It seems like everyone is putting out a holiday book list this year, so I thought I would be a sheep, and add my two cents. I also thought I would try to be the last one to get one out. So, not in any particular order, this is a selection of what I would recommend this year.
Visual Poetry – Chris Orwig : This is a great book to feed your creativity and spark your imagination. This is not so much a book on how to use your camera, but how to use your imagination and creativity to get the images you want.
Vision Mongers– David duChemin : Case studies with working photographers, and discussion on what it takes to make a living with a camera in a way that feeds your soul. Only read this book it you want to step up from a hobby to the big leagues.
The Hot Shoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes– Joe McNally : Speedlight master shows some amazing photographs and discusses how he lit them wrapped in great stories. Very entertaining, and instructional at the same time.
Digital Photography Book v3 – Scott Kelby : This is a great series with technical tips, tricks and know how, for the the beginning to intermediate photographer. If¬† you don’t have any of the series, get all three. You won’t be lost starting with the 3rd, but they do get a bit more advanced as the books progress.
Lightroom 2 for Digital Photographers– Scott Kelby : If you have been on the fence about Lightroom, buy this book, get the demo and sit down at your computer. Using this book you will be a maser of and convert to Lightroom in no time. Don’t set there wondering why and how people use Lightroom. This book will make you understand it’s power, and become proficient in no time.
Understanding Exposure– Peterson : This is not a new book, but a classic all the same. If you haven’t read it yet, you should to get an understanding of how to use light and aperture to get the look you are looking for.
Hot Shots Flip Books – David Ziser : Great set of little flip books with photos, lighting diagrams, and tech info on how to get the same shot. These are not books in the traditional sense, but worth a flip through to get ideas and how to light them. Keep them in your camera bag for when you are stuck.
A Hands-on Guide to Creative Lighting (DVD) – Nikon (Joe McNally & Bob Krist) : Ok, not a book, but educational none the less. Takes you from how to set up your speedlights in remote, through adding lights one by one in a studio setup, to several location shoots with Joe both indoor and out. Good stuff.
The Craft & Vision Collection– David duChemin (eBooks) These eBooks are great self-contained “chapters” that focus on one specific element of photography. Well worth getting at $5 a piece. There are 5 of them right now.