Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-07-2011, 08:54 PM   #1
Site Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Gabriola Island
Posts: 591
Photography Books

Hi all.

I think it might be useful to consider compiling a list of basic instructional books and perhaps websites for the benefit of newcomers to film photography. Perhaps such a list could take the form of a "sticky".

Newbies might find it helpful to be guided to sources where they can pick up some general knowledge that is presented in a structured manner. While members of the forum are great about answering specific questions, I think books are a valuable tool for providing the sort of broad background and context that would make film photography a richer experience for beginners.

Your thoughts?

10-07-2011, 11:01 PM   #2
Veteran Member
jerryleejr's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: TN
Posts: 420
I agree, There are so many references available no one could ever hope to read it all, or maybe a book review section so members can decide if that book has enough of what they are looking for to warrant a purchase.

10-08-2011, 10:42 AM   #3
Site Supporter
gofour3's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,343
Good idea, this will be helpful to all of us.

10-08-2011, 06:52 PM   #4
Senior Member
average-guy's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Idaho
Posts: 102
I'll start off with some websites. I've got more on my laptop but it's not with me right now.

Two online camera simulators, they allow newbies to experiment with various things such as aperture, shutter speed, DOF, and camera shake. Each one takes a different approach.


Cambridge in colour (click on the tutorials tab)
Cambridge in Colour - Photography Tutorials & Learning Community

A thorough tutorial on Polarizers and UV filters
Frequently asked questions about polarizers and UV filters

Hyperfocal Distance Guide
Hyperfocal Distance

Digital Photography School
Digital Photography Tips: Digital Photography School

Strobist (lots of lighting / flash info

DIY Photography (All sorts of neat DIY stuff, both practical and fun.) | Photography and Studio Lighting

Information on the most common lens filters
Filters for Digital Photography

Free digital photography tutorials
Digital Photography Tutorial, DSLR Tips -

A very good 2 page article on lighting glass and crystal
Lighting Glass

A good overview of filters for B/W Photography. I appreciated the coverage of tonal changes with various color filters.
Filters in Black and White Photography

Last edited by average-guy; 10-08-2011 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Added links
10-08-2011, 07:53 PM   #5
ChrisPlatt's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Queens NYC
Posts: 4,865
Essential reading

Probably the best introduction to film photography I can think of is

Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein

I wish it had been the first photo book I'd read...

10-11-2011, 02:13 PM   #6
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,479
Ansel Adams, The Negative

10-11-2011, 02:53 PM   #7
Inactive Account

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 207
+1, Chris.

He has also written a sequel to it: [A Technical Manual, Beyond Basic Photography (Little, Brown and Company 1977), which is also very good and takes you much deeper into the negative, processing, etc.

Last edited by Banjo; 10-11-2011 at 03:11 PM.
10-12-2011, 05:09 AM   #8
Senior Member
vsl3-e's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
Photos: Albums
Posts: 116
+1 to Ansel Adams, The Negative

10-12-2011, 05:41 AM   #9
Senior Member

Join Date: Jul 2010
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 209
Bryan Peterson's Understanding Photography: fieldguide was a decent starting point for me

But it was

Bruce Barnbaum - The Art of Photography

that really got my thinking about my photography a lot.

I also liked John Shaw's Nature Photography
10-12-2011, 02:05 PM   #10
Site Supporter
Sluggo's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Ames, Iowa
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 603
My favorite, read cover-to-cover more than once: The Tao of Photography: Seeing Beyond Seeing by Philippe L. Gross and S. I. Shapiro.
10-13-2011, 07:57 AM   #11
Site Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Gladys, Virginia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 16,253
I really like The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman. Not so much a technical book, but worth a look.
10-19-2011, 03:18 PM   #12
Senior Member

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Edmonton, Canada
Photos: Albums
Posts: 202
I always look not for the photograph, but for the scene in the real world, and if my camera's with me I'm happy to take a snapshot. (In one word, I'm a duffer.)

So for me the most useful photographic instruction is in Herbert Keppler's Pentax Way. Concise, to the point, and makes no attempt to impose any particular style of shooting.
10-19-2011, 08:50 PM   #13
New Member

Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 12
There's a bunch of great 1970s and 1980s pre-digital books that can now be found for pennies.

I like John Hedgecoe's books and a book by Michael Langford called "The Step-By-Step Guide to Photography."

I second the comments on Horenstein.

This week I found a quite nice introductory text in full color with a nice layout from 1990 called "Using Your Camera: A Basic Guide to 35MM Photography" by George Schaub. I paid 25 cents for it, but your results may differ

HP Photobooks put out a series on a various makes of cameras including "How to Select and Use Pentax SLR Cameras," by Carl Shipman. I personally love the HP Books because they always include random shots of Tucson, Arizona.

A copy of "The Joy of Photography" can be found at almost any thrift store at any given time. I wouldn't be surprised if it's the best-selling photo instruction book of all time. It was an Eastman Kodak publication (they also did quite a complete series on various advanced photography topics). My copy of "The New Joy of Photography" boasts a seal on it that says "Over 1 Million Copies Sold!" It probably has everything anyone needs to know to get started, but I prefer the layout of the Langford book.
10-21-2011, 10:21 AM   #14
Inactive Account

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Iowa
Posts: 27
QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
Probably the best introduction to film photography I can think of is

Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual by Henry Horenstein

I wish it had been the first photo book I'd read...

After reading this (I can't find my old books) I decided to pick this up and went to Amazon. They are selling it for ~ $4.00. Great buy.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
books, film, list, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Photography books or websites? mojoe_24 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 13 01-03-2011 10:14 AM
Photography Books/Guides DaveHolmes Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 7 08-02-2010 07:40 AM
For Sale - Sold: One of The Great Photography Books Bob Tuttle Sold Items 3 01-26-2010 04:33 PM
For Sale - Sold: Set of 3 Photography Books Only $15 Bob Tuttle Sold Items 2 10-16-2009 04:27 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:59 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]