The following are books that we recommend with links directing you to amazon. Any purchase made through these links gives us commission - something that we employ towards funding community activities for students that have gone through our course. If you'd like to discuss any of the books on file, please write to us and we will be happy to discuss them.
Understanding Exposure is the Bible equivalent in Photography. It is an absolute must have for people taking the Beginners program of the Montreal Photo Course. Bryan Peterson goes over the details of each aspect of photography step by step. Using this book as a complement to our course will give you the strongest foundation possible.
Peterson's writing is quite clear and he really makes photography as theoretically simple as one can possibly do. If there was one book you absolutely had to have in photography, make it this one!
Steve McCurry, most well known by his portrait of the Afghan girl on the cover of Nation Geographic, is perhaps the greatest inspiration one could find for travel and portrait photography. Rich with colour and lively stories, it no doubt ignites a curiosity of the outside world.
We would whole heartedly recommend this book to anyone beginning their photography journey and rest assured that you will find yourself dreaming of adventures to unknown lands. What is incredible about McCurry is that his equipment isn't very hefty. As a traveller, he needed to keep light and that meant no flash among other things. The simplicity of a portrait lens and good light have made for some of the most remarkable images, ever! Being inspired by McCurry is a great way to start your journey.
We'd recommend seeing some of his work on the following page: Steve McCurry
In this hearted volume, McCurry tells the stories that make each image, the feelings, the thought process and even the conversations. He becomes a savaged traveller defining himself each day through the numerous adventures that he calls life capturing them in the 14 stories that are narrated in this volume. In this book, you will find little notes that McCurry scribles in his journal together with letters from government agencies in India and other souvenirs of his travels.
While the Iconic Images is an excellent Book, this one has a fair bit of reading and insight into the stories behind the photographs, as the book rightly suggests. Quite frankly, anyone looking to venture into the documentary photography world should get this book.
I first saw Art Wolfe at a book signing and at the time I didn't know enough about him to appreciate his work. In the Art of the photograph, he touches base on many of the key concepts that we cover in the composition and lighting course and what's more, he has some incredibly creative images to his name to show as examples. It's a real treat to thumb through the pages of his book and those of you looking to get some inspiration from his work and his travels should definitely embrace the value that his work brings about. Many of his perspectives are a constant reminder for most of us that the best photographers need to worked for.
We heavily emphasize the thought process in photography and a book that covers this in the most intimate sense is DuChemin's Photographically Speaking. It is a book that has several exercises and we particularly recommend it to our intermediate students that have already worked through the basics of exposure but are now obsessed with the question of style.
DuChemin makes this a philosophical account as he journeys through his own experience in the world of composition. It's an excellent read but perhaps more wordy than most other books (though not more wordy than the stuff we give away in our lessons).
Many photographers that covered the Rwandan genocide were severely affected by what they saw and documented. Salgado was also victim to this. An Economist, me made the transition to becoming a photographer. Severely depressed by the events, he returned back to Brazil, having at the same time, inherited his childhood farm. What was once lush and green had become barren, dead. He subsequently set out to recreate it all, planting millions of trees and beginning a photographic journey to go back to the beginning of life.
Genesis is a work that spans 8 years in the making and travelling around the world. It is as much a personal journey as it is one of bringing breathtaking images to life.
Every established photographer goes through their own special journey in building their own style and personalizing what it means to be an artist. It's a hallmark for a photographer to reach a point where people readily associate a certain style with that photographer and this particular book is about Annie's journey. It's not a particularly large book but very inspiring and incredible.
I first happened upon Robert Haas in a National Geographic publication and instantly fell in love with his work and his ideas and courage to define his style. Robert Haas is an enthusiast who strapped himself to planes and took wonderfully inspiring images of the South American continent - capturing images that are a reminder of the beauty in this world. A sequel called 'Through the Eyes of God' was down about Africa but to us, this one is the definite picker from the two. It's quite a bulky book that will make for an excellent coffee table addition.
The Portrait Photography Course is a great place for any photographer (even more established ones) as it really is quite focused on all elements of portraiture over a number of chapters. Mark Jenkinson obviously had to do a fair chunk of research to populate the prelimary chapters and they make for an excellently informative read - slowly making their way into the more creative aspects of the course - the first few focused on lighting and portraiture with simple equipment and then later introducing off-camera lighting and studio work. It then commences to interviews of photographers. For the more disciplined, it's an excellent way to work through concepts and literally follow it as a course.
If you haven't already interacted with Elliot Erwitt's work, we'd suggest you do so right away - especially if you are one to believe in the lighter aspects of life. This book is a piece of art in itself in the way it's organized, around one word themes and the visual humour that Erwitt presents. It's literally a means of communicating through pictures - which, after all are worth a thousand words. If you're looking for great inspiration and a reminder that there are incredible events all around us - all open to interpretation and exploration - then this is a great book and a great artist to follow. Certainly one that we insist on to our students.
Sebastiao Salgado is a name that is today is synonymous to photography itself. He represents so much more than just art itself but humanity - a man that has traversed through boundaries and cultures and witnessed a great deal. Africa is a book that captures some of his journeys. Anyone looking to skim through this book should see it as a journey itself and particularly those that love the style and feel of film photography.
Robert Frank, influenced by the works of Walker Evans, who documented the drudge of poverty during the great depression, looked to produce a work that was revealing and following the receipt of a grant, he set out to produce the book that is now called 'the Americans'. He set out on a journey across the United States, documenting the lives of people in situations of poverty and in some cases being evicted from counties for his introspection. He met Jack Kerouac during his journey and upon seeing the photographs agreed to write an introduction to the book. Out of 28000 photographs, only 83 made it to the book that was called the Americans.