The last several months I've been teaching several walk-around photography classes for beginners here in Las Vegas. One of the most common questions people ask me is what are some good resources to expand their knowledge of photography, whether it's as simple as taking better vacation photos or how to learn more about the different settings that are in the camera. Over the years, I've collected a wide variety of great photography books, some as old as the 1930s. So I started amassing a list for those interested whenever they asked me but then it's a matter of tracking down the books either online or at the local bookstore which may or may not have them all the time. To make things easier, I started going through my book collection and I've found some of my favorite resources for digital photography. These are books which will not only help those who barely know where the "ON" button is on their camera all the way up to the professional, working photographer.
The first series of books I suggest everyone look into are the Digital Field Guides published by Wiley Publishing. For many years these have been my first go-to books for learning about anything with my camera. While the manual that came with your camera is a great resource for specific technical information, you ultimately want to learn how to apply all that information into taking better photos. These Field Guides are an outstanding companion to your existing camera manual. The best part about them is they really present all the techie, nerdy information and put it into words that anyone can understand. So if you're using any major DSLR camera brand, this should be the first thing you buy for it.
Once you have one of these books specific to your camera, you might want to investigate some of the "Dummies" or "Idiot's Guide" books on photography. Don't be insulted by the name…the books in these series are written by outstanding authors and professionals in their craft. They explain the different common terms in photography such as exposure, shutter speed, ISO, etc. They explain the difference between types of cameras and lenses and give you an excellent starting point to understanding not just how your camera works, but how you can use this information to take much better photos. When you are just starting out in photography, you want to start here.
Once you have started to master the basic understandings of the photography vocabulary, have a good, working knowledge of the basics of photography, then you can start to move up to the more intermediate or advanced books. Some authors/photographers of these to whom I highly recommend are Bryan Peterson, Tom Ang, and David duChemin just to name a few.
Since my list is really rather extensive in all these categories, I'm going to save you a lot of time and give you a link to my personal, suggested reading list. I have personally read all of the beginner, Intermediate and Advanced level books I own all the books in the Intermediate to Advanced level books in my library.
To to go my personal, suggested reading list and order any of the books direct through Amazon, simply go to:
If you have personally read any of these books and would like to provide some feedback here or if you have any great photography books you would suggest, please leave a comment. Also, if you are ever interested in attending one of my walk-around photography classes for beginner to intermediate level photographers here in Las Vegas, please shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I teach the classes once a month.