7 Photography eBooks Every Photographer Should Read
- By: Nate Kay
While there are countless eBooks out there on photography, it can be a daunting task to filter through them all. Which books are worth their price tag, and will you walk away with the knowledge you need to improve your photography?
Check out our Behind the Picture eBook series here.
We set out on a photography eBook expedition to bring you a collection of guides that deliver – ones that will enhance your craft and widen your knowledge, so you can focus on enjoying your photography. Whether you’re buying for yourself or for the photographer in your life, these 7 eBooks can take your photography to the next level.
No matter what field of photography you are in, bokeh can add depth, texture, and much interest to your portfolio. It can be used both creatively and conceptually – pushing elements out of focus to redirect the attention onto other parts of your image, while simultaneously creating a dream-like, surreal atmosphere that many photographers aspire to master.
Exploring your depth of field is a fundamental process that every photographer should be familiar with, and Christopher O’Donnell’s eBook The Art of Bokeh is a fantastic guide to using shallow depths in your work. He explains the basics of bokeh, how to create it in the field, and how to apply it to your photography.
Christopher also has another volume on bokeh which explores the creative process behind his award-winning bokeh portfolio. In The Portfolio of Bokeh, he discusses 22 of his images in great detail – dedicating a full page spread of information to each photo – and includes important knowledge such as camera settings, environmental factors, how he applies photography principles, and the thought process behind his perspective and composition.
If you’re looking to enhance your photography – that is, take what you have to another level – Ten is a solid source of inspiration that will help you grow as a photographer. Author and humanitarian photographer David duChemin is well-known for his eBooks, which are sold through Craft & Vision. Although he has authored many, his eBook Ten has earned a reputation as being a staple for photographers who have learned how to use their camera and are searching for that next step.
The eBook outlines ten ways to improve your craft, and none of them involve purchasing more gear. At
$5 FREE, it’s already well worth the price – but as an added bonus, each step is followed by a creative exercise to help get you into the mindset needed to further your craft.
Guy Tal is well-known both for his creative photography and for his valuable eBooks. He has an ability to put things into perspective and convey complicated processes in an easy-to-follow manner, which explains why many anticipate the release of his newest eBook. While he has a wide array of insightful readings, we found particular value in Creative Digital Printing as it is a subject every photographer should be familiar with.
Whether you print at home or outsource your printing, this eBook will be a fantastic resource for you. Guy does a fantastic job of breaking down the process of at-home printing into sections that are easy to digest. For those who outsource the printing process, he details how to prepare your files properly so you can achieve an optimal result.
Guy discusses the complete process of making fine-art prints, including:
- Optimal Resolution
- Color Conversion
- Gamut Issues
Creative Digital Printing includes examples from both Photoshop and Lightroom, making it an all-inclusive printing guide for the digital photographer.
Another fantastic resource we selected from Guy Tal is his Creative Processing Techniques bundle, which explores both color and black-and-white photo editing. This bundle is aimed towards those who want to create a portfolio that is void of gimmicks and tricks, and focuses on how to edit your image while maintaining full manual control over it.
Not every image is uniform, so the ability to adjust your editing workflow to compliment a particular scene is extremely important. Guy explains the fundamentals of the post-process workflow (with examples), and provides you with both the inspiration and knowledge to create unique, powerful work that represents your personal expression. While each eBook is available separately, many photographers work in both color and black-and-white format, which makes this bundle a great value.
Another stand-out eBook we found over at Craft & Vision discusses the twilight hours – just before sunrise and just after sunset. Aptly named Below the Horizon, this eBook is a fantastic guide for those who have never explored the unique light that the blue hours provide. Shadows and highlights dwindle, and the ethereal glow of the darkening sky bathe your scene in cool tones that can completely transform your environment in a matter of minutes.
If the concept of “blue hour” shooting is unfamiliar to you, then this eBook will provide you with the knowledge needed to create during this unique window of light.
We’ve featured many time lapse videos on our site, but for a photographer, the process behind these videos can be quite intricate. Photographing the Fourth Dimension – Time is a powerful guide that thoroughly explains long exposures for both photography and video – discussing topics such as stair trails, time lapses, and light painting.
When using extended shutters, it’s important that you know the proper methods to avoid time-consuming mistakes. With this eBook, you can ensure that a night spent photographing a time-lapse won’t be wasted.
With filters, you can greatly improve your photography and broaden your creative horizons. At the same time, filters can be a confusing subject to grasp, and you could easily spend a lot of money on gear that may not suit your needs. Author Darwin Wiggett is an award-winning landscape photographer who explains everything you need to know on the subject. With the help of his team over at oopoomoo.com, he has put together Essential and Advanced Filters – a concise, easy-to-follow guide that provides you with years of expertise.
Darwin addresses the importance of filters, how to use them in your photography, and also explains how some filters are not needed anymore – saving you a costly purchase. Equipped with the knowledge this book provides, you’ll be able to find the right kind of filters for your photography and explore the creative paths that they can open for you. At $10, this book is an affordable must-have.