Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs” as Want to Read:
Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  2,330 ratings  ·  252 reviews
Photography is now more popular than ever thanks to the rapid development of digital cameras. Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs is ideal for this new wave of snapshooters using DSLR, compact system and bridge cameras. It contains no graphs, no techie diagrams and no camera-club jargon. Instead, it inspires readers through iconic images and playful copy, ...more
Kindle Edition, 129 pages
Published March 3rd 2014 by Laurence King Publishing (first published 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,330 ratings  ·  252 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great little book from urban outfitters
Basics and easy understanding of photography
Peter Derk
Jun 03, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
Great book about the craft of photography.

And I use the word "craft" very intentionally.

Art books that focus on a how-to are always problematic. Because there's too much to the formula of what makes great art. You can do what Ansel Adams did, but then you're just doing what Ansel Adams did. You might paint a great painting with very little experience because your lack of experience also equates to a lack of preconceived notion of what is and isn't a painting, but on the other hand your lack of
Jun 14, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: low achievers
This is one of those you-dont-need-to-know-anything books for those that really dont want to know anything. It is not a book for photographers, its for those that dont want to be. I'd like to see anyone improve as a photographer after reading this. Henry mis-interprets many of the photographs (none of them his by the way)and seems to have a odd understanding of operating a camera. He certainly doesn't understand the use of manual mode and clearly doesnt use it himself. It would be nice to say ...more
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
it is a good book, more technical than "Seeing things" by Joel Meyerowitz. A nice collection of photos. Highly recommended.
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are taking your first step into photography as a hobby, then is probably as good as you could do. He will give you a quick grounding in the numerous aspects that make photography an art form.

He gives you key compositional concepts; from leading lines and framing, to rule of thirds and depth of field. Really making you think about your photographs while helping you develop your photographer's eye. There is an excellent chapter on light which every photographer should be thinking about
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is perfect for beginners at photography! Everything is explained in a simple way with an example on each page. Most importantly it's not the type of read where some too-full-of-oneself photographer is trying to tell you that what he/she does is the right and only way to shoot. Because there really isn't such a thing in photography.

You are given useful information in an easy to remember way. You're being shown your options and encouraged to try them! Most importantly this book inspires
Peter Knox
Dec 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2018
I’ve had my DSLR camera for 2.5 years but only after having read this do I actually feel like I know what it can do better than my phone.

I highly recommend anyone else new to photography or getting a new fancy camera to also spend an hour with this book.

It’s incredibly straightforward, actionable, and basic (not for snobs or experts) plus doesn’t use technical language or jargon. Each page is very simply about one technique or setting and a clear helpful example of that variable used to
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who has learned by watching my father take stunning photographies, and by fumbling with his cameras, I found this little book really useful. I do realize it doesn't replace a proper formation, but anyone self-taught can benefit from it in my views. It's a great first step to understanding how a camera and how pictures work, without spending hours taking nice pics only by chance and figuring out why they're good ones. People with more knowledge might not find it useful, though.
Thomas Johansson
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, photography
Every budding photographer should read this book. It's a fast read, it makes you think and then if you want to get deeper into something, there's a great index to point you toward other books. It really teaches you a lot about capturing images.
Aug 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 - really enjoyable. It’s what a design/art/photography book of this style should be. Really informative, really interesting.
Michelle Lampinen
Some decent practical tips. I want to go back through and jot down a few notes so that I actually remember how to use my camera. I liked all of the example photos to illustrate lessons from the book.
Ahmad Hossam
Jul 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
A great introduction to photography. Loved the approach and the execution.
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t think this book will turn me into a great photographer but I liked reading the mildly technical descriptions of famous photographer’s work.
Apr 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

"Perfect is often imperfect" Robert Capa.

"See with your eyes, not your camera" Edward Weston

"Good photographers are contortionists"

"The power of the photography lies in its mystery, and photography keeps the secret."

• Hiroshi Sugimoto, Baltic Sea, Rugen, 1996.
There is sublime beauty, the smooth subtle gradations of grays, luminosity of sky and water.
Seascapes with name of place as stamp.
HS relationship with the sea as "a voyage of seeing"
and these deep, detailed images
Dec 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is great for amateur photographers.

I learned so much about elements of photography that I thought were luck, but it turns out they're skill.

The book is divided into five parts: composition, exposure, light, lenses and seeing. Each section edifies the reader about certain techniques and essential ideas.

The only down side is that it's not camera specific. I think if it were camera specific, even if the camera was different than the readers. The reader would have an idea of where to
Jennifer Dudley-Nicholson
Super useful book filled with famous photographic examples, and explanations that don't condescend to readers.
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was good for me since photography is an occasional hobby that I don't dedicate a lot of time to. It was just enough to remind me of what aperture does and some basic settings to get desired effects. To the disparagers out there: you are what the author refers to as camera club people. Basically you look down upon the average person who doesn't want all the detail. If we wanted that, we would join a club.

