Welcome to DUPA's Recommended Summer Reading List!

As part of our ongoing commitment to enhancing the skills and knowledge of our photography enthusiasts, we’ve curated a selection of essential reads covering both analogue and digital photography.


Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting out, these books are chosen to elevate your understanding and mastery of the craft. Each title is a gateway to learning, and we encourage everyone to explore at least one. You’ll find that even a single book can significantly enrich your perspective and technical prowess in photography.


Dive into any of these recommendations for a rewarding educational experience this summer!

Pro Tip: Almost all of these books are available from the TCD library or DUPA’s collection. If you prefer to purchase a copy, we recommend using abebooks.co.uk as all of these books can be found used for very low cost. We have included the ISBNs for easy lookup!

Photography, 12th ed. by Barbara London (2016)

A traditional textbook, this comprehensive edition continues to educate on the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography, blending traditional techniques with contemporary practices. Covering both digital and analog methods, it offers insights into the history, theory, and application of photography. (ISBN: 978-0134482026)

The Camera by Ansel Adams (1980)

A foundational guide that dives into the workings of the camera, exploring its technical aspects and the principles behind creating compelling photographs. Ansel Adams shares insights on how to effectively use different types of cameras and lenses to capture the essence of your subject. (ISBN 9780821210925). 

The Negative by Ansel Adams (1981)

Focusing on the heart of the photographic process, this book offers a detailed examination of the negative, teaching readers how to control and manipulate contrast, lighting, and exposure to achieve the highest quality negatives. (ISBN 9780821211311).

The Print by Ansel Adams (1984)

The final step in Adams’ photography series, this book covers the process of transforming negatives into expressive prints. It includes comprehensive techniques for darkroom printing, emphasising the importance of creative vision in the printmaking process. (ISBN 9780821215265).

Ilford Monochrome Darkroom Practice, 3rd ed. by Jack H. Coote (1996)

A practical manual that covers all aspects of black and white darkroom work, offering step-by-step guidance on film development, printing techniques, and troubleshooting common issues. 

(ISBN 9780240513683).

The Film Developing Cookbook by Bill Troop, Steve Anchell (2019)

This book is full of advanced techniques for black and white film development, providing recipes for film developers and in-depth explanations of the chemical processes involved in film photography. (ISBN 9781138204874).

The Darkroom Handbook, 2nd ed. by Michael Langford (1984)

The classic and comprehensive guide to darkroom photography, covering both basic and advanced techniques. It includes instructions on setting up a darkroom, as well as detailed information on printing, processing, and film handling. This is a must read for darkroom enthusiasts. (ISBN 9780852231883).

The Film Photography Handbook, 3rd ed. By Chris Marquardt and Monika Andrae (2023)

This updated edition offers a complete overview of film photography in the digital age. It addresses choosing the right equipment, film types, shooting techniques, and the basics of developing and scanning, catering to both newcomers and seasoned film photographers. (ISBN 9781681989419).

The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography - Book 1, revised ed. by John P. Schaefer (1999)

Based on Ansel Adams’ teachings, this guide introduces the fundamental concepts of photography, from understanding your camera to mastering exposure and composition, making it ideal for beginners. (ISBN 9780821225752).

The Ansel Adams Guide: Basic Techniques of Photography - Book 2 by John P. Schaefer (1998)

Continuing from Book 1, this volume delves deeper into creative techniques for visual expression in photography, covering more advanced topics such as darkroom work and the Zone System. (ISBN 9780821219560).

Way Beyond Monochrome, 2nd ed. By Ralph Lambrecht (2017)

An advanced manual for black and white photography, offering in-depth discussions on photographic theory, exposure control, film development, and the printing process, suitable for photographers looking to elevate their craft to the next level. (ISBN 9781138297371).

Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual, 3rd ed. by Henry Horenstein (2004)

This book is a classic text that covers the fundamental principles of black and white photography. It’s very accessible for beginners, but also deep enough for more experienced photographers looking to brush up on the basics. (ISBN 9780316373050).

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera, 4th ed. by Bryan Peterson (2016)

While not exclusively about film photography, this book thoroughly explains the concept of exposure, which is fundamental to both digital and film photography. It’s a great resource for understanding how to manipulate aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to achieve creative effects. (ISBN: 9781607748502).

Silver Gelatin: A User’s Guide to Liquid Photographic Emulsions by Martin Reed, Sarah Jones (2001)

For those interested in exploring more about the chemical processes behind film photography, this book offers detailed insights into working with silver gelatin, which is a key component in black-and-white photographic printing. (ISBN 9780952434610).

Light Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, 6th ed. by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, Paul Fuqua, Robin Reid (2021)

Understanding lighting is crucial for creating compelling photographs. This book covers the theory and practice of lighting in photography, which is applicable to both film and digital formats. It provides a solid foundation for mastering photographic lighting. (ISBN: 9780367860271).

