Books to Read


Laura’s List
Photography Books for anyone – Christians, conservatives, homeschoolers, and others to enjoy safely.


  • Book 1: Digital Nature Photography: The Art and the Science by John and Barbara Gerlach

This book is my latest favorite. It is amazingly well written and everyone from beginners to advanced intermediate can benefit from it. The book covers a huge array of subjects. I missed a few areas in my self-taught photography course. Mr. Gerlach filled in a couple gaps I had and helped me brush up on what I had already learned in the past. Several of the photos in the book are quite striking and beneficial too. Another attractive thing is that the book is relatively new – copyright 2007, so the information is reasonably up-to-date. All in all, this could easily be the first book I buy specifically for my photography library.
Note: You will benefit most from this book if you have an SLR, or at least a camera that you can change the shutter speed and aperture. If you don’t have either of these, read John’s book anyway. J

  • Book 2: America Wide: In God We Trust Panographs by Ken Duncan

I have never seen a book like this one before. Ken uses a panoramic camera to take sweeping views of the outdoors. Most of the photography is gorgeous! All of it is beautiful. Looking through this book and studying the pictures inspired me to try another way of thinking when taking pictures. How would the world around you look when you see it the way Mr. Duncan does? If you are stuck in a rut, his book is a great way to revive your passion for photography.

  • Book 3: Creative Nature and Outdoor Photography by Brenda Tharp

I read the old version. I have seen parts of the new, updated version, and it also looks like a worthwhile read. An interesting point to note is that Brenda’s book focuses mostly on improving your photo composition and seeing creatively rather than on learning how your camera works and how to use it. Some of the main topics covered in this book are Learning to See, Visual Design, Creating Effective Compositions, and Working with Color.

  • Book 4: Chased by the Light: A 90-Day Journey by Jim Brandenburg

Uses: idea book, self assignment – the “Take One Picture a Day Challenge”
I, along with a friend, copied the experiment he did in the book on a smaller scale (30 days instead of 90) and exchanged pictures at the end of the 30 days. By taking one and only one nature/outdoors picture a day, I was forced to consider very carefully what I wanted to convey. You too can profit greatly from this exercise.
Jim Brandenburg is certainly not a Christian and it shows in his books. He makes several references to “Mother Nature” nature as our god, evolution, our so-called ancestors, other false religions in this world, and how we should be working to save the planet. Nevertheless, he has some interesting pictures we can study, image compositions we can learn from, and techniques we can try to duplicate. How would you choose to spend your one picture a day?

  • Book 5: Looking for the Summer by Jim Brandenburg

Uses: idea book, challenge to take pictures every day
This book has about the same pros and cons as Chased by the Light.

  • Book 6: The Wonder of it All: The Creation Account According to the Book of Job

Here is a book that combines Scripture, pictures, and quotes into one cohesive book. It is an interesting read and some of the photos are quite good.

  • Book 7: Ansel Adams In Color
  • Book 8: The Portfolios of Ansel Adams

Here are two more books I have used to study the photos they contain. It is exciting to examine various professionals’ portfolios and styles. With such a multitude of options available to photographers capturing the same scene or object, it is fascinating to see what they come up with. Anyone who is into photography should be familiar with Ansel Adam’s work!

Something to consider: I am recommending several of these books because of their teaching on and about the various essentials of photography, not for their un-Biblical, skewed world view. When you are gleaning facts and helpful knowledge about photography, be discerning when you read (or don’t read) what they believe or think they know aside from photography. Always check with the Bible before you assume something they say is true. Other than that, enjoy your wonderful photographic journey!

Help with this list is greatly appreciated! If you know of one or several helpful or awe-inspiring photography books, I would be happy to hear about them. Hearing what you think about these books and how they helped or didn’t help you is also of interest.
Laura