The Photographers Eye: A graphic Guide
An elaborate work on composition. Each section is organized into discrete units that articualate a working method for communicating particular ideas and capturing certain subjects.
D: This book completely changed the way I look through the lens, and it improved my photography dramatically. A must read.
The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Book
Lightroom Classic is a complex application with a great deal of features, many of which are hidden. This book does a great job of covering all the main tools and laying out an effective workflow.
D: Approachable and written in a light-hearted way. Start here if you want to learn how to edit your photos in Lightroom Classic.
The Digital Photography Book: Part One (2nd Edition)
This book lays out the basics of digital photography, and is filled with useful tips and tricks for different types of photography. It covers the photography of flowers, landscapes, weddings, sports, portraits, and more.
D: Fantastic reference guide. The first book to get when buying a digital camera.
The Digital Photography Book, Part Two
This book builds on part one. It is written in the same approachable style with practical tips in abundance. Part two covers flash, studio, and more in-depth exploration of portraits, landscape, weddings, travel, and macro.
D: Another great reference book. A solid addition to part One.
The Digital Photography Book, Part Three
Part three dives even deeper into flash, studio, people, landscape, and sports photography. A subject not covered before is product photography, as well as a deeper dive into lenses.
D: Useful addition to part one and two, but not as crucial. The flash and studio parts of this book contain the most new information. The section on lenses is interesting if you’re completely new to photography.
The Decisive Moment
A collection of Cartier-Bresson’s best work, who is perhaps the greatest photographer of the twentieth century. This book, originally published in 1952, covers highlights from his sixty-plus year career and has influenced generations of photographers.
D: When studying masters of their craft, one can’t help but to learn. There is a lot to take away from Cartier-Bresson’s work.
Bruce Davidson’s “Subway,” first published by Aperture in 1986, has garnered critical acclaim both as a documentation of a unique moment in the cultural fabric of New York City and for its phenomenal use of extremes of color and shadow set against flash-lit skin.
D: The most captivating photography book I’ve come across with people as the main subject. The photos in this book beautifully capture the rough darkness of mid-1980s NYC.
Hunter S. Thompson
“Gonzo” presents a rare look into the life of Thompson, whose groundbreaking style of “gonzo” journalism made him one of the greatest writers of his generation. For the first time, his photographs and archives have been collected into a visual biography worthy of his literary legacy.
D: Not a school in photography per se, but definitely a great insight into Hunter S. Thompson’s fascinating and manic life. The book does a great job of pairing quotes from his books for context. A must-have for every Hunter S. Thompson fan. One of my favorites. Get the hardcover version (if you can).
Stephen R. Covey
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
A timeless business/lifestyle classic. It follows proven principles of fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity. There is no pop psychology, broscience, or hippie nonsense to be found in this book.
D: Required reading. This book teaches an effective mind-set no matter what field you operate in.
Getting Things Done
Getting Things Done, or GTD, is a system to work efficiently while reducing stress.
D: To put it broadly, “The 7 habits of highly effective people” teaches you a mind-set. “Getting Things Done” teaches you a system. Combined, they will turn you into a productivity-machine. Tip: set up GTD-lists and folders in Microsoft To Do (free app on all platforms), it works brilliantly.
The Art of War
Sun Tzu’s ancient book of strategy and psychology has as much to tell us today as when it was first written 2,500 years ago. In a world forever at odds, his rules for anticipating the motivations and strategies of our competitors never cease to inspire leaders of all kinds.
D: Ancient, timeless wisdom. Read it. Absorb it. Use it. Win with it.
The 4-Hour Workweek
The business bestseller of the dotcom boom-generation takes a look at work and life from a unique angle. From mini-retirements to outsourcing daily routines, it’s all here.
D: A rather esoteric, anything-is-possible take on work/life. It was an eye-opener for me personally in the way that it examplifies the endless possibilities the Internet has to offer.
12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos
What does everyone in the modern world need to know? Renowned psychologist Jordan B. Peterson’s answer to this most difficult of questions uniquely combines the hard-won truths of ancient tradition with the stunning revelations of cutting-edge scientific research.
D: No matter who you are or where you stand, you will get something out of this. This book took me on an intellectual trip incorporating science and ancient wisdom in a way I haven’t encountered before. Each chapter ends with a list of references akin to an academic paper. Though accessible, this is definitely not a quick and easy read. It is a deep and dense book that requires multiple reads to fully grasp, and some parts will take on a different meaning at different points in life. Probably one of the most important books of our era. A must-read.
Hunter S. Thompson
Hell’s Angels: A Strange and Terrible Saga
In the mid-1960s, Thompson spent almost two years living with the controversial Angels, cycling up and down the coast, reveling in the anarchic spirit of their clan, and, as befits their name, raising hell. His book successfully captures a singular moment in American history, when the biker lifestyle was first defined, and when such countercultural movements were electrifying and horrifying America.
D: This was my introduction to Thompson’s writing. The prose is as brilliant, manic, and wild as the stories in this book. Probably the best account of the truth behind the notorious legend of the Hell’s Angels.
Hunter S. Thompson
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
This cult classic of gonzo journalism is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.
D: A manic work straddling the line of genius and insanity. You will remember this book forever. One of the many memorable paragraphs from the book sums it up best: “No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it up to forced consciousness expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.” A hilarious, thoughtful, wild adventure.
More to come…
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