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Books/resources on the artistic side of photograpy?

Okay. There are lots of books out there that are eager to tell people what is exposure, f-stops and talk about all the cool gadgets one can but for their DSLRs.

Now, when someone grows up, might realise that all the photo geekery he's got didn't really help him to take better pictures (maybe sharper, not really better though), but instead his photography sense and artistic development that really paid off and the well focused and pointed 18-55mm is actually great.

Now, after you reached that point, if you could tell your younger self to read a book, which one would be?

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    What kind of photography? Different kinds of photography have different artistic form, and there aren't really many one-size-fits-all books that can teach you how to be artistic in all forms of photography. (There may be one...I'll provide an answer with that one, though.) – jrista Mar 10 '11 at 23:47
  • Oy, I forgot we had another "Books for artistic photography" thread. Nice catch! – jrista Mar 11 '11 at 1:25

It is difficult to find a book that services the artistic side of every kind of photography. Different kinds, such as landscape, portrait, architectural, etc. lend themselves to a different artistic outlook and a different artistic flare. That said, one of the best photography books I've ever purchased (and read almost every word) is Michael Freeman's famous book:

This book is a rare gem, in that it does a pretty superb job of covering all the critical artistic topics of photography in a generally agnostic way. Michael Freeman is a talented photographer, and his communication of compositional aspects of photography is second to none. You may not learn everything about the artistic side of a specific kind of photography from this book, but you'll definitely learn the general basics that can be applied to most forms of photography.

Two other books by Michael Freeman should also find their way into your collection:

These three books comprise my favorites out of my entire collection, and have been the most useful (and most used) over the two or so years I've been doing photography. They do not get into the specifics of any specific field of photography, so if you are looking for detailed information information about a single field, you will have to look deeper. I generally do landscape photography, and I can offer some superb books for that field that can help you expand your artistic horizons beyond the fundamentals covered in Freeman's books. For other fields, like portraiture, architectural photography, street, etc., others can hopefully help you find what you need.

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