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If you could buy one photography book?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by dx379, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. dx379


    Jul 9, 2008
    Tulsa, OK

    If you were back to being a rookie photographer and coulld only purchase one photography book - what would it be and why?

    Did you like this book because it was the easiest to understand? Gave the best advice? Cheapest? Learned the most from it?

    Curious as to everyone's answers.

  2. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen.
  3. adaml


    Feb 21, 2006
    A wholehearted second vote for Understanding Exposure.

    I have more than 30books in my photography library, but that's the one that has stuck with me the most, and it's the one I keep coming back to.
  4. Dittos on Petersen!
  5. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Going to need 2 books. :wink:

    Professional Photoshop by Dan Margulis. Latest edition (Any of Dans books really)
    Light: Science and Magic. There is a newer version now that I have not studied.

    I have read many books on lighting, photography, and photoshop, but both of those books were turning points.
  6. Zee71


    Apr 1, 2007
    Queens, NY
    Ditto on the books..........
  7. Jeff Lee

    Jeff Lee

    May 16, 2006
    For me it was photoshop Artistry.....allowed me to really get the images out of the computer the way I wanted them.......Next is "Range of Light" ....the images just make me say "WOW"....little expensive but a great bookl.
  8. Margulis' Canyon Conundrum for LAB, and John Shaw's Business Guide to Nature Photography.

  9. I don't know about one, but before entered the photo program in college I learned everything from the Ansel Adams books "the Camera", "the Negative" and "the Print". They were written long before digital, but I think a lot of the information from the first two are still applicable, even the zone system information.
  10. AEDigman


    Jan 23, 2007
    West Virginia
    For a beginning photographer....Peterson hands down. I've loaned my copy to numerous beginners...it's fun to watch the lights go off over their heads as they read and learn...it sets a great foundation....
  11. aman17


    Sep 27, 2006
    New Jersey,USA
    Scott Kelby The Digital photography Book Volume 1&2
  12. How timely a thread. I just finished that book this a/m. Unlike many books he is not merely adding a few minor comments to what is essentially a showplace for the authors images.

  13. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Honestly, I hate questions like this one. If you can only afford one book, you can't afford to be a photographer.
  14. My friend, it's not always about the money as much as it is the time involved weeding through useless texts that offer nothing more than a glorified image portfolio. What's wrong with asking others which book they feel offers the most useful information for your money AND time? I can't even begin to tell how many hundreds of dollars of photography books I have sitting on my shelves that offered virtually nothing towards the improvement of my photographic knowledge. Had I known how useless they were to begin with, I would have never purchased them.

    So, my vote goes as well to Understanding Exposure. It was the book that changed my understanding of how photography works.
  15. ANDS


    Aug 2, 2008
    Im not sure I got the "I can only afford one book" vibe from the OP, rather a "I'm new to photography and don't want to be inundated all at once with text. Whats the best bang for my buck I can purchase to get my feet wet".

    Always a tell tale sign when we start equating monetary "worth" to our hobbies.
  16. wbeem


    Feb 11, 2007
    Sanford, FL
    William Beem
    Then you clearly missed the point. I never said anything about "worth." It costs money. The camera, the lenses, the media cards, a computer and software to download the images and process them, the plethora of accessories, etc.

    One book doesn't do it all. I'll be the first to agree that Peterson's book is a very good one, but it's hardly the only one I own.

    Let's face it, most hobbies do cost money. Golf, motorcycling, bicycling, shooting, fishing...you can spend thousands of dollars on stamp collecting. For those here who are professionals, I'm sure they've invested quite a bit in time and learning.

    Photography isn't cheap. My only point was that one should not assume that you're in this game and can only afford one book.

    My post probably came off harsher than I intended, but that happens now and then in life.
  17. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Hey William, I don't think the 'afford a single book' thing is literal. It's a gedanken device for narrowing the recommendations for reading material down to a single most important book per participant. Since we all spend money on this stuff, it's an analogy we can all relate to, and so works without much explanation.

    Usually. :Unsure::BigGrin::Crunk:
  18. Well this post has inspired me to order that book by Petersen ... Thanks for bringing it up . I think most of us have the sense to realize you were referring to the idea of saving time rather than money which is very wise , not having to waste too much time when you can benefit from other's experience . Even if it was about money , being discreet in your purchases could help you to afford to get into the hobby and maybe even profit from it .
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 10, 2008
  19. Julien


    Jul 28, 2006
    Paris, France
    Really ? I've personnaly never really felt the need for photography books, at least for training/learning … Maybe it's because I started in this day and age of internet :confused: 
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