All about Photography
Ward, Lock & Co.
All About Photographing Trains
1957, The Focal Press
Even though the equipment used is very outdated, both the subject and the techniques are still very relevant today. Solid advice about photographing locomotives.
All in One Camera Book
1956 (thirty-fifth ed.), The Focal Press
Thomas Nelson and Sons
Camera Maintenance & Repair: Fundamental Techniques
1999, Amherst Media, 0936262869
Excellent book to get you started with fixing that old film camera. Very practical advice.
2000, The Focal Press, 0240803809
1948, The Focal Press
Digital Exposure Handbook
2008, Photographers’ Institute Press, 9781861085337
If you have just bought your first DSLR and know absolutely nothing about photography, then you might consider this book. For those who know the difference between aperture and shutter speed, steer well clear. With a title of Digital Exposure Handbook, one would expect a heavy dose of the nitty-gritty regarding, well, digital exposure. Unfortunately the book is partly a very basic introduction to photography, and partly a showcase for Hoddinott’s portfolio.
A better title would have been “A Basic Introduction to Digital Photography.” Unfortunately, again, the author makes several mistakes in presenting the material. Mistakes that are, in my opinion, severely detrimental to the growth of the beginning/amateur photographer.
Honeywell Pentax Manual
1975, AMPHOTO Books, 0814704392
Jam-packed with heaps of stats and info on the Pentax gear, as well as techniques. As with The Asahi Pentax Way, everything is biased towards Pentax stuff. But whether you’re using an Asahi 1° Spot Meter or the one in your DSLR, the technique of using that information to create a creative image is exactly the same. And as with most older books, you just don’t get this depth with current publications.
Kodachrome and Kodacolor from All Angles
Camera Craft Publishing Co.
A comprehensive book on all aspects of Kodachrome film, which is sadly no longer available. The chapter on reproduction is, however, still very much applicable as we try to bring our slides into the digital world.
Manual of Applied Photography
1966, Nikolaus Karpf
Although somewhat dated in terms of equipment, this book is invaluable regarding the technical aspects of diverse photographic fields as criminology, advertising, industrial and the performing arts. Heaps of text and just the right amount of photographs to explain without turning it into a coffee-table book.
1989, Swan Hill Press, 1853101125
1969, Brockhampton Press, 0340042249
Photography for the Scalemodeller
1975, Modelbooks, 0851131018
Practical Wildlife Photography
2004, Africa Geographic, 6009636260257
Absolutely brilliant book, based on a series of articles in Africa Geographic. The author covers every aspect of wildlife and landscape photography in a clear and concise manner. The text far outweigh the photographs, which shows that Balfour knows his stuff and is not simply using a professional-grade camera on auto. Get it and read it every year.
Take Better Pictures
1983, Kodak/CNA, 0620075228
Techniques in Photography
1973, Habitex Books, 0889120080
The Asahi Pentax Way
1974 (eighth ed.), The Focal Press, 0240508890
Although biased towards Pentax gear, which I love, this book is equally applicable to other brands in terms of the generally photography information provided. Very few current books contain as much depth as this classic on the subject.
The Camera Book
1980, Mitchell Beazley Artists House, 0861340221
The Photographer’s Manual
1998, Anness Publishing, 1840387947
The Practical Zone System for Film & Digital Photography
2007, The Focal Press, 9780240807560
The book fails because it is essentially about using the Zone System with B&W film photography, with a chapter tacked on regarding the application thereof with digital photography. It does explain the Zone System, albeit in a long-winded way, and will be invaluable for those using the films discussed. The chapter on digital is basically a plug for PhotoShop and for shooting in RAW. Bottomline is there are better books about the Zone System.
The Ultimate Asahi Pentax Screw Mount Guide, 1952-1977
1999, Uitgeverij Jansz, 907653702X
A very nearly complete reference catalogue of all the Asahi Pentax cameras and companion Takumar lenses. The text can be confusing and some information is missing, but overall this is the de facto reference for all collectors.
See my Asahi lens pages for more information on the Takumar lenses.
Understanding Photography Field Guide
2009, AMPHOTO Books, 9780817432256
The subtitle of this book is “How to shoot great photographs with any camera” and that sure is true. Although not as comprehensive as can be, this is, as the author himself states, a field guide and not a tome. The chapters on composition and on light are worth double the price of the book.
The complaints I have about this book is that it uses too many pictures and not enough words to describe, which led to the publishers using a very heavy glossy paper and consequently it weighs roughly 700 grams. Also, where are the tables and graphs, as well as a discussion on the Zone System?