Good Books

Travel Photography Books


“A Selection of Good Buys”

If you were to read all the travel photography books available, you would have no time to take photographs.

How do you pick a few which will help you?

The books listed here have all been read and recommended by Travel Group members. Some of them cover a broad range of topics and techniques whilst others specialize on specific areas and subject types.


Click a title to go straight to the review.

They have all helped their readers to improve and progress.

If you have read one which is not on the list and you would recommend it, then please tell us about it -



On Composition and Improvisation - Larry Fisk

It is easy to forget the basic elements of good photographic composition when visiting somewhere new and the urge to press the shutter takes over.

I came across this book recently in the excellent Photographers Gallery book shop in London’s Ramillies Street (a paradise for lovers of photographic books!). By Larry Fisk, a well-respected American photographer and lecturer, it has reminded me just how important composition is no matter how fresh the vista is in front of my lens. Nearly every page is illustrated and the images accompanied by pithy yet insightful discussion as to what makes each picture special.

The printing quality is excellent as you would expect from a book published by Aperture. The only reservation is that all of the pictures are monochrome, but this is no bad thing as colour can be a distraction when considering how pictures can be improved.

Highly recommended for all travel photographers!



Developing Vision and Style - Eddie Ephraums

The authors are among Britain's best known and most respected landscape photographers; all three also write about their work in books and magazines and regularly lead the popular workshops organised by their company, Light & Land, in Britain and abroad.
In this book, they have combined forces to share their wide-ranging experience and expertise with those who aspire, as they do, to create images that reflect their own visions of a chosen landscape and which have a distinctive personal style. Alongside a portfolio of their latest work, each of the three authors writes about the genre for which they are so well-known: how they came to it, what inspires them, how each developed his own particular style.

The book also features photographs submitted in response to an invitation to participants in Light & Land workshops and readers of "Outdoor Photography" magazine accompanied by comments, critiques and advice from the three authors who suggest ways in which these contributors might further develop and refine their work.

The combination of stunning imagery with inspirational and insightful three-to-one advice makes "Light & Land" a truly unique experience, which no landscape enthusiast will want to do without. This is the second book in the "Light & Land" series which was launched in 2006 with "Working the Light".


First Light - Joe Cornish

Drawing on 20 years' experience, Joe Cornish, one of Britain's most distinguished landscape photographers, has distilled the key elements of his craft into a collection of thought-provoking essays accompanied by a selection of his photographs. 

The subjects range from his beloved North Yorkshire, where he now makes his home, to the rocky canyons of the Colorado Plateau and from the rugged Cornish coast to the rainforests of New Zealand's Fjordland. They have been chosen to reflect the enormous range of his work and to illustrate how he puts his working philosophy into practice.

The text accompanying each photograph describes how the picture came to be taken and the considerations - light, weather, timing, composition - which dictated the choice of viewpoint, the selection of film and filters, and so on. Smaller images illustrate alternative shots, or other, less successful treatments, of the same subject or theme. Although full technical data for each photograph is given, the real fascination of the book lies in Joe Cornish's explanations of the thought process that went into creating each of the photographs, many of which were captured after careful planning, while others were created by taking advantage of an unexpected opportunity or a moment of sudden inspiration.

These very personal accounts are full of practical advice on subjects ranging from anticipating changes in the weather to the use of filters in order to capture colour as the eye sees it when, unfiltered, the film might show something very different.



This Land - Roly Smith & Joe Cornish

Joe Cornish is widely acknowledged as Britain’s finest landscape photographer. In this new collection he explores fifty of the most amazing landscapes in Britain.

Taking its cue from these Isles' extraordinarily diverse geology, This Land ranges from the ancient quartzite rocks of the Scottish Highlands to the gritstones and limestones of the English Pennines and the rolling chalk downs of Southern England.

There are sections on Mountains, Islands, Forests and Coasts, and the book concludes with a fascinating look at the ways in which British people have shaped the landscape over thousands of years.

Accompanying text by leading outdoors writer and campaigner Roly Smith explains how each type of rock creates its own distinctive landforms and vegetation, and how these have often been made the subject of local folklore and legend.

There is room for some personal recollections from Joe and Roly about their own experiences in these magical places.


Leading Guide To Travel And Location Photography - Steve Davey

Broken down by technique and photography style, rather than destination, the layout of this book makes it easy for you to decide what kind of picture you're trying to take and find, at a glance, the right techniques for you - whether you are at a local beauty spot or thousands of miles from home.

