Three books that aren’t about Photography.

But will help you capture better photos!

I am fortunate to live in India, where books are not taxed and are therefor incredibly cheap. This week I take a look at three books from my shelf. These books are not directly about photography, so are a good break from heavier reads. As photographers we are part of the art world and should look to it for inspiration. Theses books are all quick reads, leaving plenty of time for taking more photos!

Art Matters by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

Let me make this clear from the start. Photography is art, and I believe that it is art in all forms, from travel and macro to documentary and street. If you are a photographer, then you are an artist.

Art matters and so does photography. According to Gaiman, it is not only art that matters but also libraries, reading and daydreaming. This book encourages you to make good art, no matter what happens. Gaiman also praises the artist who does not know the rules – as these artists can achieve the impossible. Buy this book or steal it from a friend, read it then give it to someone who needs reminding of why we should all make good art! It is a short read, with pictures that underline the point that we should all ‘make good art’.

Failed It by Erik Kessels

Fail, fail and fail again. We have all failed at taking photos at some point. I fail 99% of the time, so it is something I am really good at! Erik Kessels is a genius at telling us why failing is so important. Photography is entwined within this book, even though the topic is not expressly camera related. One classic example is when Kessel looks at the work of Street Photographer, Matt Stuart, whose work often looks at the humorous side to failure.

If you’re not making mistakes. If you’re not regularly feeling stupid. If you don’t believe your ideas are inadequate. If no one is arching an eyebrow while slowly, condescendingly asking why on earth you’re doing this. If your ideas aren’t routinely mocked when shared with those who follow the rules.

You’re probably doing it wrong.’

Erik Kessels

This is a great lazy Sunday morning read, plus it has photos (failed ones and good ones). Highly recommended.

Think Like an Artist by Will Gompertz

I have read both ‘Think Like an Artist’ and ‘Steal Like an Artist’. I’m writing about the book shown below as someone pinched the other. This is a slightly longer read than the previous book, but still manages to be light and humorous. The book has pictures and quotes written in very large fonts. In terms of an easy read, this is way ahead of Sontag’s ‘On Photography’ (which does not even include any photos!).

This book does not really deal with photography, so again, you will have to believe that as a photographer you are also an artist. Once you can do that, this book will lead you to a think Like an Artist and Lead a More Creative, Productive Life. Now who doesn’t want that…

That’s all today folks. Keep Clicking,


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