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Best Photography Books

Looking for good photography books? Below you’ll find a curated list of the best photography books for beginners.

Whether you’re a beginner or pro photographer, you’ll enjoy this list of the best photography books for beginners.

The 10 Best Photography Books for Beginners

1. Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera by Bryan Peterson


Synopsis: More than 100 vivid, graphic comparison pictures illustrate every point in this revised classic and can help any photographer maximize the creative impact of his or her exposure decisions.

2. On Photography by Susan Sontag

Print | Audiobook | eBook

Synopsis: First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images which are continually inserted between experience and reality. Sontag develops further the concept of ‘transparency’.

3. The Digital Photography Book (Volume 1) by Scott Kelby



Synopsis: This text tackles the most important side of digital photography – how to take professional-quality shots using the same tricks today’s top digital pros use.

4. Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography by Roland Barthes


Synopsis: A graceful, contemplative volume, Camera Lucida was first published in 1979. Commenting on artists such as Avedon, Clifford, Mapplethorpe, and Nadar, Roland Barthes presents photography as being outside the codes of language or culture, acting on the body as much as on the mind, and rendering death and loss more acutely than any other medium.

5. The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

Print | eBook

Synopsis: The book explores all the traditional approaches to composition and design, but crucially, it also addresses the new digital technique of shooting in the knowledge that a picture will later be edited, manipulated, or montaged to result in a final image that may be very different from the one seen in the viewfinder.

6. Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

Print |  eBook

Synopsis: Humans of New York is the book inspired by the Internet sensation. With four hundred color photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, Humans of New York is a stunning collection of images that showcases the outsized personalities of New York.

7. The Americans by Robert Frank


Synopsis: Armed with a camera and a fresh cache of film and bankrolled by a Guggenheim Foundation grant, Robert Frank crisscrossed the United States during 1955 and 1956. The photographs he brought back form a portrait of the country at the time and hint at its future.

8. The Digital Photography Book (Volume 2) by Scott Kelby

Print |  eBook

Synopsis: In Volume 2, Scott adds entirely new chapters packed with Plain English tips on using flash, shooting close up photography, travel photography, shooting people, and even how to build a studio from scratch, where he demystifies the process so anyone can start taking pro-quality portraits today!

9. Light: Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting by Fil Hunter

Print |  eBook

Synopsis: Light: Science and Magic provides you with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles of light to allow you to use lighting to express your own creativity.

10. Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz


Synopsis: Annie Leibovitz describes how her pictures were made, starting with Richard Nixon’s resignation, a story she covered with Hunter S. Thompson, and ending with Barack Obama’s campaign.

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