A large part of learning photography is done by reading. Reading allows the photographer to learn new concepts and methodologies while the images in magazines and books can capture, intrigue, inspire and promote creativity.

In the past several years photography has grown tremendously with more new photographers taking all sorts of new classes and reading the ever growing list of new books. Sites like's Photography Section has new books every month. With this abundance comes the question, what to read.

I will post a list of my Photography Library here. Just because it's in my Library does not mean it's good or that I recommend it. I will make note or mention of the better books and will over time review them.

Looking at Images

Looking at Images by Brooks Jensen
So I'm always on the lookout for books that will help my judging and critiquing skills. I have found a few good ones in the past year that I will be posting here soon. However, just the other day I was with the Darkroom Group and someone showed this great new book titled "Looking at Images" by Brooks Jensen. I was so enamoured by the few pages I read I bought the book when I got home.

Brooks is the owner, editor and publisher of LensWork Magazine and an excellent photographer and instructor. He has been publishing his Magazine for over 20 years now and his years of experience selecting top quality B&W images shows. There are some excellent color images in this book also.

In this book Brooks hand selected top images from his years with LensWork Magazine and he dedicates a page or so of Notes and Commentary on each image. This commentary is amongst the most insightful, descriptive, well thought out and well spoken commentary I have ever read. As a judge, I can only aspire to be as thoughtful and well versed as he his. His language selection and photographic vocabulary is impeccable and a pleasure to read.

The Commentary is not only a great learning tool for Judges but even as a photographer striving to get better as an artist, his teachings are invaluable. One of the best books in some time! Currently only available from the LensWork web site at 

Author:          Brooks Jensen
Publisher:       LensWork Publishing

Book Link:      Looking at Images
Retail:            $34.95 US

Light Science & Magic; Fourth Edition
Light Science & Magic by Hunter, Biver & Fuqua
This is by far the best lighting book I have ever read and probably the only lighting book a photographer would ever need except perhaps for a great subject specific book to the kind of lighting you require like a great book on Fashion Lighting that would give you insights on Industry trends, looks and faux pas.

Unlike most other lighting books, Light Science & Magic provides more than just set examples for photographers to follow. This book provides photographers with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles and physics of light so that photographers will ‘understand’ lighting to allow individual photographers to use lighting to express their own creativity. With that understanding of light and with examples on how to light the most difficult subjects such as tricky surfaces, metal, glass, liquids, and extremes such as black-on-black and white-on-white, photographers will be equipped to tackle any lighting situation they may face.

This new Fourth Edition has more information specific for digital photographers, a brand new chapter on equipment, much more information on location lighting, and more on photographing people.

Authors:         Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua
Publisher:       Focal Press

Amazon Link:  Light Science & Magic