A Site for Photographers by Photographers

Home > Learn About Photography > Making Photographs

Featured Equipment Deals

Latest Equipment Articles

4 Outdoor & Adventure Photo Packs Read More

4 Outdoor & Adventure Photo Packs

Photo packs have come a long way in the past decade, especially those that are targeted toward outdoor and adventure photographers. Alaska-based adventure photographer Dan Bailey takes a closer look...

Latest Learning Articles

Getting Started in Video Read More

Getting Started in Video

Photographer Ted Kawalerski made the transition from still to motion and has never looked back. Ted takes you through the steps to get started in a medium that will open your photography business to...


Making Photographs

a textbook by Philip Greenspun, June 1999 (updated January 2007)


Most photography books start out talking about the various kinds of cameras that are available. Then they talk about lenses, film, and exposure. Only at the very end do they talk about light. This is strange because most people who take good photos seem to start by pulling together light, subjects, and composition. After that is all figured out, then the rummaging through the equipment cabinet to pull out the right camera and lens begins.

This is a photography textbook designed to reflect the way that good photographers think about taking pictures.

Is this the best textbook for beginning photographers? Certainly not. There are many excellent ones on paper, a few of which are reviewed in the book review section of photo.net. However, if you like this way of thinking about photographs and you don't have a paper book in front of you, this online book might be useful.

Hate.  Manhattan 1995. Elephant Seal Colony.  Just north of the Hearst Castle.  San Simeon, California.