for photographers

[for photographers] Reading resources for photographers

Today, I thought I would do a quick share of some photography books that I have found super useful. 

1. Within the Frame ~ David duChemin

 I find David duChemin's books and interviews inspirational.  He teaches you to think creatively about your art, but is extremely concrete in his explanations.  None of that abstract feel-so-you-can-create stuff, just strong methodology for realizing your creative vision and understanding the technical aspects needed to achieve it.  Worth every penny!

I did a more in-depth book review of Within the Frame on my fine art blog where I discussed exactly what material is covered in the book.  Click here if your interested.

And... if you would rather just preview the book, click here for a sample chapter.

2. The Adobe Photoshop CS4 Book for Digital Photographers ~ Scott Kelby

This is book is all technical, but understandably so.  When I upgraded from Photoshop Elements to CS4, I found myself in a world of trouble.  It was so not the same, and I was so out of my league!

This book came to my rescue.  Honestly, I read the darn thing cover to cover.  Looking back, I am so glad I did!

It goes through the basics of Photoshop.  I walked away knowing everything I could possibly know about Camera RAW, understanding all of the basic tools, and being able to color correct and enhance a photo without a problem.

I liked it because it was not terribly technical.  It was more of a practical how-to with brief, understandable descriptions of the different Photoshop tools and functions.  I don't handle super technical jargon well.  I get bored, my mind drifts, and I retain nothing.  Kelby has perfected (and has been criticized for) the conversational tone.  It's an easy read, and you walk away knowing a ton about Photoshop.  I still refer to it often!

3. Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within ~ Natalie Goldberg

Last summer, I met up with a wonderful photographer, Michelle Black, and she suggested this book to me.  She told me to trust her.  Yes, it is a writing book, but I swear it will teach you so much about photography and the creative journey.

She was right.

The book is about learning how to do something hard, and learning how to do it well.  Maybe hard is an understatment... It is about learning how to continually pull something creative and meaningful out of yourself.

It is about the honest truth that we have to produce a lot of crap before we can produce something magical, and it is about how to plow through all of that crap production and cultivate the magical stuff.

Seriously good stuff.  If your photography goals include bringing a creative edge to your work, this book will give you both direction and encouragement. 


You can tell from the list that I don't read a lot of technically heavy camera books.  I found that you can find most of that stuff online through blogs and forums (and your manual!).  So, save your money, and start there first :)

P.S.  I am a total book junky, so if you have recommendations of your favorite photography books, let's hear them!  I just might be able to add them to my Christmas list in time!

P.P.S. I am really looking for some awesome resources on lighting, both flash and natural light.  If you know books or websites that can help, please let me know!