one of my 'resolutions' is to get out more with my camera. So these two books are great resources to inspire me on great locations to seek out.


Wild Ruins by Dave Hamilton

As a fan of all things dilapidated, as well as being a bit of a history nut, I love a ruin.

I spotted this book, and it's companion book Wild Ruins BC, whilst walking through a garden centre book shop. It's not a photography book as such but great information to inspire a day out.


Photographing East Anglia by Justin Minns

This book is part of a series - so if you don't live in my part of the word there may be one for where you are in the UK. I'm definitely looking forward to using this one next year! It's a big book ideal for curling up on the sofa with on dark and damp days planning adventures with your camera! It covers Norfolk, Suffolk, North Essex and Cambridgeshire.


Life in 50mm: The Photographer's lens by Tanya Nagar

"Everyone should have a 50mm lens" is a common idea in many magazines and general photography books. Shooting with a lens that has no zoom is a challenge. I bought mine - the cheap and cheerful Canon one many years ago to enable better bokeh in photos (see my blog on festive bokeh from 2018). However there is much more to shooting with this type of lens so this is on my list as a means to stretch my skills with it.


The Photography Ideas Book by Lorna Yabsley

This is a recently released book. I have on my shelf her beginners photography book aimed at girls so I was interested to see this one appear. This time she looks at concepts and ideas using the work of photographers to illustrate. It's a book about compositor and ideas rather than the technical aspects.


Happy reading!


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All images © Sarah Holmes 2020 No reproduction without prior permission.