My Top 10 Selection of the Best Books For Photographers

June 21, 2012 Travis Dewitz

Top 10 Best Photography Books for Photographers

I love books and I love learning as much as I can possibly absorb. So it was natural for me to be drawn to books about my passion, photography. I’m a nuts and bolts kinda of guy. I want to know how things work and how to do things myself. I see so many impressive photographs and wonder how I can create works of art that look like them. To make your images look incredible takes a lot more than pushing the shutter button. A lot more. You not only need to know how to work your camera inside and out but you also need to learn about composition as well as how to use the natural or artificial light that you have. With most of you being  digital photographers now, Photoshop is now your new darkroom. You need to be proficient in every step if you want your work to shine and stand out. One way is to read some of the best photography books out there designed to teach photographers like yourselves. I like to see great images, good examples, and strong supporting text in any book that I am willing to buy. I am very picky about the books I buy and I really need to page through them before I will buy it. It really has to fit my high standards I have for books that I like. Note that these are my high personal standards of course and what you like may differ. But if you pick up one of the books below and love it, you will love the rest of my best of selections. The books below range on topics such as Camera Raw, Photoshop, Flashes or Strobes, Curves, Processing, and everything in between. You can’t go wrong with having just one of these books in your collection.


The Hot Shoe Diaries 
by Joe McNally

If there was just one person you could learn about speedlights from, Joe McNally would be the guy. A National Geographic staff photographer, Joe is famous worldwide for his images and complete light control and knowledge. The images in this book are beyond fantastic. If you use flash this is a must have to take you to the next level and to get you thinking outside the box. Read Customer Reviews



The Creative Digital Darkroom 
by Katrin Eismann & Sean Duggan

One of my favorite photography books of all time. If you were only going to buy one book, you would be missing out on the other 9 on this top 10 list, but if you really had to this one would be it. Just over 400 pages that covers the entire process of  processing an image into a final photograph that you will want to share with everyone. Read Customer Reviews



Camera Raw for Digital Photographers Only by Rob Sheppard

344 pages of very detailed information on how to process a camera raw image. The book is full of images and on topic pro tips. The first chapter covers the JPEG vs Raw debate, Why use Raw?, Raw Capabilities, and much more. A very thorough from start to finish. Read Customer Reviews



Camera Raw Studio Skills 
by Charlotte Lowrie

Studio Skills as in that is where you will be processing your photos. The photos in the book are from every condition you can think of. Another very detailed book full of great descriptive text and camera raw screen captures. If you just read one chapter you will be that much further ahead in your passion for photography.  Read Customer Reviews



Night & Low-Light Photography 
by Jill Waterman

Do you want to push the limits of your camera? Low light conditions are some of the hardest to shoot in and this book will walk you through it. If you can master shooting in the dark or very low light conditions, will just make you that much more prepared when you need to shoot in other low light conditions you are in like a wedding.  Read Customer Reviews



Camera Raw with Adobe Photoshop CS3 
by Bruce Fraser & Jeff Schewe

I just can’t get enough of these Camera Raw books. There are so many ways to do the same thing to an image sometimes and find the workflow that fits you best can make all the difference. Probably my least favorite of all the camera raw books on this list but still packed full of great information and images.  Read Customer Reviews



Scott Kelby’s 7-Point System for Adobe Photoshop CS3 
by Scott Kelby

I really don’t need to say more than, Scott Kelby. If you have not seen any of his online info or his other books, you should. He is the Photoshop King. This book is all about making your images really pop. As the book says, The seven key techniques for taking your images from flat to fantastic!  Read Customer Reviews



Adobe Photoshop CS3 for Photographers 
by Martin Evening

This is the Adobe Photoshop CS3 bible. You can not get a more comprehensive book on Photoshop CS3. I know CS3 is a little outdated but these are my personal favorites from my own collection and I must have had CS3 when I bought this. I am 100% sure the updated versions are just as good. This book covers everything and it should since it is a hefty 680 pages of incredible information.  Read Customer Reviews



The Digital Photography Book 
by Scott Kelby

Short and to the point tips and techniques that will lead you done the road to being a great photographer. Each page is a different tip or technique from basic to advance. It is a Scott Kelby book so you know it is good. If you get this book and love it, you are in luck as there are 3 more volumes to this series. Read Customer Reviews



Speedlighter’s Handbook 
by Syl Arena

Hands done one of the best speedlight books I have ever read. This is a must have book for any serious speedlight user. Great images that show you side by side comparisons of what different settings or lighting set ups can change the look of an image. 391 must read pages.  Read Customer Reviews


All of My Top Ten Photography Lists

Travis Dewitz Powerlines Portrait Thumb

Through the creative lens of Travis Dewitz; he demonstrates time and time again how much splendor can be extracted from the interplay of the industrial world around us. In the most unusual and unexpected places Dewitz showcases images that embody the forgotten beauty of railways, factory floors, the rolling smoke of steel mills, and the cities that are built around them. He brings a certain magic as he invokes the very souls of these once-glorious industrial areas; his captures overflow with inspirational energy. Click here to view his personal series.

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Travis Dewitz

I. Love. Photography. I love it. It lightens my heart, fills my soul, and allows me to capture life the way that I see it. I constantly yearn to show life in a way that hasn’t been seen before, to bring images to people in a fresh and innovative way. My favorite focus in photography, my specialty I guess you would say, is Railroad Photography & Art. Something about the rumbling of these great, big, beautiful machines. The way they shake the earth beneath you as they rumble by, how they invade your chest and you can feel the rumble inside you. The plumes of heat on a hot day represented in a heat wave. Snaking through a western valley, void of trees or any other distracting element. Just the train, by itself, in it’s own inexplicable beauty and power. From the time I was a child, they have captured my imagination. I’ve recently gotten into portraiture a bit, and I want to bring some of my experiences with trains to that arena. To capture the power of a person, the sadness, loneliness, omniscience, pride, love, & carefree spirit in a way that hasn’t been done before. I want people to look at themselves in a photograph I have taken, and see a side of themselves that they think no one else has ever seen. Dewitz Photography is all about capturing a moment in a way that has never been seen before, capturing a beauty that some never knew was even there.

Comments (6)

  1. Travis Dewitz

    What is your favorite book for photographers? I would love to know!

  2. Hiep Bui via Facebook

    “Understanding Exposure” by Bryan Peterson was one of the first books I started out with. Even though I don’t agree with some of the things in the book, it’s still a VERY good beginners book to learn about ISO, aperture and shutter speed.

  3. I ran across that book to late to be of great help to me. I highly recommend all of Bryan Peterson’s books in that series for anyone that has just started photography in the last two years. They are a great resource for beginners all the way to advanced learners.

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