Photographer Must Read List

I've never been one to believe that you can teach art. Sure, I can teach you about depth of field, or 3 point lighting, but that is not the creative part. The creative part comes from inspiration. So this is a post about the top 10 books that inspire me and my photography. Your Mileage may vary...

Kodachrome: the American Invention of Our World

This book is amazing. Nothing captivates me like photographs from a bygone era that look like they were shot yesterday. Showcasing the archival abilities of the medium this book shows you our world in a way you may have never seen before.

Sin in Soft Focus

This book tells the story of the early Hollywood cinematography style that could be the pinnacle of that art form. The blazing hot back lights, and orchestrated shadows really pushed the bounds of monochromatic imaging.

Dreaming in Pictures: the Photography of Lewis Carroll

Better known for his writing then his photography, the "Alice in Wonderland" scribes collection of photographs of Victorian children is amazing. The collection of photographs spans the mid to late 1800's and are truly captivating.

Julius Shulman: Palm Springs

I was lucky enough to meet Julius Shulman before he passed away (he actually signed my copy of this book). If architectural photography is your thing, then there is no better person to look up to then Julius Shulman. A pioneer in the field with a career most people only hope for, this collection of Julius Shulman's photography is very impressive.

Through the Lens: National Geographic's greatest photographs

Everyone knows that National Geographic has employed some of the greatest photographers of our time. This collection of photographs is enough to inspire anyone.

Brassai: the Eye of Paris

the nightlife of Paris in the early 20th century. That alone should get you to buy this book. Some may argue that Lartique (see below) invented street photography. If that is so, then Brassai added the grit and subversion to it.

Diary of a Century: Jacgues Henri Lartigue

Maybe Lartigue just happened to show up at the right time. Maybe the "snapshot" and "street Photography" were bound to exist, and Lartigue just happened to get recognized for it. Or maybe his exuberance for the medium, and artistic eye just stumbled on an artistic truth so basic that it is still emulated to this day.

Atget: The Pioneer

Lartigue and Brassai gave us photographs of the turn of the century that teemed with life. Atget's Photographs show us another side of that same time. His sparsely populated photographic vision portrays a lonely world that has to be seen to be appreciated.

Helmut Newton: Portraits

Helmut Newton may have ushered in modern photography. at the very least, his portraits of the celebrities, and the elite of the 1980's set the standard for photography at the time, and his influence still resonates in the top photographers of today.

The Print: Ansel Adams Photography Book 3

This is the third book in a series on photography by Ansel Adams. Although I do recommend the whole series this is a top 10 list not a top 12 list so I chose book 3. Although most of you shoot digital, and will never develop your own film, or spend days in the darkroom printing your photographs, the basic techniques covered in this book will be the foundation that your digital post processing techniques are built on (ever wonder what the dodge and burn tool do in photoshop?)