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20 Top Photography Books For Learning A New Skill

Here are 20 photography books that look at everything from landscapes and composition to portraits and architecture that will help you hone your photography skills.

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As the saying goes, you can't beat a good book and if they're photography themed, even better. Books can be an endless source of hints, tips and information that will help you perfect your photography skills. Of course, it doesn't actually beat getting out there with your camera but books can give you new ideas and even suggestions on where to travel next with your kit. Plus, if it's raining outside and you don't fancy getting your camera soggy, reading a photography themed book is a way you can still enjoy your hobby without getting soaked to the bone. 

The books below cover a variety of photography themes, from ones that look at a specific photographic subject to titles that are much more generic or targeted to a specific skill level. Most can be previewed before purchase and some are also available as Kindle editions as well as in print. Many are best sellers, too which makes them a great place to start if you're just building your photography book collection. 

Here's our hand-selected list of 20 popular photography themed books you should have on your reading list: 


digital photography complete course

Digital Photography Complete Course 

This is a book that's designed to guide you through 20 weeks of tutorials, step-by-step photo shoots, practical assignments and Q&As. The book aims to help you understand and use your camera to its full potential and it's one of the best sellers on Amazon. It seems to cover plenty of topics in a way that's easy to understand and follow. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA




British birds

British Birds: A Photographic Guide To Every Common Species

This Collins Complete Guide to British Birds makes bird identification easier than ever with information on where birds are likely to be found, songs / calls and more. Collins say it's the most complete photographic guide to British birds ever published making it a perfect book for bird photography fans to have in their camera bags. The images in the book were specially commissioned and it also features maps that show where the birds can be found as well as at what time of year's best for capturing images of them. Collins pitch it as a 'perfect photographic field guide for the birdwatching beginner.' but we're sure most bird photography fans will find it useful. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 



Read this if you want to take great photos

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs

This book, with its rather catchy title, contains no graphs, no diagrams and no jargon. Instead, it's full of images and copy that's full of handy tips. The title's split into 5 sections and covers topics such as composition and exposure while photographers including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sebastião Salgado, Fay Godwin, Nadav Kander, Daido Moriyama and Martin Parr illustrate points and encourage readers to try out new ideas. It's well designed, easy to navigate and is very popular with Amazon users. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


Setting up a successful photography business

Setting Up A Successful Photography Business: How To Be A Professional Photographer

If you're looking for a practical handbook that gives you advice on starting a photography business, this book could be it. Written by the owner of a successful photographic agency, it is packed full of helpful information and advice on all the essentials you need to know when running a business. These include self-publicity, building a portfolio and setting up a website. The book also contains useful templates for essential paperwork.

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA



Beginners photography guide

Beginner's Photography Guide

Described as a manual, this book is designed for those who are new to photography. The book covers key photography concepts in simple terms and also includes visual guides. The Beginner's Photography Guide compares and contrasts the effect of different approaches, giving photographers the advice they need to overcome photography challenges. The book is well written and breaks down, what can be, complicated topics into easy-to-follow steps. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 



complete photography course

Collins Complete Photography Course

This is a project-based book that covers everything from basic composition to the latest digital darkroom techniques. There's plenty of content that's well written and presented, plus the project-base style means the book encourages you to get out with your camera. It's also a useful guide if you're looking for shooting inspiration. This is a practical and affordable guidebook that's easy to understand and simple to work through. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


Underwater photography masterclass

Underwater Photography Masterclass

As this book's written by a marine biologist, you know it's going to be full of useful underwater photography tips. Dr Alexander Mustard guides you through all you need to know to explore the amazing creatures and landscapes that lie beneath the surface. It's well worth a read before taking a plunge as information is given in abundance. Topics include diving equipment and cameras as well as crucial advice on understanding and controlling light underwater. With the benefit of 30 years of experience taking underwater photographs, Alexander uses his wealth of knowledge to guide the reader, plus the title's illustrated with fab images. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


Photography business secrets

Photography Business Secrets: The Savvy Photographer's Guide To Sales, Marketing, And More

Lara White has collected the best advice from her popular photography business website,, into this guide for your reference. She covers establishing your brand, defining policies, setting prices, creating a marketing plan, networking, and more. Photography Business Secrets is packed with advice to help your business succeed and thrive.

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA


How do I do that in Lightroom


How Do I Do That in Lightroom?: The Quickest Ways to Do the Things You Want to Do, Right Now!

