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Reading list

A-Level Photography Reading List

Starting a photography course in the new year? GCSE? A-Level? Degree? Need a photography reading list to get you started? Good, here you go.

Congratulations, you are at the start of a wonderful journey. Cherish these years as you will look back upon them as a time when you could fully indulge in your practice, undisturbed by the outside pressures of money and family.

Devour as much information as you possibly can. Read, read and then read some more. Make notes, record videos, document the whole lot.

Have a dictionary on hand – not your phone, it’s distracting.

There will be plenty of words that you don’t understand, maybe even entire passages, but this has to happen in order for you to learn. You don’t read the same books from when you were a child over and over again do you? why not? because you have extracted the information from it, you know the morals or the facts contained within it. You are hungry for more. New information, new tales and stories, new inspirations!

Learning, and I mean real learning, happens right on the point where you know a bit of what you’re reading, but not all. Only then will you engage your brain to understand the core meaning. This is why revision is boring and rather unproductive. You know the information already, so you’re just re-reading the same thing over and over. Delving deep into a subject is what keeps the magic of learning alive.

Here is my photography reading list, some books are more challenging than others. By the time you reach the end of your degree, you should have read them all. Also included in this article is a list of relevant other resources such as galleries to visit, websites to get inspiration from and popular magazines with latest news and reviews.

A-Level reading list

John Berger
Ways of Seeing (1990)

Also available on Youtube:

Cataract (2012)

Understanding a Photograph (2013)

Roland Barthes
A very short introduction

Camera Lucida

The Rhetoric of the Image

The Photographic Message

W. Baart
Photography – A Concise History
Pub: Laurence King, London

Graham Clarke
The Photograph
Pub: Oxford History of Art

Susan Sontag
On Photography

Regarding the Pain of Others

Vilem Flusser
Towards a Philosophy of Photography

Michel Foucault
Of Other Spaces: Heterotopias

Douglas Crimp

Laura Mulvey
Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema

Books on Photography Technique

Michael Freeman is a great communicator and offers plenty of useful information that’s easy to digest.

Michael Freeman

Timeless art of Monochrome

Perfect Exposure

A Photographers eye

Alternative Processes

This is literally the alt bible

Magazines and Journals

The British Journal of Photography – Incisive Media (Professional Weekly)

Portfolio (Contemporary Photography)

Practical Photography
WH Smiths

Digital Photo
WH Smiths

Amateur Photography
WH Smiths

Galleries and Museums

Check for all current exhibitions

BFI Southbank Gallery
Belvedere Road, SE1

The British Library
Euston Road, NW1

British Museum
Great Russel Street, WC1

County Hall Gallery
Westminster Bridge Road, SE1

Getty Images Gallery
Eastcastle Street, W1

The Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road, SE1

National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place, WC2

Royal Academy of Arts
Piccadilly, W1

Whitechapel Gallery
Whitechapel High Street, E1

Tate Modern
Park Street, Bankside, SE1

Photography Equipment

Camera Price Buster (price comparison site)

MPB Photographic (second hand gear)


Mr. Cad


First Call Photographic

Research – useful websites



The eye of photography
Features the greatest practitioners of the camera
Pinhole photography my professional photographer Justin Quinnell
Community of Lomographers
Digital archive and public library
Digital camera news, reviews etc…


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