Do You want to improve in Street Photography or simply are searching for some inspiration? Then Street Photography E-Books are a great source to fulfill Your needs.
Thanks to dedicated writers, there are a lot of Street Photography E-Books available that are not tied to any costs and available for free.
“There ain’t no such thing as free lunch” is a popular quote that describes that nothing in life is free. Everything has its costs and especially when we have a look at education costs in the USA this holds true. On the contrary, there is also a growing community providing educational material for free and as “open-source” content.
Those authors simply want to share their view on Street Photography and help others to improve and inspired.
The following article gives You an Overview of the current Photography E-Books that are available to download and how they can help You.
Street Photography E-Books – The Benefits
Normally, I am a keen friend of paperback books. Photographs feel so much better for me when I can not only view them on a digital display but can actually hold them in Your hand.
When it comes to Street Photography books that are more educational, then E-Books have a few advantages for me.
First of all, the photographs aren’t the main content of the book. It isn’t really important to me how the pictures look, or that I hold a physical product in my hand when what matters is the text.
For some, it might still be preferable to have a physical copy, because a digital display might not be that appealing. If You prefer to have a “real” book in Your hands, then You can always print the digital copy Yourself or use a book service like Blurb. Just to be on the safe side of things, contact the original author beforehand and ask him if that’s okay.
Printing the book mitigates one of the advantages of the digital copy – there are no related costs. Therefore, the author is able to spread the Street Photography e-book for free, if making money isn’t the primary object. Offering an e-book free to download can give the photographer a lot of exposure and in return customers or a loyal audience.
E-Books also have the advantage for me, that I can do simple annotations and are able to search for specific keywords.
This makes it a lot more convenient to browse through an e-book that I downloaded for free and am able to go straight to the content I am looking for.
Learning from Photography Books
Street Photography is not really a genre that You can learn from theory only. Or that You can learn by sitting in the comfort of Your home and watching Youtube Video after Youtube Video.
The best way to get better and have more fun on the street is to actually go out and photograph. There is no other way than to overcome Your fear for example. You have to go out there and leave the comfort zone in order to enjoy Street Photography more.
That doesn’t mean, that actively photographing is the only way to improve. Of course, reading about photography theory, or thinking about the mental aspects can encourage You to do better.
The theory needs to be connected with exercise though.
Reading a Photography Book from beginning to end and hoping that You will get better magically won’t yield great results typically.
Rather search for specific chapters that You want to improve upon, read them and then try to apply the tips in real life.
Make notes, see how Your photographs change and try to absorb knowledge from different sources.
Books are not also a great source of knowledge that can improve Your photography by teaching some complex theory. They can also simply be a great source of inspiration when I feel let down lately.
Sure, there are also all the great photography books that present a series and aren’t accompanied by written text, that also are great for inspiration. But sometimes I feel that reading the thoughts of other photographers can be more inspirational because it presents a whole different approach to Street Photography.
In their e-books, they can explain how they see the world, what details they are looking for or how they compose their images.
Often times those details aren’t easy to spot when looking only at the photographs. Therefore it can be helpful to actually read a book that explains all the thought that went into one photograph.
Write Your own Street Photography E-Book
The next step, instead of just consuming photography books and reading about other’s perspectives on Street Photography would be to share Your thoughts.
Writing about a topic forces You to think about it very thoroughly.
In photography, there are a lot of concepts and rules that we heard about, but we never really know the reason behind it.
Or why does one picture work, while another one doesn’t?
Instead of just consuming passively, You could think about these topics and share Your thoughts on them.
During the write-up, You will also most likely look up others sources, which again will give You a different perspective.
It doesn’t need to be a full premium book, that is better than anything published so far. Just write for Yourself and after some time You might also compile various articles You have written about into one e-book.
Creating a simple E-Book is also not very difficult. You can use Google Docs for free and share the Document with Your friends for example.
If You are more ambitious You can try Adobe InDesign which is a professional tool to create E-Books.
I wouldn’t bother to create a “proper” E-Book in an ePub format, but just output a PDF.
Share Your E-Book
Now You have put in a lot of work into Your own Street Photography e-Book and rather than letting it rot on Your hard drive, You would like to spread the word.
Basically, there are two ways to share Your E-Book.
From there You can share Your links, which can be difficult if You have no initial audience to share Your e-Book to.
Ideally, You have already a Social Media presence and can share Your link to Your followers. If they like Your e-Book they might also share it with their friends and extend Your initial reach.
This is the digital equivalent of “self-publishing” a book.
In case Your audience is very limited and You wish to reach a much broader audience there are more effective ways to increase the downloads of Your e-Book.
I found that the Street Photography community is very helpful and supportive. Whenever there is new content, a lot of websites or even photographers are willing to help You out and share Your book in case they like.
You can address popular Blogs, Photographers or upload the e-Book to other platforms.
10 Free Street Photography e-Books
1Thomas Leuthard – Going Candid
Although Thomas Leuthard stopped Street Photography (again) and isn’t active in the community anymore, his book “Going Candid” is one of the fundamentals that You shouldn’t miss. Together with his other books “Street Faces” & “Collecting Souls” he created the best collection of free e-Books that You can get.
He gives a brief overview about Street Photography from gear to composition and light but also goes more in-depth when it comes to the right mindset. The formatting is very professional, the photographs included in this e-Book are top notch and I highly recommend You to read his books. Thomas is also a keen traveler and dedicates chapters to his travel passion.
2Marie Laigneau – Creating Impact
I like to analyze the effect of composition on the story and how they are tied together in a photograph. In here book Marie dedicates more than 90 pages to the narrow topic of storytelling which I find very refreshing. Instead of being a jack of all trades, her book is very focused and on point. The written text is also very clearly arranged and the infographics in the book are very clear guidelines.