Scott Kelby is a well-known name in the photographic industry and in this Lightroom guide, he talks you through step-by-step instructions in an easy to follow, casual tone. If you're new to Lightroom, this book tells you which button to click, which setting to use, and exactly how and when to use it. Each page covers just one topic so the book is easy to navigate and will probably be a title you drop in and out of when you need help with something specific. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


understanding exposure


Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

The book brands itself as been a way for amateur photographers to forget the auto button so they can take images exactly as they want to. The book's easy to follow and as it only has one focus, it's packed with plenty of detail so those who are new to photography can really grasp the basics of exposure. Good image examples are used throughout and the language used isn't overcomplicated which is always a bonus. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA



learn a new skill

Beginner's Digital SLR Crash Course: Complete guide to mastering digital photography basics, understanding exposure, and taking better pictures.

This book aims to help you make the most out of your digital camera. There's no technical jargon, it's packed with useful information and it's presented in an informal but practical way. Perfect for the beginner, the book shows you how taking control of your camera can help you take better photos.

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


Adobe Lightroom CC for digital photographers

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter)

Since Lightroom 1.0 first launched, Scott’s Kelby’s The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Book for Digital Photographers has been the world’s #1 best-selling Lightroom book and its popularity hasn't wavered. Throughout the book, Scott shares his own personal settings and studio-tested techniques and as everything is step-by-step, it's east to follow. 

Buy On Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


learn a new skill

Tony Northrup's DSLR Book: How to Create Stunning Digital Photography

Overall, this is an informative photography book that's also accompanied by three hours of online video training as well as access to free help from the author and other readers. There are real-life practices at the end of every chapter to follow and the book's written in an easy to follow manner that's entertaining at the same time. 

Buy on Amazon UK   Buy on Amazon USA 



Digital photography masterclass

Digital Photography Masterclass

In this book, Tom Ang provides a one-on-one guide to every aspect of digital photography. Topics covered include lighting, composition and timing. Plus, photo manipulation and tips on post-production are also featured. As well as tutorials, there are practical assignments and step-by-step projects throughout and the book is filled with inspirational images. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 



The busy girl's guide to digital photography

The Busy Girl's Guide To Digital Photography

This photography guide is designed specifically for women who want to improve their photographic skills. The book is full of inspirational case studies and examples from professional and semi-pro female photographers. Technical points are written in user-friendly ways and overall, the book's a very practical guide that's well worth having in your toolkit. 

Buy On Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA  


The Photoshop workbook

The Photoshop Workbook: Professional Retouching and Compositing Tips, Tricks, and Techniques

Glyn Dewis shares his creative tips and skills he applies to his photography and retouching work. In this guide, you will learn not only his step-by-step Photoshop techniques but how and when to apply them. The book first looks at individual Photoshop skills that are well worth mastering before going on to look at real-world projects where Glyn covers 6 projects from start-to-finish. You can also download the images and follow the tutorials which are a nice bonus. 

Buy On Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


wedding photography

Wedding Photography: A Step by Step Guide to Capturing the Big Day

This is a step-by-step guide to wedding photography that can be used by those who are new to the subject or indeed by those who want to refresh their knowledge. Packed with useful advice and practical tips, it's designed to help build confidence as well as knowledge and the key skills needed to succeed. 

Buy On Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 



104 things to photograph

104 Things To Photograph 

If you're looking for inspiration, this book will supply it in abundance. A bit like a photo scavenger hunt, the book features 104 themes that are illustrated with images. It would make a quirky gift for photography fans at Christmas or for birthdays. 

 Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA



Tow to photograph everything

How to Photograph Absolutely Everything: Successful Pictures from your Digital Camera

Tom Ang's on the list again but this time with his guide to photographing 'absolutely everything'. As well as instruction, you'll find checklists and 'tricks of the trade' sections that aim to educate you on turning a good photo into a great one. The book is clearly laid out, easy to follow and full of inspirational images. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA


Landscape photography workshop

The Landscape Photography Workshop

In this book, two of the UK's leading landscape photographers come together to share their wealth of experience and teaching skills. The Landscape Photography Workshop aims to take the reader from the very basics of equipment and exposure through to advanced techniques. Plenty of topics are covered in depth and explained in a precise, easy-to-understand manner. This book also has chapters dedicated to post-processing and printing. 

Buy on Amazon UK    Buy on Amazon USA 


Even More Books 

Check out our book review section for even more recommendations. 

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altitude50 17 22.0k United Kingdom
20 May 2020 9:10AM
Not one Michael Freeman book?
russellsnr 17 252 England
20 May 2020 6:20PM
Lightroom and Photoshop!! What about those who do not use these? But use On1 Photo RAW, Affinity Photo etc etc

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