The holiday season is here, and for many of us, that means a last-minute scramble to find the perfect gift for friends and family. Whether you're a photographer who wants to find a gift idea for yourself, or you know a photographer who loves to collect photography books, then we've tried to pick some of our favorites below.
• Print your own portfolio with the best photo books
Whether you're shaping for a nature photographer, portrait photographer, or someone who admires the medium without shooting much themselves, we hope there's something here to catch your eye. We'll be adding to this list as the season progresses, but it's by no means exhaustive. Of course, there are hundreds, thousands of books out there!
The books on this list aren't all brand new for 2022 either – some are timeless photography books that every enthusiast should own. Most, however, have been published in the last few years, and offer inspirational stories, a look at issues facing the world today – or a collection of beautiful shots to give you a much-needed escape from the world today!
Best photography books for Christmas 2022
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Two professional photographers with over 20 years of experience writing for magazines share their top tips on camera gear, and the fundamentals of landscape photography – including exposure, composition and sharpness. This one is incredibly accessible for all levels, and as its available as an audiobook, you can listen to it wherever you are.
Best for: landscape shooters
The fourth book in the Remembering Wildlife series, its full of beautiful images donated by more than 70 of the world's top wildlife photographers including Marsel van Oosten, Frans Lanting, Art Wolfe, Steve Winter, and Michael Poliza, with an aim to raise awareness of the plight facing lions and also to raise funds to protect them. This year's book Remembering Bears is also out now.
Best for: wildlife lovers
To coincide with the 50th anniversary of the last steps taken on the Moon, Apollo obsessive Andy Saunders lovingly restored NASA photographs for this book. It includes panoramic shots and pull-outs to help you visualize the lunar landscape. Apollo missions from 7 to 17 are covered, plus chapters covering the history of space photography and details on the scanning and processing techniques that Andy used to remaster the images.
Best for space enthusiasts
Finn Beales takes a fresh approach to help develop your photography projects, with his snappy writing style, cinematic imagery and inspirational approach. We haven't yet read it on DCW, but the reviews are outstanding, with some saying it's the best photography book they've ever read!
Best for: photography improvers
30 years after Martin Parr was commissioned to document the village of Chew Stoke in Somerset, England, he released 40 unseen images in this photobook. Parr shares work from this lesser-known project, which explores everything the village has to offer from its pubs and cricket clubs to jumble sales and jars of preserves.
Best: for street photographers
Basic but straight talking (and affordable), this is the follow-up to Read This if You Want to Take Great Photographs. It's ideal for beginner portrait photographers, who want to learn some essential techniques to build confidence photographing people, whether it’s on the street, at home, or in the studio.
Best for: portrait enthusiasts
Featuring the best images from the last 55 years of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, from the color film revolution of the 1960s to the increasingly sophisticated shots of wild animals today. Each poignant and creative image has a caption to give it context and reveal the vision of each wildlife pro. A fantastic volume for any hobbyist wildlife photographer.
Best: for nature photographers
National Geographic photographer and mountaineer Jimmy Chin is well known for capturing stunning images in death-defying situations. This breathtaking portfolio showcases 20 years of expeditions across seven continents, as well as a behind-the-scenes look at how the images were taken. It's a collection sure to inspire wonder and awe (and perhaps a bit of vertigo)!
Best: for outdoor photographers
The ideal collection for those who love the films and aesthetic of Wes Anderson (even featuring a foreword by the man himself). Author Wally Koval has based this book on the viral online phenomenon and community of the same name. The images inside celebrate the unique (vibrant, symmetrical) look that Anderson fans love with scenes from around the world.
Best for: travelers and adventurers
There's something fascinating about abandoned places, and this book contains plenty of eerie examples. From the lost playgrounds of Chernobyl to crumbling ruins, discover how nature has crept in and reclaimed these spots, displacing the past and capturing the imagination. Abandoned showcases places and stories that we have long neglected.
Best: for urban explorers
Renowned animal photographer Tim Flach uses approaches from human portraiture to display the character and personality of his avian subjects. The diverse birds featured are shot against black or white backgrounds so that you engage fully and thanks to Tim's use of high-definition cameras, the resulting images are bursting with detail and color.
Best: ornithologists and birders
This impressive book ―edited and designed by Lélia Wanick Salgado―pays homage to Sebastião Salgado’s triumphant and unparalleled GENESIS project. It presents a selection of stunning black and white photographs arranged in five chapters geographically: Planet South, Sanctuaries, Africa, Northern Spaces, Amazonia, and Pantanal.
Best: for all-round inspiration
Adobe's Classroom in a Book series has been around for several years and is a comprehensive guide to using Adobe software. The edition covers Photoshop and Lightroom Classic, the two main tools for any photo editor. This is the 2022 release, so has guides to all the latest features as well as everything that came before.
Best: for budding image editors
Monocle magazine, since 2007, has been producing some of the most stunning photojournalism from all corners of the globe. This book is a celebratory collection of some of the best reportage work from the past 15 years. Part news, part travel guide, all beautiful images, there is something for everyone in this book.
Best: for travelers and photojournalists
Images have played a huge role in NASA's history, from iconic pictures of the moon landing, images from the surface of Mars, or the beautiful panoramas from the Hubble Space Telescope. This book brings together all that history onto one stunning page after another.
Best: for extraterrestrial explorers
This year, you really can give a dog for Christmas. Man's best friend. Who doesn't love a dog? Filled with page after page of adorable pups, nobody has had a more acclaimed career as a dog photographer than Walter Chandoha. Whilst they sadly passed in 2019, this book lives on as a testament to their amazing work.
Best: for dog lovers
More of a cat person? This book is a beautiful collection of images of feisty felines and furballs, shot in Walter Chandoha's signature artistic style of street and fashion photography, this book is a homage to their significant work.
Best: for cat lovers
If you know a big architecture buff then this is the book for them. This book is an incredible collection of images of the most dazzling, varying, and downright bizarre bits of architectural design to come out of the former Soviet block.
Best: for history and architecture enthusiasts
Photography has come a very long way, and it is important to remember the past when looking at how we got to where we are today. This book covers the whole historical timeline from the birth of the first still image to the present day and celebrates the photographers and inventors who made it happen.
Best: for photography history
We've hand-picked hundreds of beautiful and informative books in our expert guides. If none on this list take your fancy, take a look at:
• The best books on portrait photography
• The best books on fashion photography
• Best books on photography for beginners and pros