Jean-Philippe's Recommendations
Photography Books


Note: People often contact me and ask for book recommendations on various photo subjects, thus I have compiled this list. I own and/or have read all of these books and present reviews and ratings (five stars represent my favorites). I will add to this list over time and invite you to share with me your favorites as well. (I'm always looking for great recs. myself). Books from are at least 20% cheaper than any other bookstore I know. I encourage you to visit from one of the links on our page. On any purchase you make, our organization Native Planet will receive a small referral fee (your cost will be the same as if you had opened their site directly). This helps us defray maintenance costs for the Native Planet website and supports our non-profit organization. To purchase a book just click on its title or cover, a link will take you to the right page on the Amazon website. You can return to our page to open another book from our selection. We hope you find our recommendations helpful.

Photography Book Index


Photo Journalism

Photojournalism, The Professionals' Approach by Kenneth Kobre, Betsy Brill (Editor)

J-Philippe's Review:


New edition of a guide to the many facets of photojournalism--how to get the best shots when on assignment, covering spot or general news, or doing features or portraits. Discusses narrative picture stories, catching candids, creative use of the strobe, shooting with color films, digital imaging and ethical issues surrounding its use, newsroom politics, picture editing, shooting within the bounds of the law, and the history of photojournalism. Abundantly illustrated. The bibliography is extensive. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Witness in Our Time : Working Lives of Documentary Photographers by Ken Light (Editor), Kerry Tremain (Introduction)

J-Philippe's Review:

Illustrated with a compelling image from each photographer, Witness in Our Time traces the recent history of social documentary photography in the words of twenty-two of the genre's best photographers, editors, and curators, showing that the profession remains vital, innovative, and committed to social change. Featuring interviews with Hansel Mieth, Walter Rosenblum, Michelle Vignes, Wayne Miller, Peter Magubane, Matt Herron, Jill Freedman, Mary Ellen Mark, Earl Dotter, Eugene Richards, Susan Meiselas, Sebastião Salgado, Graciela Iturbide, Antonin Kratochvil, Donna Ferrato, Joseph Rodriguez, Dayanita Singh, Fazal Sheikh, Gifford Hampshire, Peter Howe, Colin Jacobson, and Ann Wilkes Tucker 
World Press Photo 2001 by World Press Photo Foundation (Editor), World Press Photo Foundation

J-Philippe's Review:

Represents some of the very best work being done around the world today.

National Geographic on DVDs

DVD: National Geographic's: The Photographers (1994)

J-Philippe's Review:

Released in May 2003, this DVD is a must for anybody who wants to know what it takes to shoot for the National Geographic Society.
"The Photographers includes a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of National Geographic photographers and how they get the shot presented in a compelling one-hour program; plus the bonus half-hour film on wildlife filmmakers Dereck and Beverly Joubert entitled A Passion for Africa; an assortment of photographs in the Photo Gallery; biographies and photos of the photographers; an interactive trivia quiz; and trailers of other related National Geographic programs. "
DVDs: National Geographic - Africa (2001)

J-Philippe's Review:

From National Geographic Television and Thirteen/WNET New York, Africa is a groundbreaking eight-hour series captured over two years of filming in 11 countries.
This epic series presents Africa through the eyes of its people, conveying the diversity and beauty of the land and the compelling personal stories of the people who shape its future.
Africa contains eight hours plus one-hour bonus program, "The Making of Africa."
DVDs: The Ultimate National Geographic DVD Collection

J-Philippe's Review:

Seven DVD Box Set including the episodes:
Tigers in the Snow, Battle for Midway, 30 Years of National Geographic, Secrets of the Titanic, Nature's Fury, The Photographers,
Surviving Everest

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Travel Photography

Travel Photography: A Complete Guide to How to Shoot and Sell by Susan McCartney

J-Philippe's Review:

"This book covers absolutely everything related to the title. . . . Ms. McCartney has written an exhaustive book with something for everyone from the near-beginner to the pro. Next time someone asks me to recommend a general instructional book on photography, not just travel, this will be my choice" (ASMP Newsletter, Pittsburgh)

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The Photo Market

Photos 2004 Photographers' Market by Donna Poehner & Erin Nevius You have images to sell and 2004 Photographer's Market has the buyers who want them!

Inside you'll find 2000 completely updated market listings with contact information for magazines, stock agencies, advertising firms, book publishers, greeting card and poster markets, newspapers, businesses


SellPhotos.Com : Your Guide to Establishing a Successful Stock Photography Business on the Internet by Rohn Engh A Good book with essential information to start your own business, but some of the URLs are outdated.
Photos That Sell : The Art of Successful Freelance Photography by Lee Frost This is the bible for free lance photography. It tells you what to shoot and how to market your work. 

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Coffee Table Books

African Ceremonies by Carol Beckwith, Angela Fisher

J-Philippe's Review:
One of the most beautiful books I ever saw!

