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Browse our collection of photography book reviews.

Still Life

Ive seen Irving Penn listed as the source of inspiration for many photographers over the years, but I have to own up to not having seen much of his work. That is until now. This hardback book is a collection of still life images taken between 1938 and 2000, many for Vogue. Some, like the cover are carefully contrived images that grab attention, others are dark graphic close ups. Detail throughout is fantastic with razor sharp full page images. Irving shoots black & white and colour of subjects s...

Lighting for Food and Drink Photography

This book is full of the sort of food and drink pictures you see illustrating the finest recipe books, glossy magazines and advertising campaigns. Lovely collection of images, great lighting and superb control of focus, but you could get similar inspiration by looking through the cook books and then you could go off and prepare a meal. In many examples large format gear has been used so achieving this sort of quality is going to be hard for the 35mm user, but if this is the sort of photography y...

Lighting for Portrait Photography

Here is a fantastic collection of portrait pictures with a huge variety of styles, even though the names of many of the contributors are unknown. If this book doesnt fill you with inspiration to help you improve your portrait pics then I dont know what will. As with other books in the Lighting series each photograph is supported by a short, but useful, caption and an illustration of the lighting set up. Many are simple single light sets so you could go off and copy the styles yourself with littl...

Advanced Processing and Printing

If you have a darkroom and prefer black & white this book should be on your shelf. Its written by one of Britains finest printers who has twice won the Ilford Printer of the Year award. The first section briefly touches on the types of film, developers and papers and moves through to evaluating your print and how to read a contact sheet. The book then opens out into printing techniques and ends on toning. There are some fantastic images throughout the book, but I did feel cheated with the gall...

Photoshop 6 Web Magic

If you already have a basic skill level using Photoshop and would like to discover the programs usefulness in creating web graphics, buttons and animations this could be the book for you. It has a step-by step format with screengrabs showing you the menus being applied and the build up of the image as you progress. The book comes with a CD with all the necessary actions and styles needed to create the images within the book. Lots of ideas and easy to follow, great providing web creation is your ...

Printing the Image

The second in a small series of books for digital photographers written by Joe Farace who has 20 books under his belt and has written around 900 articles. We didn not like the first book in the series and unfortunately this has many of the same traits - lack of variety of pictures, limited information and occasionally out of date. This has more useful captions with pictures that illustrate the point and some good advice on making a test file but sadly without an illustration, there is also a goo...

Capturing the Image

The first of a small series of books for digital photographers written by Joe Farace who has 20 books under his belt and has written around 900 articles, so this book promises to deliver, and what better area to start than capturing the image. Its a compact sized book with a quality feel, but the whole book is illustrated with pictures of people, mostly kids so variety is lacking. Not only that but the pictures dont really illustrate the point so theres no point in half of them being there eithe...

Photos that changed the world

A hard back book with over 100 photographs that have stunned the world throughout the 20th century. Classics such as the 1909 Wright Brothers flight and the 1960 portrait of Che Guevara are balanced with images from Woodstock and the Royal Wedding. And then, of course, there has to be the harrowing scenes from the Napalm Attack in South Vietnam and execution in Saigon. You have probably seen many of these images before, but not all in one place with captions that give fascinating insight to when...

Nude Photography

Almost 150 years of nude photographs in chronological order starting out with a fuzzy, badly processed image titled Musette by Nadar dating back to 1855. The choice of pictures in this 136 page book is very subjective and some would never have left the darkroom tray had I been taken them, let alone reaching this book decades later. Having said that there are some classics including well known images from the likes of Man Ray,Jeanloup Sieff and Bill Brandt and what makes this book worth viewing i...

Paint Box No 1

Digital photographers who like experimental work will find this compilation of pictures a visual treat. It is pulled together by Andreas Fitzner and Albert Winkler who are the founders of Vienna Paint Studio. There are many examples of their advertising work along with creations from 14 other studios around the world. Some of the images take simple concepts and turn them into visual feasts. Others are mind bogglingly complex. All the work is done on PaintBoxes hence the title of the book. The pi...