There is a seemingly endless supply of photography tutorials all over the Web. And chances are, many of them will prove useful to you.
On the other hand, I have gone through a handful of books which I have found to be very helpful when I started developing this course. And it goes without saying that they have had a hand in altering how I look at my own work, as well. Why? For starters, these books are lined with information which you’d have difficulty finding in most online articles. But more importantly, a whole book provides completeness, consistency and continuity. That makes for a more efficient learning process as opposed to trying to compile a series of articles written by different people.
There are a handful of books which I highly recommend reading for the duration of this course. They are not required reading, but they are very much worth the time and money you spend on them.
We will still be making use of online articles as reference material (quite a number of them, in fact), whose links I provide across the pages in this manual. But I can’t emphasize enough the value of the books I cite here.
I love this book because it’s easy to understand. It focuses on the creative, rather than the technical side of photography, just like what I intend for this course. That means it hardly matters what camera you’re using — whatever is in this book will still apply. That is why, unlike so many other photography books out there, I’d have no idea when its content will ever go obsolete.
National Bookstore sold this for a time, and I regret not picking one up back then. Luckily, I found a copy later on at Fully Booked and did not hesitate to buy it. I don’t know if they still have more in stock. But you can easily buy one off Amazon (hardcopy or Kindle edition).
I’ve always liked this book for its well-rounded coverage. For a book its size, Digital Photography packs more content than we can hope to intently cover in one trimester. Needless to say, you will find this book a useful reference for MMS 173 from start to end.
This book is regularly revised and usually available in local bookstores. But for the most part, it should be fine to make use of an older edition. I currently have the third edition and very little of its content can be considered obsolete.
The Uncommon Photographer: Master the most valuable lessons in photography and take amazing photos with any camera by Andrew Gram
I only came across this in eBook format by chance and have enjoyed reading it. It’s loaded with practical tips specially thought of for mobile phone users presented in an everyman fashion. But as the title implies, there is something in the book for users of any camera. It also happens to be very much in line with many of the messages I want to get across to you in this course.
The Genius of Photography (BBC DVD)
The Genius of Photography: How Photography Has Changed Our Lives by Gerry Badger
This six part documentary covers 170 years of history behind photography. While not necessarily required watching, this can give you a new level of appreciation towards the art and technology behind the evolution of the craft. Unfortunately, I don’t think BBC airs this anymore, while at the same time, they’ve blocked attempts of people to upload the show in Youtube.
I also discovered that there was a book published in support of the documentary series. I came across it by accident in a museum shop and bought it on the spot. If you can somehow get a hold of a copy of either formats, they are excellent resources.
Capping of my list is what is perhaps my favorite in this list. This is the second part of a series of books delving deep into creative aspect of photography. The first book, The Photographer’s Eye, is also a great resource, but it does have more overlaps with Peterson and Ang’s books. The Photographer’s Mind is a compelling read for those who want to branch out from this course and focus on psychology and storytelling.
As you may have noticed, none of these books concentrate on technique and technology. Those are matters you can easily research online. The content of the books mentioned above are not so freely available. More importantly, most, if not all the content of these books will not go obsolete anytime soon. At the very least, except for Gram’s ebook, these make for great coffee table books in your homes. Again, they are not required reading and you don’t need to buy them. But if you do, I can guarantee that you won’t regret it.