A Photographer’s Reading List – Technique and Practice

The 2 Bibles of Photographic technique are both by Michael Langford, and rather inspiringly called: Basic Photography, and Advanced Photography. Frankly if you can learn everything in both these books you’ll know more than me, and likely most professional photographers as well, at least when it comes to technique.

For a more professional and commercial application, as well as tonnes of insights into the business of photography, you can’t do much better than Jack Reznicki’s Studio and Commercial Photography, Jack is a very experienced, New York based commercial/advertising photographer and his advice is very explicit and practical – he doesn’t shy away from telling secrets about how the business works.

Technique Reading List
Some technical books

The best book on Photoshop I’ve ever read is Martin Evening’s Photoshop for Photographers. The clue to why this book is so good is in the title – rather than a huge encyclopaedic tome that covers every feature (most of which you’ll never use), or a cursory “dummies” guide which covers nothing in any depth, Martin concentrates on the bits that actually matter to photographers. This includes sections on colour spaces, acquiring images, and output in it’s various forms.

Lighting.

There’s a series of “Lighting for…” books, all of which are written by Steve Bavister which I’ve enjoyed over the years. I treat them a technical resource – in a magpie way I’ll browse the images and borrow a bit of lighting form one picture and blend it with a bit of my own. Some of the images feel a bit dated, though they’re all by professional photographers, but since it’s not inspiration as much as technical input you’re looking for it shouldn’t be much of an issue. I own the Glamour, and Still Life ones, though as I recall there are also Portrait, Nude and Night time ones. They would seem to be on limited availability at the moment, so Ebay might be a better bet than Amazon.
Very similar in approach, and, it would seem, currently available is the “Pro Lighting” series by Alex Larg and Jane Wood. Rather than link to a specific title I’ve linked straight to the author search on Amazon, there’s not much to separate the different titles in my experience, so it’s just a case of picking the one that you think you’ll benefit from most. Both these and the Steve Bavister books contain full diagrams for how each of the shots were lit, as well as a glossary that helps to explain what each piece of kit is and what it does.


This post forms part of my suggested reading list for photographers. Other posts in the series are:

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