What's on your bookshelf?



This week I'm going low tech as I prepare for this weekends first session of Develop Camera Confidence. My trusty MacBook has decided to go sick, so instead of trawling the internet for useful stuff, I'm going to share some of my favourite books on photography.

I'll focus this time on some of the great books for beginners. There are plenty more for other posts in the future.

There are plenty of good photography books out there, as well as some bad ones! What I look for in a book is clear diagrams and pictures with good explanations of the techniques and settings. That , for me, means having enough detail without bombarding you with too much technical detail. There are lots of technical books if that's your thing!

So the two books I always recommend to people on my workshops are:

Read This if You Want To Take Great Photographs by Henry Carroll (ISBN 978-1-78067-335-6)

This is a great little book packed full of simple information and some great photographs to inspire you. I especially like the cross referencing of photos within the book which give you different examples of the settings and techniques in action. There are also sections on composition and lenses. There is not too much text on each page and it's very much a conversation between the author and the reader which makes it very much a book to dip into as a handy reference or even just to look at the photos for inspiration!

My favourite bits? The Bish, Bash, Bosh guides to Aperture and Shutter Speed and a great look at how Migrant Mother was shot by Dorothea Lange in 1936. (This photo is currently on display as part of Tate Modern's exhibition of Elton John's photograph collection - The Radical Eye: Modernist Photography)

The Rules of Photography and When to Break Them by Haje Jan Kamps (ISBN 978-1-908150-58-5)

I'll admit to picking this up initially because of the title. It's a great book for those of you wanting to progress how you take photos. So whilst there is lots of information about the different settings and techniques there are also lots of ideas of how to look and shoot photographs differently. Plenty of photographs illustrate the text which is divided into The Rule and Break the Rule sections. It does cover the basics but this is really a book for helping you see beyond the conventions of composition and settings. The book covers exposure, composition, lighting and editing. It encourages you to play and experiment with different settings and looks - and I'm a big fan of that!

My favourite bits? Too numerous to mention in this case but I do find that no matter how often I look at it I always seem to see a new idea!

I'll post about some of my books for inspiration in the future. If you have a photography book you really love why not share it with me via Facebook? Add it to the comments under the post about this blog! I'm sure there must be books I've yet to discover and there is still room for more shelves here!

So happy reading and get well soon MacBook!

#books #photography #learning #HenryCarroll #HajeJanKamps

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