Not for a professional photographer.
May 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply constructed as an intro to understanding photography, Carroll includes short and comprehensible chapters, complete with images, to model the ideas. He helps photography feel approachable and an expression of art, not a display of technique. For anyone hoping to better understand manipulating shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to create unique images, this is the book for you. I'm carrying it around in my camera bag!
Sep 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I wish I had this book when I got my first SLR. This is the perfect intro to all the really basic things you need to know if you want to start photography, and what I read in about 20 minutes probably took me weeks or months of research and trial and error back in the day. That being said, if you have already gone through all of that basic work, this book probably won't teach you much new. From here, you just need to really devour photographs that you love.
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a photography student I've read my fair share of photography books. I just read this one and found it short and sweet; the ideal combination for anyone who just starts meddling with a camera. It sticks to the basics without making them sound overly complicated and the text is laced with humour - or at least, so it seems to me.
cute little book i got as a gift! very much for beginners but it’s still good to remind yourself of the basics from time to time. it’s very unpretentious and and friendly. beyond that it’s a great collection of inspirational photographs on pretty glossy paper. the sleek, black and silver design of the cover makes it a kind of a low-key coffee table book so that’s definitely a plus!
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Henry's title is the best review for this book. I did. And now I can. This is one of those books that you can get distracted from, if you are not a complete shutterbug. My advice is to read this with camera in hand so you can mess around. Straight reading will not work unless you already know what Henry is talking about...and if you already know that much, why are you reading this book?
Elle Fleischmann
Jan 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! Simple, educational and full of examples... now I just need to go out and put them in practice!
Oct 25, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Has some good practical tips, but overall, detached from photography as an art form
Online Eccentric Librarian
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog

I can see why this has divisive reviews: it really is a very condensed, easy-to-follow, quick read meant to get someone immediately enabled into taking better photographs. The concepts are cleanly laid out, with large print, and easy to follow, eschewing a LOT of information in order to not overwhelm. But it is also shallow - great for the casual person who doesn't want to fool around with the camera fiddling and losing
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, art, owned
This book was actually an impulse buy from a giant bookstore while I was waiting in line. Why yes, I would like to take great photographs. If only it was as easy as reading a book, but much like an art class can help you improve your drawing or painting skills in conjunction with practice, a book like this helps set some foundations to improve photography with practice.

To repeat: Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs isn't a manual, a textbook or an in-depth guide, and it's certainly
Apr 19, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: photography
I don't think I've ever given a one-star rating before, so I figured I owed an explanation as to why I chose to give it such a poor rating.

First of all, I should point out that I read the Norwegian edition of this book, and the translation was truly horrible. The language was so bad that the text hardly made any sense at times. It gave the impression of having been run through an automated translation program rather than being translated by actual human beings. Words were often misplaced in a
Aug 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-arc, non-fiction
I am a complete novice when it comes to non-auto mode photography. This concise book expresses the basic modes & phrasing of photography in an easily accessible, simple way. I found that it made something daunting feel attainable and digestible. I also appreciated the tone not being too heavy and the inclusion of several examples of beautiful photography to demonstrate particular techniques.

I wish, however, that it had gone a little further into some of the technicalities, for example in
Jamie Brydone-Jack
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, nonfiction
The Philosophy of Photography

As the author states in the introduction of the book, this is not a work that focuses on the technical aspects of photography. Yes, there are sections on exposure, focal lengths, and lenses, but the book is more about fostering the development of an artistic eye. To aid in that, the author has a selection of photographs that he uses as an example to discuss topics like framing, symmetry, different types of light, and the dangers of perfection. The book is actually a
Teena in Toronto
I take a lot of pictures with my phone and/or camera but it's been a while since I've taken photographs ... yes, there's a difference. I like reading books about photography and using cameras.

This book is directed to beginners to give them a high level explanation of the different things they should know about their camera:

* Composition - framing, symmetry, getting close, leading lines, etc.
* Exposure - modes (program, shutter, aperture and manual), ISO, exposure compensation, etc.
* Light -
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Year of Creativity: A Craft Date Planner to Meet, Share, and Create
  • The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas
  • The Escape Manual for Introverts
  • 101 More Mixed Media Techniques: An exploration of the versatile world of mixed media art
  • Thoreau at Walden
  • Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found
  • The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday
  • Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life
  • Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with a Film or Digital Camera
  • Calm: Working through life's daily stresses to find a peaceful centre
  • Ayoade On Top
  • The Polaroid Book: Selections from the Polaroid Collections of Photography
  • The Octopus Museum: Poems
  • Oculus: Poems
  • First Time Embroidery and Cross Stitch: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide - Learn By Doing * Step-by-Step Basics + Projects
  • Epic Vegan: Wild and Over-the-Top Plant-Based Recipes
  • The Short Story of Art: A Pocket Guide to Key Movements, Works, Themes, & Techniques (Art History Introduction, A Guide to Art)
  • Japanese Home Cooking: Simple Meals, Authentic Flavors
See similar books…

Goodreads is hiring!

If you like books and love to build cool products, we may be looking for you.
Learn more »
“You don’t take a photograph, you make it’ (Ansel Adams)” 0 likes
More quotes…