You don’t need an academic degree to become an expert in the art and practice of photography. There are numerous resources on the internet, in shops or in libraries that can teach you everything you need to know about it. The rest is, of course, practice.
Books develop our thinking. It is scientifically proven that more reading makes people easily digest information as they improve their analytical and creative thinking skills.
Information in this article is based on books we have read.
1. Digital Photography Complete Course: Learn Everything You Need to Know in 20 Weeks
Digital Photography Complete Course teaches you everything you need to know about photography in 20 weeks through easy-to-understand tutorials. The program is completely customizable to your schedule, so you can work through the modules at your own pace. It’s also an especially thoughtful gift for aspiring photographers.
"I absolutely love this book. I originally found it at the local library. After reading the first 3 chapters, I knew I had to own this book. It is very easy to read, and I love all the information given. I also enjoy the review sections as well as the practice and experiment sections. This book definitely makes learning photography more fun and enjoyable all around."
2. The Photographer's Guide to Posing:
Techniques to Flatter Everyone
When photographing people, you can have a great composition, perfect light, and the right camera settings, but if your subject doesn’t look right - if the pose is off - the shot will not be a keeper. Posing is truly a crucial skill that photographers need to have in order to create great photographs. If you’re looking to improve your ability to pose your subjects - whether they’re men, women, couples, or groups - best-selling author and photographer Lindsay Adler’s The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone is the perfect resource for you.
"After reading Lindsay's book on Posing a second time, I wholeheartedly recommend this gem to anyone that photographs people. The book is comprehensive, well written, cleverly designed with training skills and a plethora of examples of what works, what doesn't and why. As you read, you will find yourself getting better at finding posing issues and how to correct them. Simply put, you will understand posing better and produce higher quality work because of it."
3. Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera
Understanding Exposure has taught generations of photographers how to shoot the images they want by demystifying the complex concepts of exposure in photography. In this newly updated edition, veteran photographer Bryan Peterson explains the fundamentals of light, aperture, and shutter speed and how they interact with and influence one another. With an emphasis on finding the right exposure even in tricky situations, Understanding Exposure shows you how to get (or lose) sharpness and contrast in images, freeze action, and take the best meter readings, while also exploring filters, flash, and light.
"After the first three chapters my photography was transformed. Don't buy another lens. Don't buy a new camera body. Buy this book first.Seriously. If you are a beginner or are even an advanced user looking to refresh on the core principals of photography - get this book."
4. The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
Design is the single most important factor in creating a successful photograph. The ability to see the potential for a strong picture and then organize the graphic elements into an effective, compelling composition has always been one of the key skills in making photographs.
Now published in sixteen languages, The Photographer's Eye continues to speak to photographers everywhere. Reaching 100,000 copies in print in the US alone, and 300,000+ worldwide, it shows how anyone can develop the ability to see and shoot great digital photographs. 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
"This is a really important book. Most photography books are solely concerned with cameras and lenses, but this book focuses (pun intended) on the psychology of the way images are interpreted and understood by people, which I think is far more important than equipment. The book is beautifully written and filled with gorgeous photographs illustrating the photographic and artistic concepts explained within. "
5. The Art of Photography: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression
Barnbaum is recognized as one of the world's finest landscape and architectural photographers, and for decades has been considered one of the best instructors in the field of photography. This latest incarnation of his textbook which has evolved, grown, and been refined over the past 45 years - will prove to be an ongoing, invaluable photographic reference for years to come. It is truly the resource of choice for the thinking photographer.
"I'm an experienced photographer who always managed to be able to get great shots no matter what the conditions, but I always wanted to be better. At the time I purchased this fantastic treatise on personal expression I was ready to take things to the next level.
Mr. Barnbaum, I will be forever in your debt. This book almost immediately made me a true artist who can now consistently and deliberately create the exact message I want to communicate. I take about 1/10th of the photos I once did. I know where to position myself, and most of all, I know what I want to say before I say it.".