Inspirational Audio Books for Photographers

December 2, 2011

The modern art of photography has inspired professionals and amateur enthusiasts alike to get behind the lens and capture the world around them for the better part of two centuries.  Photographs can be personal, political, and revealing.  They can capture a moment in history.  They can show truth, beauty, and the marvels of the modern world.  And if they’re done right they can bring about an emotional response in viewers.  So whether you’re starting a private photo-journal or earning a living snapping pics all over the globe, here are a few audio books that can offer you some verbal inspiration on your photographic journey.

  1. Basic Photography, Sixth Edition by Michael Langford.  This introductory tome might as well be entitled “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Photography (But Didn’t Know to Ask)”.  The international bestseller has been in print for over 30 years (although it has undergone numerous updates in that time) and it still holds water today.  Listeners will learn not only technique, but also the theory behind making this visual medium work for them.  Form and function are given equal weight in this informational and inspirational audio book for those that want to get serious about photography.
  2. 100 Minutes to Better Photography: An Instructional Program Leading to Advanced Photographer by Julian Padowicz.  You might think it’s impossible to significantly improve your camera skills in less than two hours, but this audio guide can help you to learn basic terminology while offering the tips and tricks that separate amateurs from pros.  It delivers on the promise made in the title by taking beginners to the next level and offering information that is useful even for seasoned photographers.
  3. Learn Digital Photography by Video Professor.  Digital cameras have changed the way we look at the world and there’s a lot to learn not only about taking digital photos, but about the many ways they can be enhanced.  This tutorial will teach you not only how to point and shoot, but also how to do basic touch-ups like removing red-eye and lens flare, correcting color and sharpness, and air-brushing flaws, as well as more complex tasks like taking stellar video footage with your digital camera.  This 3-CD set contains a compendium of knowledge useful to any photographer looking to move into the digital era.
  4. An Interview with Richard Avedon by Richard Avedon.  This influential portrait artist is best known for his knack of bringing out the multiple facets of his subjects.  Even if you’ve never heard of him, you’ve likely seen some of his amazing celebrity photographs, including notable names like Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Andy Warhol, Katherine Hepburn, and John Lennon (which doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of his extensive list of subjects).  This 1985 interview was released on CD in 2007 in order to bring fans into the world of one of the greatest portrait photographers in history.
  5. Travel Photography by Cliff and Nancy Hollenbeck.  Not everyone wants to be a pro; some of us would be happy simply learning how arrange a decent visual composition when snapping vacation photos.  This basic guide for travelers taking pics on the go will help you to get gorgeous photos whether you have the time to search for the best angle or you’re clicking away from your seat on a bus.  The included paperback gives visual samples to supplement the audio book.

Sarah Danielson is a contributing writer for Essence Photo and Video, specializing in Chicago wedding videography and photography.

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