“I spent almost two years studying composition in street photography, with the purpose of understanding how to create more emotional and impactful images. I was interested, in particular, in the concepts of harmony vs. tension, camera subjectivity, and light transformation – all recurring patterns in my work. From this analysis came to life a series of blog posts, and eventually, a conference talk on storytelling in street photography, during the Out of Chicago conference. This is my honor and pleasure today to share with you the result of this analysis; and I hope that this book will take you further in your photographic journey, just as it did for me.”
3The Street Photographer’s Collective Vol. 1
10 (Street) Photographers including Satoki Nagata, Lee Jeffries, & Thomas Leuthard share their view on Street Photography.
“This is work you must learn from. A collection of the world’s best street, documentary, and fine art photographers.
It is energetic. Gritty. In your face and brutally honest. It is a genre of photography not for the faint of heart. Or the unsure. These are images that look for that decisive moment in the chaos.
In a lot of ways, street photography is one of the most accessible genres to shoot. That’s because there’s no set path or widely accepted standard. Yet there are some photographers who never stop searching for that perfect moment.”
4Eric Kim – 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography
Download (Google Drive)
I know that Eric is a pretty controversial character in the Street Photography scene. His photographs are often met with criticism and I don’t prefer his way of taking street portraits. This shouldn’t be a reason to discount his content and books, which hold great value for every Street Photography Beginner.
“Don’t take everything in this book as “truth.” Rather, see the masters of photography as your personal guides. Take these lessons with a pinch of salt; pick and choose which lessons resonate with you, and throw away the rest.
Ultimately to find your own personal vision and style in photography, you just need to know yourself as a human being. “Know thyself” is the greatest wisdom given to us by the ancient philosophers.
Find yourself through the book, and discover the photographer you are.”
5Alex Coghe – Street Photography
Alex Coghe is not “only” a Street Photographer, but a very highly renowned Photojournalist. Besides his educational e-Books on Street Photography, You can find a huge variety of Books on his homepage (http://www.alexcoghe.com/download/) ranging from his journalistic photo series to erotic photography.
“With street photography I’ve had many satisfactions, I experienced great professional and human experiences, met many people and made new friends, known new places, ideas, stories of life and achieved things which seemed to be just dreams until some time ago. Now I enjoy the respect of many people through my photography and my experience, the consideration of many colleagues and also that of sponsors who have believed and believe in me. This book is a gift. A gift for my readers, friends, for all those who follow me and support me.”
6Michail Moscholios – Street Core Photography
Michail doesn’t just describe Street Photography. He delves deeper and discusses photography as an art form. Sometimes his thoughts are a little bit abstract, but if You are looking for a different view on Photography, then this book is what You are looking for.
“What is a photograph? A photograph is an illusion created by combining form and content and transforming the world through the artist’s personality. But is it the “perfect harmony” between content and form? (we will come back to this “perfect” and “harmony”). This is about the beauty of going beyond our limits; which can alone bring us to an artistic level when creating.
Art is an internal need. And art is best served not by happiness but by introspection. Happiness feeds the body, suffering feeds the soul.”
7Daniel Hoffmann – Street Photography
A great proportion of the book is dedicated to the analysis and description of photographs Daniel took. He presents the image and Ronald Beams comments on the composition and quality of the Street Photograph.
The other half is filled with general tips for Street Photography.
Recommended if You want to see a more detailed analysis of single images. These analyses can also help You to gain a more critical view of Your own work.
8Chris Weeks – Street Photography for the Purist
This Street Photography e-Book by Chris Weeks doesn’t follow the typical structure. It is a collection of monochrome Street Photographs and a text, written in an inner monologue style.
Chris is also an analog shooter. You can see the basic settings of his Leica at the end of the book for each of his photographs.
“It’s not meant to take a beginner from just getting a camera in their hands and going out to make surreptitious street photographs. Certain people expect certain things from me. When I first conceived this and started writing then asked others for collaboration it was meant for a certain audience. Not the big-picture audience. Just those who love making street photographs and looking at material by other street photographers.
The edited version was too much of a Top-Gun-like movie presentation when I meant it to be something with more a raw edge – like most of the things I do. Moreover, it wasn’t true enough to the original document and I kind of felt it would be a lie. I’d even thought about letting the edited version get released, the category launched and then publishing this, the “director’s cut” as it were.
And then I thought, “Fuck it! Too much work. I want those who are meant to see this; to see it.” Plain and fucking simple.”
9Ibarionex Perello – The Candid Frame on Street Photography
Download (e-Mail Signup)
If You haven’t heard about Ibarionex and “The Candid Frame”, You have missed out on a lot of great content. Not only in the form of this e-Book but especially from his Youtube Channel.
“The art of street photography is an elusive balancing act of the technical, the aesthetic and the unpredictable. You often risk failure, but when you succeed, the result produces something greater than the sum of its parts. For those with a passion for street photography, this e-book hopes to provide you insight for achieving such moments more consistently.”
10Sebastian Jacobitz – Your Street Photography Entrance
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And of course (shameless plug), You can also have a look at my very own Street Photography e-Book.
“Entering the genre of Street Photography can be a tough challenge. You enter a world without guidelines and boundaries. This freedom can be quite overwhelming at the beginning and seem more like a hindrance than a benefit.
This book serves as a companion, helping you as you make your first steps on the street and supports you on your way. Obstacles will be in your way to your individual fulfillment and often development is a one steps back, two steps forwards progression.
Along your steps, the chapters will work as assistance and facilitate your progress, but it won’t solve problems for you. Personal investment is still required to move forward.”