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Suggested Reading: Make Better Pictures

For the aspiring photographer, Make Better Pictures by Henry Horenstein offers more than 100 tips

When I wrote a book, back in the days of blogging, the publisher told me it was meant to be read on an airplane and flipped through. That’s harder than it sounds, and with that background, I appreciate Henry Horenstein’s Make Better Pictures.

The paperback is already in my bag for the next flight.

It’s a flip-through style book with great examples and is easy to read. Intended for aspirational photographers, I suggest the book as a good read for anyone who wants to take better pictures.

To that point, all the pros I’ve met are constantly improving their skills by trying new techniques, gear and even genres. Earlier this year, I jumped into a pool for underwater photos. And, shot air-to-air at Miramar.

As a street and sports photographer, getting into a studio setting periodically informs my composition as well.


Written by Henry Horenstein, acclaimed professor of photography at RISD and bestselling author of Black & White Photography (which has sold over 700k copies to date), Make Better Pictures offers a professional’s tips and techniques to improve everyday photography using everything from a DSLR to a smartphone.

Over 100 Tips

Good photographs have a greater social value than ever before because of apps like Instagram, and making pictures is easier and more accessible than in decades past. The volume of photos taken has also increased exponentially and of the 100 tips in the book, the one about using automatic modes is probably the most important.

I totally disagree with his tip that you should always format your card because I never do that. Instead, by not formatting your card, it serves as a backup if something goes wrong with your drive.


Aside from that one contentious topic, considering his bonafides, Mr. Horenstein has exhibitions at a number of museums and galleries, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, The Annenberg Space for Photography, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. His photographs are featured in the book.

Available now, Make Better Pictures: Truth, Opinions, and Practical Advice costs $13.98 in paperback. Digital is also available. Packed with tips, a photographer like me will probably read it after the plane ride too.

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