There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of books on photography. They are a valuable reference tool, and also a source of inspiration. This weekend in my home town, I went to a huge book fair that happens twice a year. It goes for 8 days and the stocks are replenished on a daily basis.

For bookworms, it’s unmissable. Everything is grouped into broad categories, and I went there looking for photography books…

All I can say is – at the moment, not many people must be tossing out their old photography books. I only saw 4 books, and one I already had! So, I scooped up the other 3 and have now happily added them to my ever-growing library.

Granted, the books I got are more than a decade (or two) old, but there’s some great stuff in there.

This is another wonderful thing about photography – the fundamental techniques don’t change – the way to explain them does, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing.

These books don’t touch on the intricacies of digital over film, but they cover explanations on how to take better photos – composition, positioning, etc. And, they give some great ideas about different subjects to use for your photography.

These days, most of the newer information that comes out is saying the same things, in similar ways. The older books, naturally, cover topics in different ways, while also presenting ‘new’ ideas.

Plus, the illustrations are very detailed (though a little dated in terms of fashion) – pictorially explaining concepts like depth of field and the rule of thirds.

Portrait photography is also covered in detail, with lighting and positions still being used today. The hair, makeup, and fashion have certainly changed, but the technique hasn’t.

All in all, I spent $6 for the three books – an absolute bargain.

So, the next time there’s a book fair near you, I’d recommend checking it out – you never know what you’ll find!

About Cyrus Ward