I love to read. I don’t do it enough, but I truly do. When I first get into a new hobby, or get a new interest, I have a voracious appetite for knowledge. I make a sprint to the 3rd level of learning, Conscious Competence. So, when it comes to photography, I get asked fairly regularly, about what books I read/recommend. A while back, I posted a very long list of books I have read. That is all fine and dandy, but it is too much for the average person. This post, is meant to boil down the books I have read, into just a few recommendations.

Lets start out with Understanding Exposure. If I could recommend JUST ONE BOOK, it is this one. It is the one I tell people to look at, buy, and understand. It explains the exposure triangle, gives you some basic assignments meant to make it stick, and all in all is a GREATLY way to learn to see creatively.

So, the second book (or set of books in this instance) would be Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography books. They come as a set. These books tell you more of WHAT to do, and a lot less of WHY you do it. It makes it easier for a new photographer. The reason that I suggest Understanding Exposure first, though, is so you know how to apply what you learn in these books better. And even extrapolate what you learn into new areas.

The third, and last book I will talk about is Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography. This is a terrific book about how to shoot and process HDR. I do realize that there have been newer books released by Rick Sammon and Trey Ratcliff (my personal HDR inspiration), but I have not been able to pick them up. I don’t want to blindly recommend a book, and The Complete guide is a great resource. This is a much more specialized resource, but I get a lot of questions about it.

So, there you have it. Just 3 simple books. Well, technically Kelby’s are 3 in 1 set… but it is just 3 purchases. I really can’t recommend these books enough. You will NOT go wrong with them. Especially the first two.

The second part of this, will be websites. Well, websites and blogs I follow. I have created a photography bundle of my blog and website subscriptions. While it is not entirely comprehensive, I really like these people and between what they talk about and links to other resources you will learn a lot.