Editorial Review from 
By a recent count, the continent of Africa comprises some 1,300 cultures. Some of them number millions of people, some only a few families; some are thriving, while others are in danger of disappearing, the victims of acculturation or, in extreme cases, of genocide. This diversity--and the dangers to it--is little known outside Africa. Photographers Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher highlight both matters in African Ceremonies, an extraordinary two-volume collection of some 850 full-color images. 
The two artists have traveled to almost all the continent's 53 countries in the last three decades, documenting traditional tribal life in earlier books and articles for National Geographic, among other publications. Here they focus on the religious customs of several dozen peoples, combining stunning images with well-written essays to illustrate the enduring power of traditional beliefs --Gregory McNamee 
Passages: Photographs in Africa by Carol Beckwith, Angela Fisher

J-Philippe's Review: An alternative to African Ceremonies for people on a budget

Great large format whole page images, some of which were presented in the two volume hardback "Ceremonies". Beautiful people, cultures and images for a great price. A beautiful book.
 African Ark : People and Ancient Cultures of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa by Carol Beckwith (Photographer), Angela Fisher (Photographer), Graham Hancock

J-Philippe's Review:

Editorial Reviews from Library Journal:
Beckwith and Fisher's visually stunning pictorials of African cultures (they have worked separately on earlier books about the Masai and Fulani) combine beautiful photos of people and objects with easy-to-read explanatory texts sprinkled with charming line drawings. Joining forces here, with the literary assistance of journalist Hancock, they focus on probably the least understood and most ``exotic'' African region. Each chapter covers a different people among Ethiopia's remarkably diverse
Africa Adorned by Angela Fisher This is a thoughtful and gorgeous peek at the diversity of the continent. The colors of the photos alone are worth the price! Fisher's more recent work, "African Ceremonies", with Beckwith, is even better

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Digital Photo Editing

Adobe Photoshop 7.0 for Photographers, First Edition by Martin Evening

J-Philippe's Review:

Now in its third iteration (Photoshop 5.0 for Photographers was published in 1998), this very popular book sets itself apart by its striking images and emphasis on tools for working photographer--both print and digital. While well-suited to beginners, (some readers might only ever use the 75-page chapter eight, "Basic Image Adjustments), it also covers advanced features such as montage techniques, filters, layer effects, and shortcuts. The CD-ROM includes Quicktime tutorials for both Mac and...
The Photoshop Book for Digital Photographers
by Scott Kelby

J-Philippe's Review:

Scott Kelby's Digital Photography for Pro's is aimed at the professional photographer who is making the switch from traditional to digital photography. Digital photography is one of the fastest-growing tech markets and this book offers solutions to photographers in the digital world. Full-color, graphically rich, linear, tutorial, project-based examples of every key step in the digital photography process, from experimenting with camera settings, through capturing and manipulating the image,...
Essentials of Digital Photography by Akira Kasai, Russell Sparkman, Elizabeth Hurley (Translator)

J-Philippe's Review:

Essentials of Digital Photography has much more than the essentials, actually; it's a complete guide to image input, editing, enhancement, composition, and output. The authors start out by explaining monitor calibration; light, color and tonality; recording and output devices; and resolution and other digital imaging terms. They provide an overview of available digital cameras and excellent in-depth advice on how to use scanners and digital cameras successfully.
You'll learn how to correct photographs using Adobe Photoshop controls such as brightness, contrast, and color balance and how to use pictures from a variety of sources to create composite photo images in Photoshop. There's also lots of information on output devices such as printers, film recorders, and image setters. The rest of the book focuses on the hardware and software requirements for casual and professional digital photography systems.
While the book primarily focuses on the Macintosh in its hardware discussions, it does include information for PC users; and while the hands-on editing techniques involve Photoshop, there are also tips on using other software packages such as Live Picture, Fractal Design Painter, and third-party plug-ins. The hybrid CD-ROM contains tutorial images and files, as well as demonstration software and graphics utilities.
Professional Photoshop 6: The Classic Guide to Color Correction by Dan Margulis)

J-Philippe's Review:

Plenty of books cover all things Photoshop, but Professional Photoshop 6: The Classic Guide to Color Correction is probably one of the few that ought to be required reading. Filled with clear text and color images, this new edition of the classic color usage guide stands out among its peers. Updated to reflect changes in Photoshop since the previous edition, nearly half the material is either new or has been rewritten. Color correction itself hasn't changed, but the way it's done and the need for doing it certainly have.
The book contains 17 chapters, each dealing with a different aspect of correction and image reproduction: colorspaces, resolution, luminosity, separation, channels, and much more. Each chapter is worthy of study, and all are interesting. While not a step-by-step tutorial guide, the text is written so that the driving idea behind each technique--in addition to a demonstration of it--is explained, allowing the reader to apply what is learned to his or her own work.
For the first time, this book includes a CD-ROM. While not exactly overflowing with content, it does include images from the book that anxiously await color correction, as well as some chapters that were in earlier editions of the book but are not present in this one. There is also an important chapter on moving from a pre-version 5 Photoshop to version 6 (a significant jump).
The book doesn't try to be a Photoshop all-inclusive encyclopedia. Instead, it focuses on one aspect of the tool. Fortunately, since color correction is probably the most important, complex, and misunderstood area of digital imaging, Professional Photoshop 6: The Classic Guide to Color Correction excels at explaining and exploring the process behind the curtain, and the right and wrong way to adjust the color of images. --Mike Caputo 
  Digital Wizardry: Creative Photoshop Techniques by Bryan Allen, Michael J. McNamara You can produce the most technically brilliant shot, with every pixel massaged to perfection, but if the idea behind it is not good, the image will fall short every time. 
Digital Wizardry is an idea book--one filled with cutting-edge, high-end imagery and written expressly for photographers and other creative people who want to learn Photoshop or take their current Photoshop skills to the next level. 

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Photo Techniques

National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Secrets to Making Great Pictures by Peter K. Burian, Robert Caputo, National Geographic Society

J-Philippe's Review:

A comprehensive guide to field photography from respected experts offers advice to both beginners and professionals alike on how to create striking and original works, including step-by-step instructions on composition, facts on the latest equipment, secret techniques, and much more.

J-Philippe's Note: Oriented toward beginners. This book explains all the basic of photography and Travel Photography with easy words. Good illustrations and tips from NG famous photographers.

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