Books Issue 2017: 10 Books for the photographer on your list

And aren't we all photographers?

click to enlarge Camera with Books - pixabay
pixabay
Camera with Books

Whether you're doing photography professionally or habitually snapping selfies to share on Facebook, we're all photographers at heart. This year, we saw the release of many great photography books — some coffee table books, some books on technique, and even a history book. From beginner to enthusiast to professional, we've found something for everyone — everyone who loves photography, that is.

1. Obama: An Intimate Portrait, by Pete Souza (2017, Little, Brown and Company)

click to enlarge From the Official White House Photo Stream, this is one of Pete Souza's many photos of President Obama. - Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons/CC
Pete Souza [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons/CC
From the Official White House Photo Stream, this is one of Pete Souza's many photos of President Obama.

It's the perfect photo book for anyone who loves portraits and misses Obama — no prerequisite photography skills required. It's also a great coffee table book for when your racist Great Aunt Mildred comes to visit. It's time you let Aunt Mildred know where you stand.

2. Neal Preston: Exhilarated and Exhausted, by Neal Preston and Dave Brolan (2017, Reel Art Press)

click to enlarge Neal Prestion: Exhilarated and Exhausted - Courtesy of Reel Art Press
Courtesy of Reel Art Press
Neal Prestion: Exhilarated and Exhausted

Neal Preston is one of the best rock photographers out there. He's toured with Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, Queen, and Guns 'n' Roses. Exhilarated and Exhausted sums up his 40-year career with a collection of photographs from his legendary archives.

3. Harry Benson: Persons of Interest, by Harry Benson and Howard J. Kesslar (2017, powerHouse Books) 

click to enlarge Harry Benson: Persons of Interest - Courtesy of powerHouse Books
Courtesy of powerHouse Books
Harry Benson: Persons of Interest

You may remember Harry Benson as the subject of the 2016 documentary, Shoot First (now on Netflix). This famous photojournalist has a reputation for being at the right place at the right time, and that's not accidental. He's marched with Martin Luther King Jr., traveled with the Beatles, and photographed the last 12 American presidents. How's that for some people of interest?

4. Bystander: A History of Street Photography, by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz (2017, Laurence King Publishing)

click to enlarge Bystander: A History of Street Photography by Colin Westerbeck & Joel Meyerowitz - Courtesy of Laurence King
Courtesy of Laurence King
Bystander: A History of Street Photography by Colin Westerbeck & Joel Meyerowitz

Bystander celebrates the time honored tradition of secretly taking photos of strangers on the street. Curious? This "bible" of street photography will tell you all about the history of the sport. Updated this year to include more contemporary photographers. 

5. Richard Avedon & James Baldwin: Nothing Personal, by James Baldwin and Richard Avedon (2017, Taschen America)

click to enlarge Nothing Personal by Richard Avedon and James Baldwin - Courtesy of Taschen Books
Courtesy of Taschen Books
Nothing Personal by Richard Avedon and James Baldwin

Photographer Richard Avedon and novelist James Baldwin worked together in the early 1960s to express their vision of America in photography and words. The product of their collaboration, Nothing Personal, has been out of print for decades. Until now. Taschen Books resurrected and reprinted the book this month. Shockingly, the social commentary is still relevant. 

6. The Photographer's Handbook: Be Your Best Photographer, by Michael Freeman (2017, Ilex Press)

The Photographer's Handbook by Michael Freeman - Courtesy of Octopus Publishing Group
Courtesy of Octopus Publishing Group
The Photographer's Handbook by Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman has written over a dozen books on photography. His latest, The Photographer's Handbook, is geared toward the beginning photographer, with advice on equipment, technique and style. This is for the person in your life who has a big fancy camera but doesn't know how to use it yet.

7. Art with an iPhone: A Photographer's Guide to Creating Altered Realities, 2nd Edition, by Kat Sloma (2017, Amherst Media)

click to enlarge Art with an iPhone by Kat Sloma - Courtesy of Amherst Media
Courtesy of Amherst Media
Art with an iPhone by Kat Sloma

It's hard to find a good iPhone photography book — so many are outdated within a couple years of their publication. Thankfully, Art with an iPhone was updated this year. It's full of photography app recommendations, and it shows you how to use these apps too. With a few apps and a little creativity, you can make your iPhone photos look like art.

8. Understanding Color in Photography: Using Color, Composition, and Exposure to Create Vivid Photos, by Bryan Peterson and Susana Heide Schellenberg (2017, Watson-Guptill)

click to enlarge Understanding Color in Photography by Bryan Peterson, with Susana Heide Schellenberg - Courtesy of Penguin Random House
Courtesy of Penguin Random House
Understanding Color in Photography by Bryan Peterson, with Susana Heide Schellenberg

Bryan Peterson, author of the classic Understanding Exposure, has written yet another photography book. Like in his other books, Peterson uses his own photos to illustrate different concepts here. The vivid, colorful photos in Understanding Color in Photography would be the envy of most photographers. Lucky for us, Peterson is always sharing his techniques.

9. The Flash Book: How to fall hopelessly in love with your flash, and finally start taking the type of images you bought it for in the first place, by Scott Kelby (2017, Rocky Nook)

click to enlarge The Flash Book by Scott Kelby - Courtesy of Rocky Nook
Courtesy of Rocky Nook
The Flash Book by Scott Kelby


This book has everything you ever wanted to know about flash and more. Seriously. Everything. Because "using flash is a lifestyle," according to Scott Kelby.

10. Expressive Nature Photography: Design, Composition, and Color in Outdoor Imagery, by Brenda Tharp (2017, Monacelli Studio)

click to enlarge Expressive Nature Photography by Brenda Tharp - Courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada
Courtesy of Penguin Random House Canada
Expressive Nature Photography by Brenda Tharp



Brenda Tharp's Expressive Nature Photography assumes you already understand your camera settings, and you are now ready to get more creative. This book prompts the technically-minded photographer to consider how a scene makes them feel, and how to best express this emotion in a photograph. And the photos are stunning.

About The Author

Jennifer Ring

Jennifer studied biology for six years, planning for a career in science, but the Universe had other plans. In 2011, Jen was diagnosed with a rare lung disease that sidelined her from scientific research. Her immune system, plagued by Scleroderma, had attacked her lungs to the point of no return. She now required...
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