Bruce Barnbaum's The Art of Photography is the best book I've read in over 40 years of reading about photography.
Bruce Barnbaum goes further and deeper into explaining the intangibles that make a great photograph than anyone else ever has.
If you want to learn how to create powerful photographs instead of just snapping away and hoping something turns out later in your computer, this is the one book that you must read.
This book is for people with visual imagination. If you're a scientist or engineer looking for some fast 1-dimensional formulae that will let you pop out great photos without having to stop and think long and hard about your subject and your message, you won't understand this book. This isn't a book about rules and exposure. It's a brilliant book that finally explains everything that goes into making a serious photograph -- and why rules are "...mindless things that raise you quickly to a level of acceptable mediocrity, then prevent you from progressing further."
If you are willing to expend the mental effort required to create great photographs, this is the book that explains what matters and about what you need to be thinking to create extraordinary images.
I've been shooting and learning for many decades. This is the first book which lays it all out clearly and completely. If at first you don't understand this book, keep reading it until you do, because The Art of Photography is the book that says what needs to be understood in order to create meaningful, deliberate, interesting photographs.
I'm astounded at how Bruce Barnbaum is able to write about all photographic and artistic styles in this book, not just his own. I find this book helpful to everyone, not just people interested in Bruce Barnbaum's particular style, which is fine photography. He later gets into even more technical detail about his own techniques, however it's his first hundred pages about enthusiasm, communication, composition, visualization, light and color that alone make this large duotone printed-in-Germany masterpiece a bargain, even at three times the price.
The Art of Photography is a very serious book for people deeply interested in creating exciting photographs. It's not the best book for your coffee table or for people only casually interested in pretty pictures. It is the best book for people willing to invest the time and effort demanded to create brilliant photographs.
~ Ken Rockwell