It exhaustively covers the technical and practical aspects of travel photography before looking at how to tweak and improve your pictures on a computer, and includes a section for those who would like to make some money out of their hobby.
  • Fully revised and updated to reflect changes in technology and to encompass Steve Davey's new experiences.
  • Emphasizes techniques for taking wonderful photos, no matter where you are in the world.
  • Features an extensive inspiration section, giving hints and tips for picture taking scenarios.
  • Ideal for all levels, from beginner to advanced.
  • Packed with stunning pictures and anecdotes from Steve Davey's many travels.


The Street Photographer's Manual - David Gibson

Street photography has been around since the very first cameras were invented, producing some of the most poignant images of our time.

Today, a wave of new technology has given this photographic genre a new lease of life, from phone cameras to specialist lenses to digital zooms.

The Street Photography Manual leads the reader through a series of fully illustrated tutorials, including how to shoot a face in a crowd and how to train your eye to observe and capture the unexpected.

Readers will be inspired by some of the best street photographers in the world, and then go forth and create their own memorable images. 250+ illustrations.


Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots - John Batdorff
Whether you’re heading to Paris or San Francisco, Patagonia or Yosemite, you need a book that goes beyond the camera manual to teach you how to take great shots. This guide by pro photographer John Batdorff will help you conquer the fundamentals of travel and street photography and capture stunning pictures.

Batdorff starts with the basics–composition, light, and exposure–and how to plan and pack the right equipment for different types of shooting conditions. He also covers all the key camera features that affect your image. Once you’ve captured those shots, John takes you step-by-step through an effective workflow in Lightroom to organize your images and develop your own personal style.

This guide is for beginning-to-intermediate digital photographers to understand the basics and bring their own unique artistic expression to any situation whether you’re taking landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, or food and drink shots.

Beautifully illustrated with large, compelling photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the image you want every time you pack up your camera and take it on the road.


Photography and The Art of Seeing - Freeman Patterson

This Third Edition familiarizes readers with the traditional principles of composition and visual design. The jargon-free text provides practical techniques and innovative exercises for breaking with traditional concepts of design to enable the photographer to develop a keen awareness of subject matter and a personal direction.

Topics include: - Barriers to seeing - Learning to observe: rethinking the familiar - Learning to imagine: abstracting and selecting - Learning to express: Subject matter and the photographer - Elements and principles of visual design and more.

This edition of Photography and the Art of Seeing is updated to include technical guidelines adapted for both digital and film photographers and includes photographs from Freeman Patterson's personal collection. Extended captions include valuable technical information and personal commentary reflective of the superb craftsmanship and stunning photography from one of the most highly acclaimed and celebrated photographers worldwide.


Mountain Light - Galen Rowell

Rowell is preeminent among photographers of mountains. His creations carry extraordinary visual impact: the affinity for light that marks his personal vision is supported by superb technical achievement.

His abilities as a climber have allowed access to some of the world's most remote landscapes. This book presents 80 of Rowell's favorite photographs, grouped according to instructive similarities ("Light Against Light," "Integrated Vision," etc.). Accompanying descriptions cover not only technical data but the circumstances which surrounded the making of the image.


  Photography Essentials: The Vision - David Noton
We all know about the most important equipment needed for our craft; a Photographer’s Eye. The ability to see strong pictures in a multitude of situations is a fundamental skill to be nurtured, but actually we need to do better than that; on top of recognising the photographic potential in front of us there and then we need to be able to previsualise, predict and plan to be there camera in hand in the first place. It is rare to randomly stumble over the photographic opportunities we crave; somehow we need to improve our chances of being there, ready and waiting when the light is right. Where? What? How? That’s what The Vision is all about; the process that gives birth to a picture from the conception of an idea through to the point the shutter opens.

The Vision circumnavigates the globe as acclaimed writer and award-winning photographer, David Noton scrutinises in a detailed and logical progression how a successful photograph comes to be, from conception to exposure, and from Burma to Utah. Each Chapter examines the art of photography and takes you through the process from the spawning of an idea to the Decisive Moment when the shutter is opened. Each chapter is interspersed with personal and witty diary entries from David's travels along with photo essays and a Gallery that analyse how the photographs were achieved.


  Photography Essentials: Full Frame - David Noton
Full Frame sees top travel and landscape photographer David Noton set about achieving 'the perfect shoot'.

Taking ten varying locations, from snowy mountain peaks to coastline, bustling Asian markets to idyllic paradise islands, he reveals invaluable photography tips on how he sets about capturing the essence of a location, explains his creative process and reveals the secrets that make his work so widely admired.

