I’m always striving to improve my photography and to that extent I do a lot of reading. I’m also a big fan of e-books. I can load up my iPhone with a whole library and be able to read a large selection wherever I might be. Some of the most informative photography e-books I have found are the Craft & Vision series which are only $5 each and contain a wealth of photography information. The authors are pro photographers with years of experience and a passion for teaching others.
But even $5 can break the bank at times and honestly, don’t we all want high quality free stuff? Of course we do! That’s why I’ve compiled this list from resources around the web of FREE photography e-books to help you learn and improve your photography.
11 Ways to Improve Your Photography – Craft & Vision
This is probably one of the best free photography books out there. It’s a book of advice from Craft & Vision authors on what they wished someone had told them when they were starting out. What did they wish they had learned sooner. There are lots of gems in this book from photographers like David DuChemin, Martin Bailey and Michael Frye.
Before the Shutter – Anne McKinnell
Anne is a photographer, writer and nomad who put together this amazing e-book on how to prepare for a shoot. She offers up advice and tips on how to plan for capturing that amazing photo you’ve been wanting. Much of it is based on her own personal experience traveling around the US. She also has another e-book entitled 8 Types of Natural Light which is a great resource for learning how to shoot in different and often challenging light environments.
A Photographers E-Guide to Making Sharp Photographs – Scott Bourne
Scott Bourne is probably one of the best known names in Photography and his books and teaching materials are well received. I’ve read several of his books and enjoy his writing style. This is a free photography e-book on how to get sharp images. I know how frustrating it can be to have a photo that looks good on the tiny screen on the back of your camera but when you get home and load it on the big screen you can see that the sharpness isn’t quite there. This book will show you the secrets to getting sharp photos every time both in camera and in post processing.
13 Tips for Wildflower Photography – Steve Berardi (PhotoNaturalist)
Spring is here and that means wildflowers will be blooming. Ever wonder how photographers capture those amazing photos of blooming flowers? This free e-book will answer those questions and help you make amazing Spring wildflower photos of your own. This book talks about everything from controlling the light, nailing the perfect exposure, focusing and how to deal with wind. Steve also has another great free photography e-book on photographing dragonflies. Make sure and check that one out as well.
The Shy Photographer’s Guide to Confidence – Lauren Lim
As a shy photographer I’ve had to deal with issues of confidence. Am I good enough? Do I have the skills to do this job? These kinds of feelings can definitely get you down. This free guide steps you through a process of getting through that and building confidence in your work and your own abilities. If you are a photographer that struggles with confidence (probably everyone) then this is a must read book. And it’s FREE!!! Lauren Lim did an awesome job on this one.
Essays on Inspiration, Creativity & Vision in Photography – Scott Bourne
Another Scott Bourne free photography e-book that focuses on ways to inspire your own creativity & vision in photography. It’s a series of essays that Scott has written over the years. It’s an interesting read.
Street Photography for the Purist – Chris Weeks
I’ve always been curious about street photography. This book was intriguing so I took a look and enjoyed it. If anything the photos contained inside are worth looking at but I also gained an inside look at the world of street photography.
Lighting 101 – David Hobby
This is the Lighting 101 course that is on David Hobby’s Strobist website. If you are not familiar with this site it is probably one of the best resources for off-camera flash. This PDF is basically the Strobist 101 course (which you can go through on David’s site). If you want to learn off-camera lighting techniques on the cheap then this is the guide to start with. There is also a Lighting 102 course that you can go through as well on the Strobist site.
Good Photos in Bad Light – Darren Wiggett
I’ve only recently stumbled upon oopoomoo.com and Darren Wiggett. I really enjoy his work and the wealth of teaching he provides via the blog and newsletters. This free e-book is all about how to deal with bad lighting and still get great results. As he says in the book, “There is no such thing as bad light, only bad attitudes.” So if you get upset when the light falls flat on the day of your big shoot just remember all that you learn from this book and adjust your perspective. If you want to come away with a good photo every time regardless of the lighting then check out this free ebook.
The Photographers Guide to Depth of Field – LightStalking
Confused by what depth of field (DOF) is and what it means for your photos? This is the guide for you. And if you haven’t checked it out yet, Lightstalking is a great website and source of all things photography.
Free Photoshelter E-Books
Photoshelter is a photo hosting site for photographers that provides websites and helps market your photos. It’s a pay service and I’ve heard good things about them and know many photographers that use them and love them. They also have a whole library of free photography e-books that you can access. They are focused on the business and social media side of photography so if you are looking for excellent free resources for starting or growing your photography business then have a look at what they offer. It’s FREE!
Perfecting Your Product Photography – Meylah
This book is a compilation of basic tips for taking better product photos. Whether you are doing stock photography or just want professional looking photos to sell your products on eBay or your own site, this book will help you make better photos.
Lightroom Tips & Tricks – Joe Barrett
There are two volumes to this free e-book set and while they are not updated to reflect LR4 there is some really good information here if you are using an earlier version or are just getting started with LR.
Technique – Andrew Smith
This book is written by a working photographer and is a summary of how he runs his business. It’s a mix of business, photographic technique and his own personal thoughts on customer service. A good read if you are just starting your photography business.
I’m always looking for additional free photography resources so if you know of additional free photography e-books please let me know and I will add them to this list. Growing as a photographer is all about learning and experimenting. Always be learning and shooting.