Focus On Composing Photos by Peter Ensenberger (2011)

Composition is as important as the technical aspects of photography. This book delves into the principles of composition and design in photography, helping readers to enhance the artistic appeal of their photographs. (ISBN: 9780240815053).

Alternative Photographic Processes: Crafting Handmade Images by Brady Wilks (2015)

For those interested in exploring non-traditional and historical photographic techniques, this book provides a comprehensive guide to alternative processes, such as cyanotype, van dyke brown, and platinum/palladium printing, offering a blend of art, science, and history. (ISBN: 9781138808683).

Elements of Black and White Printing by Carson Graves (2001)

Focusing specifically on the craft of black and white printing, this book guides readers through the entire process from choosing the right paper and chemicals, to fine-tuning the print for the best possible result. (ISBN: 9780240803128).

Understanding Shutter Speed: Creative Action and Low-Light Photography Beyond 1/125, 2nd ed. by Bryan Peterson (2008)

This book delves into the intricacies of shutter speed, a crucial aspect of both digital and film photography that controls motion blur and exposure time. Peterson offers insightful tips and techniques for using shutter speed creatively to capture action shots, freeze motion, or create blur for artistic effect in various lighting conditions. A valuable resource for photographers looking to enhance their skills in handling movement and low-light scenarios. (ISBN: 9780817463014).

The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski (2007)

Focusing on what makes a photograph great, Szarkowski examines the elements of composition, framing, the significance of detail, and the photographer’s intent. This book is essential in understanding the critical aspects that contribute to the power and beauty of photographic image. (ISBN: 9780870705274).

Understanding Close-Up Photography: Creative Close Encounters with Or Without a Macro Lens by Bryan Peterson (2009)

Peterson demystifies the art of close-up photography, offering tips for capturing detailed images with or without specialised equipment. Focuses on technique, lighting, and perspective to bring small subjects to life. (ISBN: 9780817427191).

Bryan Peterson Photography: A Master Class in Creating Outstanding Images by Bryan Peterson (2021)

 Bryan presents 70 student-produced photographs alongside his own, identical photographs. The difference? Bryan executes his expert knowledge of angle, aperture, lens, lighting, and so much more to produce impeccable photographs. Included are “exercises” for fine-tuning your camera skills. (ISBN: 9780770433093)

Understanding Portrait Photography: How to Shoot Great Pictures of People Anywhere by Bryan Peterson (2020)

This guide teaches how to capture stunning portraits in any environment. Peterson shares techniques on lighting, composition, and interaction with subjects to create photographs that tell a story. Perfect for photographers at any skill level looking to improve their portrait photography. 

(ISBN: 9780770433130). 

Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color, and Composition in Photography, 3rd ed. by Bryan Peterson (2015)

Peterson refreshes his classic guide, emphasising the importance of vision in creating outstanding photos. Covers design, colour, and composition with new photographs and insights to inspire both novice and experienced photographers to view their environment with fresh eyes. 

(ISBN: 9781607748274).

Understanding Color in Photography: Using Color, Composition, and Exposure to Create Vivid Photos by Bryan Peterson with Susana Heide Schellenberg (2017)

This book guides readers through the complex use of colour in photography. It provides practical advice on how to use colour composition and exposure to create vivid images, exploring the emotional effects of colour and its application in various genres. (ISBN: 9780770433116).

Best Business Practices for Photographers, 3rd ed. by John Harrington (2017)

This comprehensive guide covers the essential aspects of running a photography business, from legal and financial to marketing strategies and negotiations. Harrington provides practical advice, tools, and real-world examples to help photographers navigate the complexities of the industry and succeed professionally. (ISBN: 9781681982663).

Understanding Photography: Master Your Digital Camera and Capture That Perfect Photo by Sean T. McHugh (2019)

A comprehensive guide to mastering digital photography, this book demystifies camera settings, techniques, and principles for capturing high-quality images. McHugh combines technical expertise with practical advice, making it suitable for photographers at all levels who wish to improve their skills in digital photography. (ISBN: 9781593278946).

The Art of Landscape Photography, 2nd ed. by Ross Hoddinott and Mark Bauer (2014)

This book delves into the aesthetics and techniques of capturing stunning landscape photographs. Hoddinott and Bauer share their expertise on composition, lighting, weather, and the use of filters to create breathtaking images of natural scenes. A must-read for photographers passionate about embracing the beauty of landscapes through the lens. (ISBN: 9781781454480). 

For those interested, linked below is a reflection sheet to be written after you have read a book. No pressure, this isn’t an assignment, but un opportunity to make additional meaning out of your reading.