The highest quality printing showcases Noton's peerless photography techniques and his entertaining and informative text and captions give an invaluable insight into his photographic art.


  Photography Essentials: Waiting for the Light - David Noton

A great deal has been said about this first book by the world renowned landscape photographer David Noton. All of it is complementary. All of it is accurate.

If you only beg, steal, borrow or buy one book on photography this year - make it this one. There are thousands of books which tell you what to do when faced with your chosen subject. David's book explains what most of the other books miss out - how to find the subject and then show it in it's best light. Read it, re-read it, then do so again - when you've done that, study his DVD "Chasing the Light".



Transient Light: A Photographic Guide to Capturing the Medium - Ian Cameron

Although aimed at keen amateur photographers who wish to break into the professional market, the superb images and technical expertise offer something for all levels of skill and will also inspire those just becoming interested in photography and more established photographers who need to refocus their photographic motivation.

This book's primary goal is to draw the attention of readers to the absolute importance of light and how to make the best use of it, with an emphasis on being in the right place at the right time, anticipating fine light and ensuring that for the short duration that those qualities are present, they are successfully recorded to film or pixel.

However, composition and technical expertise are also vitally important and Ian outlines the best field techniques for choosing the correct exposure, discusses depth of field, hyper-focal focusing, exposure bracketing and the use of appropriate filters.


Working the Light - Eddie Ephraums

Charlie Waite, Joe Cornish and David Ward are among Britain's best-known landscape photographers, and all three regularly lead the popular workshops organized by Waite's company, Light and Land, in Britain and abroad.

Now, in this first in a series of books based on the work of Light and Land, they each write about the genre: how they came to it, what inspires them, their current projects and the directions in which they see their work developing.

The book is divided into three sections, each introduced by one of the authors: Wilderness (Joe Cornish), Inhabited (Charlie Waite) and Inner Landscapes (David Ward). Alongside portfolio of their latest work, each section also includes a selection of work submitted by participants in the Light and Land workshops accompanied by comments and critiques from the authors.



Travel Photographer of the Year - Christopher Coe

The very latest book from Travel Photographer of the Year, Journey Five features the winning images from the 2012 awards.

This is a new size and look for the Journey series. It measures 22.5cm x 22.5cm, and contains 96 pages. It is softback, and easy to carry and cost-effective to ship. But small packages can contain great things, and Journey Five is every bit as high quality, beautifully designed and printed, stunning to look at and pleasing to own as its larger predecessors.

And it's not just the size that has changed: Journey Five features the technical information on each award-winning image, together with comments on their images from the photographers - a new departure for the Journey books!



National Geographic Photography Field Guide - Peter K Burian & Robert Caputo


Written by two National Geographic writer/photographers, this fairly comprehensive introduction to taking photographs details basic equipment (cameras, lenses, and other gear), film, light, composition, exposure metering, electronic flash, subjects for 35mm photography, special situations (underwater and aerial photography), and computer imaging.

But perhaps the most interesting and informative sections of the book are the profiles of Sam Abell, William Albert Allard, Annie Griffiths Belt, David Alan Harvey, James L. Stanfield, Michael Yamashita, and other notable photographers. The book concludes with helpful information on travel, photography publications, websites, and other resources. As one would expect, it is amply illustrated with exquisite, high-impact, color images made on location.

This substantial book aimed at photographers looking for practical advice from the pros is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.



Travels with Watercolour - Lucy Willis

"Travels with Watercolour" is a book for every watercolour painter who loves to travel - whether it's the English coast or India - and wants to make the most of painting on location. Packed with practical advice, as well as 150 of Lucy Willis' beautiful paintings, it provides all the information necessary for the painter to plan and enjoy painting - wherever their travels take them.

The book covers: equipment, including how to travel light by using a limited palette of colours, how to make the best use of a sketchbook, and the most practical way to carry watercolour paper; the practical aspects of choosing locations - how to deal with inquisitive onlookers, unfamiliar weather conditions, and how to respect the cultures of other countries; and, the watercolour techniques that are best suited to location work, enabling the painter to capture a scene quickly and effectively.

It also tells what to paint, from dramatic skies in Tanzania to bathers on the beach in Cornwall; and how to follow up location work back at home, using sketches, photographs and notes to develop paintings made on location or create new ones.Lucy Willis' techniques for painting anywhere is new in paperback. Landscape Photography Books

It offers tips on the best watercolour techniques to be used on location; tells how to follow up location sketches and photos when painting back at home; and, stunning paintings from one of the most popular watercolourists.