Don’t buy Gear, Buy Books!

img_0564Yes, please hear me out!

It’s not the newest and greatest gear that makes a photographer. It’s his experience, his skill and above all his knowledge of photography. And what better way to experience the knowledge of great photographers than to buy their books! Or books about their work. 

OK, you say, there’s the internet and I can view their pictures any moment I like for free! Great, if that’s your thing, just go ahead and be my guest. But allow me to remind you that those pixels on the screen are not the real thing. They will never convey the impact of a real, hardware photograph or book.phototiles-1A real book is really on another level!. You can handle it, examine it in changing light, pore over it without getting sore eyes from screen glare. It’s a thing the photographer made (or had made), that he thought long over, that holds all his heartfelt enthusiasm. The sequence of the photos, the feel of the paper, the look of it with the images standing out…. Nothing can come close to this.

Use the net to research the masters but also young new talents – lesser known photographers who are often at least as good as them. Get their books, encourage them, empower them to get even better….

©Matt Stuart – All that Life can afford


The book is not only a collection of photographs. It’s a complete work of art in itself and expresses more than the individual photos that make it up. It speaks for itself, tells a story, conveys feelings.

So please, do not invest only in gear but get the real things. Throw some money at the people who work hard to make great works of art and help them along to do more and even better things instead of looking at pixels for free. As a bonus, this will keep tham in business, conform them in their work and make them produce ever more and better work.

©Trent Parke – Minutes to Midnight

Photo books (well apart from the original works by the greatest masters) must not be expensive. They normally range from about 10€ to less than 100€ depending on the notoriety of the photographer, the quality of the paper and printing and the b. That’s the price of some gimmick you buy though you don’t really need it.

Why not buy a book once an month, or each two months and enjoy it.

There’s absolutely no problem with browsing the net to get inspiration and to read about the masters of photogaphy, but I think to hget the real feeling for the art you need a morer personnal relations to the work. The Print… or The Book!

©Dave Powell – ShootTokyo

I will try to review some books in the following weeks to give you a taste of the goodness you will get!

For the moment, here’s a quick list of nice books about photographers and their work, compiled by Eric Kim:

And by the way, why not try your hand at making Your Own Book? I must not be expensive, a simple magazine format is very affordable and makes for a great gift!

As always, thanks for reading!

7 thoughts on “Don’t buy Gear, Buy Books!

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  1. I love photograhy books….hopefuly I will receive some on Christmas. I wished these: Viktor Kolar – Ostrava, Tomki Nemec – Vaclav Havel and Karel Cudlin – Photograps 1976-2016. All czech photographers.

    Liked by 1 person

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