As we head into the summer months (at least up here in the northern hemisphere), it's important to keep on learning about photography and finding ways to improve your craft, even if you'd rather lay on a beach somewhere!
Fortunately, the list of great books for photographers is a long one...
Better still, many of the best photography books are quick reads that are easy to digest and can have a significant impact on your work behind the lens.
Without further ado, here's our recommended reading for photographers for the coming month.
National Geographic The Photo Ark: One Man's Quest to Document the World's Animals
The sad reality of the world in which we live is that many animals are endangered and many more close to it. Soon, some may very well become extinct.
That fact has driven Joel Sartore to compile National Geographic's Photo Ark, a collection of breathtaking wildlife photography that captures images of animals from around the world.
Visiting zoos and wildlife centers, Sartore has already photographed more than 6,000 different species - with another 6,000 planned for the coming years.
Along with each image is eloquent writing from Douglas Chadwick, a renowned wildlife writer, to help you understand the importance of saving our planet's wildlife.
Each gorgeous photo is inspiring in and of itself, but taken together, this collection of images is sure to get you excited to head outside with your camera to photograph the animals in your neck of the woods.
The Art of Photography: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression
Bruce Barnbaum's The Art of Photography is a classic photography text, first published in 1994 and revised for the second time in 2017.
The book is readable and understandable for photographers of all skill levels, and includes almost 200 breathtaking photos to capture your imagination and inspire you to become a better photographer.
The book also includes charts, graphs, tables, and other teaching tools that help you understand seminal concepts in photography so that you can implement them into your workflow and find your personal voice as a photographer.
Kids: Photos to Brighten Your Day
If you're having a bad day, a tough day at the office, have become frustrated with your photography, or otherwise need a pick-me-up, Kids: Photos to Brighten Your Day is the perfect antidote.
This collection of images by Tracy Sweeney is a joyous celebration of kids, the magic of childhood, and the fun (and funny) interactions that they often have with one another.
The portraits in this book are staged to evoke the whimsy of being a kid, and will bring a smile to your face no matter who you are or how bad your day has been!
If you're looking for a little levity in your day, this book should definitely be on your must-have list!
8 Types of Natural Light That Will Add Drama to Your Photographs
The essential component of any good photograph is high-quality light, and this eBook by Anne McKinnell gives you a detailed overview of the different types of light that you can use to give your images that extra visual punch.
From backlighting to twilight, sidelighting to diffused light, and everything in between, 8 Types of Natural Light gives you techniques to use that will allow you to capitalize on the best qualities of natural light for your photographs.
Beautiful Birds of Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula
This hardbound, museum-quality book is stuffed with more than 100 incredible photos of birds that inhabit Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
Each photo is accompanied by a narrative that dives deep into how the author/photographer, Paul Rossi, got the shot, how the bird behaves in its habitat, and the circumstances in the environment that led to the photo.
In that regard, Beautiful Birds of Michigan's Eastern Upper Peninsula is much more than a book about birds in a specific location. Rather, it will educate you not only on photography, but how to use your camera to capture gorgeous photos of birds.
Photography: A Cultural History
For all you photography history buffs out there, Photography: A Cultural History is right up your alley.
While many books about photography focus on the processes involved in taking photos, this book takes a hard look at how this medium has developed over time.
That includes an examination of the cultural contexts that influenced individual photographers as well as the art of photography as a whole.
Mary Warner Marien's informative touch is both educational and inspiring for photographers of all kinds, from beginners to professionals.
Street Photography: Creative Vision Behind the Lens
Next on our list of recommended reading for photographers is Valerie Jardin's Street Photography: Creative Vision Behind the Lens.
This book outlines the methods by which photographers can prepare themselves for the fast-paced world of street photography.
Focusing on giving photographers technical advice as well as practical tips, Jardin takes readers on a journey around the world using her photos as teaching tools for perfecting the art of street photography.
But more than that, this book helps you understand how to tell unique stories of the scenes you capture, resulting in photographs that have more life, vitality, and meaning.
Landscape Photography On Location: Travel, Learn, Explore, Shoot
Thomas Heaton might be better known as a photography extraordinaire on YouTube, but his book Landscape Photography on Location proves that he's much more than a YouTube personality.
With behind-the-scenes analyses of how to craft gorgeous landscape photos, this is the book for landscape photographers that have a solid skillset already, but want to learn how to take their photos to the next level.
From learning where to focus your shots to advice for travel planning and everything in between, this book is an ideal resource for photographers that feel the call of adventure outdoors and have the desire to photograph gorgeous landscapes along the way.