A mini projet developed as I am getting ready to paint my office and with the addition of new bookshelves in the house. As a result, I have had to move and organize the various photography books I have collected over the years. That got me thinking that I could share the ones that really seemed to matter to me. So, I am going to do three post over the next three weeks of the books that I find myself returning to over and over again that really seem to matter a lot to my work. Some are photography coffee table books, some are about art in general and other are just books that made a difference. So here is the first top 10 11 collection of books from the bookshelf (actually the floor until the paint dries).

David duChemin’s first book is still a must have for any photographer.
Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision is a easy to understand book that spends the core of its time helping you understand what actually matters when making great photographs. In the end, David leaves you understanding that learning more about your craft and spending less time on gear is a nobel goal.




Galen’s Inner Game of Outdoor Photogrpahy is an amazing collection of essays around the nature and meaning of photography. Focusing more on the internal conversations and dialogs on what matters, he is able to help the artist understand that it really is more about you as an artist than the gear you collect.





Moose Peterson’s Captured: Lessons from Behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photographer might be one of my favorite photography books I have read in the past couple of years. It is a book that looks not a techniques and how to steps but rather is a combination of introspection on an amazing career as well as a source of inspiration for living a life that matter to you. The story he tells of his and Sharon’s adventure is a great read.





Joel Sartore’s Rare: Portraits of America’s Endangered Species is an example of the power of photography. Joel’s work with photographing and capturing endangered creatures is beautiful and haunting. It also helps us understand the need and purpose of the Endangered Species Act.




Sam Abell’s The Life of a Photograph is a look into the process and nature of being a photographer from a master whose work and images in this collection span four decades.






John Paul Caponigro’s Process is a look into the processes that John Paul has been using and teaching over several years. By looking at the creative concepts that can help you be more creative with or without a camera, John Paul is able to help you push your creativity in new ways ultimately resulting in a more creative life.




Michael Freeman’s The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos is a great book that looks into the one thing that ultimately is responsible for the creation of a great image. The human mind. He talk about different ways to see the same scene, and how we can find our own story in our images.





Joe McNally’s The Moment It Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World’s Top Shooters is a wonderful read. Joe is a gifted writer who has had an amazing career as a photographer. His storytelling skills in combination with his amazing images make it hard to put the book down. The book is sort of a mix of how to and inspiration. In the end, you know that it is a photographers love of light that makes images great.





Robert Franks’ The Americans one of the most important bodies of work in the 20th century. Frank crossed the country photographing everyday Americana. From images that hinted a racial tensions to Americans’ love of  the lifestyle of mass consumption that started after WWII, he paints a interesting view of who were were and in many was still are.





Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places is one of the most important fine art photographers of the late 20th century. Steven was able to indouce the use of color photography as a valid for of  fine art. In this book, his sense of color, line, space and context allowed him to show us the importance of the things in life that seem common but in ways that has us wonder about our relationship to our place in those common places.




Bruce Barnbaum’s great book The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression is a great resource to really understand the nature of photography particularly with regards to fine art black and white photography.