Best Books

Beyond Megapixels strives to bring you honest reviews and advice on the best books and magazines to help you attain rewarding photography skills. This page is updated on a continuous basis; every time a review is written on BMP, or a great photography book or magazine comes to our attention.

If you have a great book or magazine to recommend, let us know!

Book/Magazine Reviews from the Beyond Megapixels Archives:

The Digital Photography Companion
The Canon Digital Rebel XSi/450d Companion
Photography Books by Better Photo
Digital SLR Handbook
Betterphoto Guide to Digital Photography
The Betterphoto Guide to Exposure
Take Your Best Shot
Digital Photo Secrets
The Digital Photography Book Volume 3
Popular Photography Magazine
Review – Photo Recipes Live
Book Review – Photography by John Freeman

Recommended Books (links to Amazon.com):

Digital Photography:

Photoshop:

Lighting:

Photo Credit: Tiffany Joyce.

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  • Kim Siebert

    Great resource, thanks!

    However, if we are talking imperatives here, and since you included Photoshop books, I too must include these books.

    I am one of those people who HAVE to buy books – I love books. There is NOTHING like getting a package in the mail instead of bills all the time, so just another shopping excuse for me anyways!

    Here are MY recommendations!
    (you can also look at the reviews on Amazon to get input from others)

    LIGHTROOM:
    For you Lightroomers out there, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom – The complete Guide for Photographers by Martin Evening is ‘the bible’ of Lightroom books. Worth every penny. LR2 and LR3.

    CANON 7D:
    I HAVE to recommend David Buschs Canon EOS 7D book. This book is my 7D bible and is easy to follow, HUGE pictures for guidance too. Nicely written. He is the #1 selling author of camera guides.

    The book I am sending back is the Canon EOS 7D for Dummies, well, that is a GREAT book if you have never picked up a DSLR before. It really is a more remedial book, however, easy to follow and MUCH easier than the included manual which came with the camera. But that one is a must if you need guidance out in the field, as it is super compact and easily accessible. Not for someone who knows their way around a camera. Get the book written by Busch.

    The David Buschs book is a big book with over 450 pages!!! worth its weight in gold. And every thing that I could think of (right now anyways..) was in the book. There is NO fluff or filler in this book either, like the terrible Scott Kelby 3rd installment in the series. That book was terribly lacking and reaching. I was dissappointed with that book – when the first 2 were wonderful! But, if you can get the 3books together, and it’s cheaper, then of course be smart with your money.

    CS5:
    Now, MY Photoshop bible for CS5 is the Adobe Photoshop CS5 for Photographers book written also by Martin Evening. This book comes with a CD of images to practice along with the book. The only thing I don’t like about this book, and every single other book out there who includes prints of sample images, unless it is a color to black and white image, you can 99% of the time NEVER see any adjustments in the images. Unless its a close up of chromatic abberations, those have pretty much been the only ones that I can ever see a difference in. Which is why it’s nice they include those images on disk.

    DIY PROJECTS:
    On a ‘fun’ note – a great book to have is the Photojojo book! This book is a book of diy projects! Nothing is expensive, and alot of stuff u use is just laying around the house. Their website is fabulous, they are a young fun company who is coming up with projects and fun things to do ALL THE TIME. If you like spreading your creative wings to fly, then GET THIS BOOK! :) (and sign up for their newsletter and check out their website regularly!)

    SELLING YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS:
    Since we are on books – another KILLER book is Photographers Market – its a guide of Where and how to sell your photographs. Tehrs over 1000 listings for magazines, books, publishers, stock agencies who buy digital images.

    Each one thats listed says everything you need to know about them including addresses, websites, emails and PHONE NUMBERS!!! on the inside cover there is a key to SYMBOLS. Each listing of all the publishers has a symbol or multiple symbols saying what they pay for photos, whether they are an international market, or Canadian. Wheter they take from beginning or unpublished photographers, and it also shows you if they are a SUPER hard publisher to break into, and are typicallly TOP DOLLAR payers.

    CAMERA RAW:
    Another book is Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS4, I don’t know if there is a CS5, but – the info can be used with CS5 too. This books full title is Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS4 Industrial Strength Production Techniques by Jeff Schewe and Bruce Fraser. This book is the Camera Raw bible, and provides a FULL listing of all keyboard short cuts!

    LIGHTING:
    Light Science & Magic by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver and Paul Fuqua
    This book shows you TONS of HOW to set your lighting to get a specific look – there are simple to read diagrams that anyone can follow. I just wished there were better photographic examples of what you ‘get’ when you set up the lighting the way they suggest. Not ALL of them are bad examples, just most. But don’t get me wrong – I see what they are trying to convey.

    I don’t understand how writers/publishers can write/publish books on how to do something to get a specific result, yet they can’t provide photographs which acccurately represent said lighting or photographic ‘formula’ on HOW to do something. It makes NO sense to me at all – and the photos in this book are just really bad.

    But, I definately WOULD purchase this book if you need lighting suggestions. You do need to KNOW your camera, this is NOT a Beginning lighting book. It is an intermediate to advanced photographers.

    Paul Fuqua is on Amazon regularly answering questions from the reviews of the book – he is VERY helpful and a SUPER nice guy. So, if you have questions for him. Look him up on google or just post a comment with other users.

    Last but NOT least is

    BUSINESS PRACTICES:
    Best Business Practices For Photographers – by John Harrington its 500 pages and a WEALTH of knowledge. It’s one of the best books that I have ever purchased.

    Now, this book is for those of you are already are IN business or who need help understanding the necessary paperwork trail there is in photography. You’d be surprised on what is really needed to PROTECT yourself and your photographs. It has TONS of samples of his actual contracts and emails he sends out. It’s toatlly worth it.
    For example:
    Working with Reps, Assitants, employees and contractors
    Setting your Fees
    Pricing your work to stay in business
    Overhead
    401K
    Insurance (exxxcellent chapter) although brief –
    Accounting
    If audited by IRS
    Contracts (a MUST)
    he has chapters for: editorial clients, corporate and commercial clients, weddings and rites of passage type clients – THESE CHAPTERS ARE WONDERFUL…..
    and it talks about HOW to deal with these customers too.
    Negotiations –
    Protecting your work, HOW and WHY
    Realities of Infrignement, Copyrights and Federal Court
    Releases: model, property others (A MUST!!!)
    Breach of Contract: Small Claims and Civil Court (WONDERFUL)
    Resolving SLOW and NON PAYING clients. (super duper chapter! We ALL have gone through this, or WILL)
    Letters, Letters, Letters: Writing like a professional can solve many problems
    Attorneys: when you need them
    Licensing your work
    Asset management
    Care and feeding of clients (short and sweet but great) alot of commen sense here, but its all necessary!
    Education an ongoing and critical Practice (oh yeah it is!)
    Strking a balance between photography and family
    Expanding into other areas of creativity
    Charity, Community, and your colleagues – Giving back is good kharma: (aint it the truth)

    So, if that doesn’t ‘sell’ this book to you, there is something wrong with you! I think every photog out there should have this as a resource book. AND John Harrington IS accessible, if you have a question, ask him.

    I have several other books too – but these are the ones most important to me!

    Hope this helps someone!

    Peace,

    Kim