What do you need to take good pictures? As they say the answer is practice, practice and practice. Sure, good lighting conditions and a decent camera will help, but to really master your skills you need to become very intimate (almost in a freaky way) with your equipment. You should almost know what will come out before you press the shutter button. But how many people are really this good? Certainly not a lot, and I’m not one of them. The majority of us mortals will take very good pictures only every now and then, but will sure have a heck of a lot of fun along the way.
Practice makes perfection, yet there are shortcuts that can make that journey to become an optimum photographer shorter, the most common being books and courses. In this article you’ll find a list of free easy-to-read ebooks that you can download at no cost, bringing you new ideas, different perspectives and tips to take great shots.
by Thomas Leuthard is a guide to street photography, the art of catching people as they go about their everyday lives. Street photography can be one of the most natural or most difficult types of photography depending on the awareness of your subject. It is also one of the most democratic, placing ordinary people in the center of the shot.
follows on from Going Candid. It will take you from being a beginner to a more advanced level of street photography. It also contains some of the author’s own experiences of taking photographs in the street.
completes Leuthard’s trilogy of books about street photography. Unlike the other two books, it focuses on close up shots of people’s faces rather than street scenes. All three books are available on his website.
Low Cost High Impact Portrait Photography and other Notes
This is a free Kindle ebook that takes you through a number of techniques for shooting portraits with a compact camera at varying light levels.
Aperture Digital Photography Fundamentals
is a guide produced by Apple that covers all aspects of digital photography. It takes you through the techniques to use and pitfalls to avoid so you can get the best possible images with your camera.
is an ebook by Chris Weeks, a professional photographer in Los Angeles. Rather than being a step-by-step guide to street photography, it is really intended for fellow enthusiasts.
by Joe Barret is an easy to read collection of light room tips and tricks which is ideal for beginners. These simple techniques will make a big difference to the photographs you take.
by April Blaine Hite is another straightforward guide that contains lots of useful ideas. Her passion for the subject really shines through as she guides you step by step towards taking the perfect photo.
Another photography ebook by April Hite is this shorter manual that covers all you need to know about this important aspect of the photographer’s art.
is a must for anyone with a digital single-lens reflex camera. David D. Beach is an expert in the field and this is an accessible guide to how you can get the best out of your SLR camera.
Tinker Tubes – Personal Lighting Systems
by Dean Collins is a very popular guide to building lightweight modular diffusion lighting systems from everyday materials found around any home. Projects in the book include making an adjustable light box as well as light panels and light houses.
by David Hobby has in the two decades since it was first published become one of the most popular guides to lighting for the amateur photographer. Hobby is a photojournalist who shows you how to set up your photographic lighting cheaply but professionally.
Digital Photography Expert Techniques
A guide designed for the amateur photographer to get the best out of their digital camera. You’ll really notice the difference when you start following these tips. Give your photos a professional look.
Photoshop CS2 RAW
How to use Adobe and Photoshop applications to produce the best possible image. Photoshop has released several versions after this on but you can still learn how to crop, resize and rotate correctly. This can improve your photos tremendously.
Digital Photography Pocket Guide
A pick up and go guide ideal for working outdoors with your digital camera. Has sections on all aspects of digital photography. A good choice for the beginner.
13 Tips for Better Wildflower Photography
This as the name suggests is all about photographing flowers in their natural environment. The book teaches you how to get the most natural images possible.
The Textbook of Digital Photography
A comprehensive guide ideal for students of photography. More in-depth than some of the other guides available.
Light Painting Photography
Using light sources to create stunning images at night. This will show you how to use slow release lenses to create the effect you’re looking for.
A fully illustrated guide to black and white photography. This demonstrates how black and white can give a depth to photos not always found in color.
Close Up Photography
An extensive guide to shooting close up. Whether it’s portraits, animals or wildlife, this will show you how to get the best shot
Looking at perspective in photography. Using these tips, you will soon be creating interesting images in an urban or natural environment.
11 tips for getting better photos. A good general guide.
How to sharpen up your photos. Blurred images will be a thing of the past.
Landscape, wildlife and travel photography. Get that professional image you’re after
The basics of photographic composition. How to set up shots and pose models. Get that artistic look.
How to take the perfect product photograph. Ideal for the commercial photographer. Your clients will soon be impressed once you start using the tips here.
Selling Stock Photography
How to make money by licensing your images independently or through an agency. Turn your photos into a lucrative income stream.
Shooting Black and White
Everything you need to know about black and white photography. A step-by-step introduction to creating enigmatic and interesting images.
Do you know of any other that should be in this list? Share it with us in the comments section below, and this post too if you think others might find it useful!