Travel photography is an exciting field, but requires a greater degree of preparation than other niches. It also necessitates a good understanding of technical details that will help you get great photographs in any setting. So, where do you get that information?
These 10 travel photography books are must reads for every travel photographer, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro:
This is not just a travel photography book, it’s a great book for any photographer. Bryan Peterson is a professional photographer and internationally known instructor. He has written several photography books in his signature relaxed, informative writing style. This book demystifies complex concepts related to exposure, and it has been updated to include current technologies. It includes an easy-to-understand explanation of the relationship between aperture and shutter speed and how to deal with difficult shooting situations, something often encountered with travel photography.
Scott Kelby is a professional photographer, the editor of Photoshop User magazine, and the President of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. What’s great about his books is that they are written in a brilliant style. He writes as if a friend had asked him a question on how to do something and he is answering it. He doesn’t give lectures about aperture, exposure or other technical aspects of photography, he just tells you what to do to get a particular shot. With this travel photography book in particular, each page covers a different concept—a different pro setting, a different pro tool, another pro trick—to make your photography better.
If you have to choose only one travel photography textbook, this is it. This book can be read by beginners, intermediate, and professional photographers, and they will all learn something new. Bruce Barnbaum is a photographer and teacher, and in this book, his passion for teaching is evident. He presents techniques for both traditional and digital photography, and he discusses the concept of “art versus technique”. Barnbaum discusses the technical details of photography, but he also delves deeply into the philosophical and creative aspects as well, something many other books avoid.
John Batdorff is an award-winning travel photographer. With this book, he takes you through the basics of composition and exposure as well as how to plan and pack the right equipment you’ll need for different types of conditions. He then discusses the key camera features that affect your images, and finally, once you have the images, he takes you through the post production steps in Lightroom to process your images in your own style.
David McKay is a professional photographer and instructor. McKay and his wife have led photographic tours around the world helping photography enthusiasts learn how to get the images that will tell inspiring stories. This book gives you practical advice about what gear to take with you and how to pack it. Additionally, it gives you insights into creating stunning, captivating photographs as you travel. The book also offers advice on how to get your equipment on the plane and through security in foreign countries. Mckay gives great practical advice for how to transport your gear safely as you travel.
Joe McNally has worked as a professional photographer for more than thirty years with National Geographic, Time, Life, and Sports Illustrated. In this book, he shares his secrets about how to create, shape, control, and direct light using hot shoe flashes. He candidly shares his lighting solutions to create incredible images. Aside from his practical tips, you’ll be entertained by his captivating stories from around the world.
Chris Marquardt is the host of Tips from the Top Floor, which is the world’s longest running photography show. Monika Andrae has been a professional photographer since the early 90s. She believes that technical photography can and should be creative, and that is part of her mission. In 2010, she feel back in love with film photography, and she’s not the only one. Film photography has witnessed a significant renaissance, particularly for younger generations. These two authors created this book as a fairly complete resource for shooting film. It is written in an easy-to-understand style and includes timely topics such as hybrid film/digital workflow, digitization of negatives, and working with smartphones both in assisting in the film process and for light metering. It also gives you practical advice on how to acquire a second-hand film camera, film formats, and film developing.
Sandra Petrowitz has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist and editor for more than 15 years. She has organized photography tours to places as diverse as Jordan and Antarctica. In this book, she shares theoretical information as well as practical advice for taking better pictures. The tips include how to carefully compose pictures, avoid common mistakes, and create a unique perspective of places that have been photographed many times in the past. Her goal with this book is to help you find your own personal point of view as a photographer.
Murad Osmann is a professional photographer who runs a production company producing music videos and commercials. Nataly Sakharova produces her own video projects about traveling. Together, they created this book filled with images from Moscow, Madrid, Ibiza, and beyond. The book is designed to remind travel photographers that experimentation and creativity are key to success. It is an extension of the Follow Me project created in 2012 to show the beauty and uniqueness of different locations around the world. The project quickly became a worldwide internet sensation as millions watched the pair travel the world portraying local lifestyles and narratives through photography. The books instructs photographers on making the ordinary seem beautiful through the innovative use of the camera’s lens.
Tony and Chelsea Northrup are authors and professional photographers who have published more than 30 how-to books and YouTube videos. This book is Amazon’s #1 rated and best-selling digital photography book. It includes links to over 14 hours of videos, access to a private Stunning Digital Photography Readers group on Facebook where you can ask questions and get feedback from Tony and Chelsea on photographs you post, lifetime updates, hands-on practices at the end of every chapter, and over 500 original pictures. It covers diverse topics such as composition and exposure as well as pet photography, landscapes, and night photography. And, it includes secrets for the pros. It is an indispensable resource and a must-have for professionals.
Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for tips on travel photography or a beginner looking for more detailed information, these 10 travel photography books will give you insights into the technical aspects of photography in variable conditions, the practical side of transporting your gear, and the creative inspiration you need to capture stunning images.