12 Recommended Photography Books from the B&H Bestseller List


B & H Photo isn’t a bookstore, but we carry more than 500 titles of photography books and tutorials. If you are like me, photo books can be an endless source of information to help you learn the technical ins-and-outs of the art, and can be a well of inspiration to help you develop your craft and encourage you to try new techniques, travel to new locations, and experiment with your gear.

Here is a hand-selected list from our resident photography experts’ reading lists:

50 Portraits: Stories and Techniques from a Photographer’s Photographer

by Gregory Heisler

Greg Heisler is one of those portrait photographers who gets access to the who’s who of the world. In this book, you can not only view 50 beautiful portraits, but you get the behind-the-scenes perspective from Heisler.

Night Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

by Gabriel Biderman and Tim Cooper

Full disclosure: Gabe works at B&H, he is a friend, and I consider myself a night photographer. But, remove the first two and I will tell you that this is a great book for those interested in nighttime photography, and a worthy addition to the Peachpit Press “Snapshots to Great Shots” series.

The Camera

The Negative

The Print


by Ansel Adams

For years, this trio of books was found on the shelves of scores of serious photographers. In the digital age, much of the information contained in these three books is outdated, but, if you are serious about the art, and/or you are passionate about film, you cannot beat these books from one of photography’s greatest masters. B&H also has other great books from the artist.

Lomography Books

Definitely in the genre of inspiration and not technical, Lomography has produced impressive and diverse portfolios of images taken with the company’s famous cameras and lenses. Step back from the over-sharpened HDR world of digital photography and admire the simple results of the art.

Basic 35mm Photo Guide

by Craig Alesse

In my 44 Tips to Improve Your Photography article, I mentioned how I am a big fan of introductory photography books. As an experienced photographer, I very much enjoy picking up books like this and learning new things, be it refreshing the fundamentals or being inspired by new images. Also check out BetterPhoto Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro.

Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Masters

by Michael Frye

The popularity of landscape photography has only been enhanced by the digital revolution. Many of the time-honored methods of the great film landscape photographers might no longer fit into the DSLR world, but their inspiration can be translated into digital terms. This book does just that.

Expressive Photography

by The Shutter Sisters

Photography books aren’t always about megapixels, shutter speeds, ISO, and aperture. There is an intangible quality to great photographs that extends beyond how you set up your camera. Here, the popular Shutter Sisters tell us how to make your images stand out from the masses.

Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

by Bryan Peterson

Bryan Peterson is known for his ability to teach complex photographic subjects clearly and effectively. Attractively printed and full of information, this book and others by Peterson are great resources for photographers of any level of experience.

The Beginner’s Guide to Underwater Digital Photography

by Larry Gates

I wouldn’t even know where to start with underwater photography. Thankfully, we have Larry Gates to get us into the field with this comprehensive book that covers not only photography under the surface, but diving techniques and related first-aid, as well.

The Digital Photography Book: Part 1

by Scott Kelby

If you are thinking about getting into digital photography, or reading this with your new digital camera at your side and a confused look on your face, this may be the book to turn that frown into a smile and get you out shooting digital images successfully. If you already have a copy, be sure to check out some of the other great educational books from Kelby.

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Understanding Exposure, 3rd Edition: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson tought me exposure math (shutter speed, aperture, ISO); which I really struggled with, going through book after book until Bryan's. Worth every penny.  

Hey John,

Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading! If you misplace your book, check out my articles on aperture, shutter speed, and ISO!