10 essential books every photographer must read

How are you developing yourself as a professional photographer? You can never stop learning if you want to be outstanding. Whether you are an amateur or professional photographer, you can further boost your skills by reading books written by other professionals in the field.

A lot can be gained from reading. You can learn some essential skills you don't have and necessary for your field. You can learn some marketing skills and more. Indeed, there is nothing like learning on the job to bring you up to speed on your profession. It doesn't matter how much formal education you've had before now, these books can totally change your life as a professional photographer and make you better.

Below are some essential books every photographer needs to read:

1. The Creative Digital Darkroom by Katrin Eismann and Sean Duggan​

In this book, the author Katrin and Sean will take you beyond the quick tips and teach you everything you need to know about being a digital photographer. You will learn how to create and edit images that you can use to impress your audience.Katrin and Sean's book focus on photographic aspects of Photoshop, something that is rare to find in other books.The Creative Digital Darkroom translates skills and concepts of the traditional darkroom into digital solutions for photographers who want to learn photography the right way despite various confusing technologies at hand.

2. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson

​This is by far the most comprehensive book you will get on "exposure". This book teaches you everything you need to know about exposure in photography and even go ahead to use over 100 vivid, graphic comparison pictures to make an illustration of every point in the book.

​You will also learn the importance of metering the subject for a starting exposure. The author explains how you can use various exposure meters and different types of lightning. Other lessons you will learn in the book include each element of the triangle and how it relates to the other two in terms of freezing, depth of field, blurring action, and shooting in low light situation.

​3. The Complete Guide to Digital Photography by Michael Freeman

​If you want to be the best in digital photography, then you have to learn from the master. The author, Michael Freeman presented this book in a very easy-to-understand manner. This book is the most complete and updated write-up on digital photography - it is perfect for amateur and professional photographers. You will learn how to choose the right camera, the best equipment to use and how to deal with problems such as digital enhancing.

​4. Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography

This book goes above and beyond every book you've read on digital photography. This is what you need to become an absolute professional in this field. It is written by one of the best photographers in the world - Tony Northrup.​

Stunning Digital Photography is a hands-on photography class that allows you learn at the pace you are most comfortable with. It contains over 3 hours of online training videos and free help from the author. You will also get free help from other readers.​

5. Collins Complete Photography Course by John Garrett

​Do you ever feel like you need your own photography teacher and companion? That's exactly what you will get when you get this book by John Garret. Not only is this book very inspiring, it is a practical-project based course book. Collins Complete Photography Course covers everything from basic composition to the latest digital darkroom techniques.

​Reading this book can make you a professional. It allows you learn at your own pace and help you to develop valuable photographic skills by teaching you about lenses, aperture, exposure, filters, light, and colors. You will also see stunning shots from around the world.

6. The Hot Shoe Diaries by Joe McNally​

Joe McNally is one of the biggest names in digital photography. He spent over 30 years working for National Geographic, Sports Illustrated, Time, Life, and more. In this book, you will learn everything you need to know about light. You will learn how to control it, color it, shape and direct it. More importantly, this book will teach you how to create light using small hot shoe flashes.

Joe McNally revealed all his secrets in this book. You will learn from his experience and knowledge. You will learn all his secrets and lighting solutions to help you create awesome images.

7. The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

This book is another masterpiece from the celebrated photographer - Michael Freeman. In this book, you will learn how to deal with issues such as visual design and photographic composition.

It does not stop there; it will also teach you some great insights from the author and help you become more artistic and creative in your photography. This book is a must-have for every photographer that wants to communicate effectively with his audience.

8. The Digital Photography Book Volume 2 by Scott Kelby

Following the huge success of The Digital Photography Book Volume 1, Scott decided to add to it by releasing this more powerful volume 2. You will definitely enjoy it.

In this volume 2, Scott teaches you how to use flash; shoot travel photography, close up photography, how to shoot people and even how to set up a professional studio from scratch. You will learn everything you need to take your photography to the next level from this book.

9. The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum

If you love photography, you need to have this book. It is by far the most comprehensive, readable, and understandable textbook on photography. The book will teach you everything you need to know about traditional and digital photography.

It doesn't stop there; the book goes beyond the technical aspect of photography and talks about the expressive, philosophical, and creative aspects of photography. If you want to become a professional photographer in a very short period of time, you definitely need to get this book today.

10. The Lens: A Practical Guide for the Creative Photographer by N.K. Guy

One thing every photographer needs to learn is how to use a lens. No doubt, this topic usually leaves most photographers confused and overwhelmed. In this book, N.K. Guy unveils everything you need to know about choosing the right lens for your camera and work.

What you will discover in this book is all the information you need when buying a new lens. The book demystified optical technology, arcane terminology, and provided you with practical tips. This is exactly the book you need to build the perfect lens collection for your photography.​

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