Reference Books

There is no substitute for getting out with your camera, but I’ve found the study of photography in terms of history and technique helpful, and books on the leading exponents often inspirational.  These are the photography reference books on my shelves.

Trajan's Column, Rome


A-Z of Photographers (Taschen)

Bernice Abbott – Photofile (Hank O’Neil)

Bill Brandt – Photofile (Ian Jeffrey)

Brassaï – Photofile (Roger Grenier)

Henri Cartier-Bresson – Photofile (Michael Brenson)

Henri Cartier-Bresson – Aperture Masters of Photography (Clément Chéroux)

Robert Doisneau – Taschen (Jean Claude Gautraud)

Walker Evans – Photofile (Gilles Mora)

Bruce Gilden – Photofile (Hans-Michael Koetzle)

William Klein – Photofile (Christian Caujolle)

Saul Leiter – Photofile (Max Kozlov)

Masters of Photography: A Complete Guide (Reuel Golden)

Magnum Photos – Photofile (Fred Ritchin)

Helmut Newton – Photofile (Karl Lagerfeld)

Marc Ribaud – Photofile (Marc Ribaud)

Sebastiao Salgado – Photofile (Christian Caujolle)

Paul Strand – In Focus (Anne M. Lyden)

Black and White

Digital Black and White Photography (The Expanded Guide, David Taylor)

Way Beyond Monochrome: Advanced Techniques for Traditional Black & White Photography (Chris Woodhouse and Ralph Lambrecht)


20th Century Photography (Taschen)

Icons of Photography, The 20th Century (Peter Stepan)

History of Photography from 1839 to the  Present (Taschen)

A History of Photography in 50 Cameras (Michael Pritchard)

Landscape Photography

Landscape Photography (Lonely Planet, Peter Eastway)

The Landscape Photography Field Guide (Carl Hellman II)

Landscape Photography (The Expanded Guide, Steve Watkins)

 Trajan's Column, RomePortraits

Portraits – World’s Top Photographers Series (Fergus Greer)

The Essential Guide to Portraits (MagBook, 4th Edition, Daniel Lezano)

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs of People (Henry Carroll)


Exposure Manual (Chris Weston)

Understanding Exposure (The Expanded Guide, Andy Stansfield)


Photographic Lighting (The Expanded Guide, Steve Harrington)

The Nikon Creative Lighting System (Rocky Nook)

Night & Low Light Photography (The Expanded Guide, David Taylor)

Composition & Rules of Photography

Focus On Composing Photos (Peter Ensenberger)

The Rules of Photography and When to Break Them (Haje Jan Kamps)


The Film Photography Handbook: Rediscovering Photography (Chris Marquardt & Monika Andrae)


Beyond Auto (Chris Gatchum)

The Digital Photography Book, How To Make your Photos Look Like the Pros Volumes 1-4 (Scott Kelby)

The Digital Photography Book, 5, Photo Recipes (Scott Kelby)

Fundamentals of Modern Photography (Tom Ang)

The Photographer’s Vision (Michael Freeman)

Photography Beyond Auto (Chris Gatchum)

Photo Idea Index (Jim Krause)

What Makes Great Photography: 80 Masterpieces Explained Paperback (Val Williams)