YPS’s Top Photo Books for Christmas

Christmas is almost upon us and you’re probably wondering, once again, what to get that special someone who never stops taking photos. So here’s my list of top books that make the perfect gift this holiday season! Many of the books are the same as last year because I just haven’t found any yet that are better.

I’ll be focusing on the most obvious for an educational site like Yanik’s Photo School… photography books, of course! We all love reading them but we also want good ones! There are some lemons out there (I have a few) so let me weed out the bad stuff and make some good old fashion lemonade! The links are to Amazon so you can be  guarantied to get them before Christmas. 🙂

Here are my top 5 technical books

Light Science & Magic No, this isn’t a book by David Copperfield. 😉 What it is, is probably best photography book I’ve ever read! It’s all about light and how light works. It introduces a logical theory of photographic lighting so if you are starting out in photography you will learn how to predict results before setting up lights. This is not primarily a how-to book with only set examples for you to copy. Rather, Light: Science and Magic provides you with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles of light to allow you to use lighting to express your own creativity. A must read but be warned that after a few beers, the content might turn into Chinese. 😉 I have the old black and white edition and I’ve seen the color edition and it blows me away! It’s on my “must buy” list.


The Moment it Clicks by Joe McNally: I can only say great things about this book! This book tops my list! I actually did a full review on this book HERE. Check it out. You’ll see why I love it so much!


Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson: For serious amateur photographers who already shoot perfectly focused, accurately exposed images but want to be more creative with a camera, here’s the book to consult. More than seventy techniques, both popular and less-familiar approaches, are covered in detail, including advanced exposure, bounced flash and candlelight, infrared, multiple images, soft-focus effects, unusual vantage points, zooming, and other carefully chosen ways to enhance photographs. The A-Z format make sit easy for readers to find a specific technique, and each one is explained in jargon-free language. Top Tips for each technique help readers achieve superb results, even on the first attempt.


The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby: I really like this book because each page covers just one trick, just one single concept that makes your photography better. Every time you turn the page, you’ll learn another setting, another tool, another trick to transform your work from snapshots into gallery prints. This isn’t a book of theory—it isn’t full of confusing jargon and detailed concepts: this is a book of which button to push, which setting to use, when to use them, and nearly two hundred of the most closely guarded photographic “tricks of the trade” to get you shooting dramatically better-looking, sharper, more colorful, more professional-looking photos with your digital camera every time you press the shutter button.


The Digital Photography Book Volume 2 by Scott Kelby: A perfect follow-up to his first book, volume 2 Scott adds entirely new chapters packed with Plain English tips on using flash, shooting close up photography, travel photography, shooting people, and even how to build a studio from scratch, where he demystifies the process so anyone can start taking pro-quality portraits today! Plus, he’s got full chapters on his most requested topics, including loads of tips for landscape photographers, wedding photographers, and there’s an entire chapter devoted to sharing some of the pro’s secrets for making your photos look more professional, no matter what you’re shooting.


My top inspirational books

If you’re looking for something inspirational or just utter awe, do I have the book(s) for you! Have you heard of Ashes and Snow by Gregory Colbert? Check out the website and get lost in some of the most inspirational imagery I’ve ever seen in my life! Of course, you can also purchase a book or books from the Ashes and Snow bookstore, like the Santa Monica Catalogue. Enjoy!


Ancient Marks by Chris Rainer was a book suggestion by my friend and fellow photographer Joey Lawrence. What a masterpiece of a book! It is a high end art book but really worth every penny. An original gift for an original photography lover!

Happy book buying and happy reading!. Hohoho! 🙂

1 responses on "YPS's Top Photo Books for Christmas"

  1. Another nod for Light, Science and Magic. If your just starting out, its a perfect book to read with good technical references.

    Also Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies by Lee Varis is pretty good

    Gonna check out ashes and snow, I always love being inspired. cheers

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