Updated: Dec 27, 2019
In this post, I'm sharing my 10 favourite coffee table travel books every travel photographer should own for creative inspiration. The best travel photography books inspire photographers to not just admire beautiful images, but venture out and take their own.
by Lannoo Publishers
For the nature and adventure enthusiast: Roaming America is a visually stunning, ultimately practical guide to visiting the US National Parks.
Combining breathtaking imagery, useful planning information for each national park, suggested itineraries, best-of recommendations, and more… Roaming America will give you all the inspiration you could need to plan your next national park road trip!
by Lonely Planet
Whether it's euphoria or serenity, awe or enlightenment, this beautiful hardback presents hundreds of places around the world to experience a particular emotion. Each of the 12 chapters in Lonely Planet's The Place to Be explores a single feeling, with destinations ranging from wild and natural spaces, to modern and ancient cities. Plus, our travel writers explain when to go and how to get there.
With 20 places and experiences for each emotion and state of mind, The Place to Be features 240 travel destinations around the world. Stand in awe and marvel at enormous natural phenomena; give yourself a joyful boost with cat cafes and chocolate indulgences; seek serenity on beautiful remote islands; find calm oases in the heart of bustling cities; and join the path to enlightenment with Renaissance paintings and religious pilgrimages.
3. Born to Ice
by Paul Nicklen
SeaLegacy co-founder, National Geographic photographer, acclaimed ocean conservationist, and TED Talks favorite, Paul Nicklen traces his extraordinary love affair with the polar regions in his most recent book, Born to Ice. His powerful images of iconic arctic and antarctic wildlife and scenery, coupled with his inspiring photographic storytelling, blends ethereal beauty of the icy landscape with a compelling call to action. The Arctic is in Paul Nicklen's blood. Born and raised on Baffin Island, Nunavut, he grew up in one of the only non-Inuit families in a tiny Inuit settlement amid the ice fields, floes, and frigid seas of Northern Canada. At an age when most children are playing hide-and-seek, he was learning important lessons on survival; how to read the weather, find shelter in a frozen snowscape, or live off the land as his Inuit neighbors had done for centuries. Today, Nicklen is a naturalist and wildlife photographer uniquely qualified to portray the impact of climate change on the Polar Regions and their inhabitants, human and animal alike.
Whether he is diving off the floe edge in the Canadian Arctic or sitting on a piece of glacial ice in Antarctica to scout for leopard seals, Paul Nicklen goes to great lengths and depths to secure his award-winning images of life in the polar regions. This National Geographic-featured photographer and conservationist never shies away from extreme and challenging conditions as he feels urgently compelled to connect a global audience to the species and ecosystems he cares so deeply about.
“I prefer it when the skies are dramatic and mysterious. When I played the trumpet I used to play a lot of jazz. Jazz can be sad yet beautiful at the same time, and that feeling likes to come through when I shoot with the camera.” ~ Ron Timehin
Ron Timehin is a young photographer from Bromley, in the south side of London. He attended the University of Gloucestershire to study music and traveled the world as a young trumpeter, but could never remember all of the places he visited until he started shooting with his phone. That serendipitous moment launched him on Instagram and the reaction from his followers gave him the confidence to pursue a career in photography. The rigor, training and dedication required of a musician served Ron well in his development as a photographer. He doesn’t think twice about going to the Tower Bridge at 4am to capture the perfect light and moment. London Fog is a compilation of spectacular London images, foggy, moody and atmospheric, seen through Ron’s eyes and influenced by his music.
by Outside Magazine
Photos and stories that will stop you in your tracks
Created in partnership with Outside magazine for its 40th anniversary
The gripping stories behind some of Outside’s most iconic images.
More than 140 of the best adventure photos ever featured in Outside
With a foreword by world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin and an introduction by Outside magazine’s editor Christopher Keyes, Edge of the World is a stunning collection of the best photography ever published by the leader in outdoor adventure photography and journalism. Covering Outside’s most compelling stories from throughout the years, it offers readers an inside and dramatic look through the lens of the world’s top adventure photographers.
First published in 1977, Outside magazine’s mission is “to inspire active participation in the world outside through award-winning coverage of the sports, people, places, adventure, discoveries, health and fitness, gear and apparel, trends and events that make up an active lifestyle.”
by Ross Hoddinott and Mark Bauer
52 Assignments: Landscape Photography is a mission brief, a portfolio of photographic workshops, a personalized journal, and an inspirational guide to putting the creativity back into your craft. Small enough to fit in your camera bag, it is filled with a year’s worth of weekly commissions and concepts for composing and creating eye-catching landscape photography in all its forms. From adding movement to the land to freezing the motion of seascapes; from playing with snow to capturing a starburst; from bird’s-eye views to worm’s-eye views, this is the quickest and most enjoyable way to shake off old habits and discover new approaches that will throw a whole new light on your landscape photography.
by Martin Schulz
Whether you’re visiting Iceland as a destination in its own right or as a brief stopover on your way elsewhere, you’re bound to have a unique and memorable experience. Considered by many to be the world's current #1 destination for amateur and professional landscape photographers, the island possesses unparalleled beauty that cannot be found anywhere else. Indeed, Iceland is on many photographers’ bucket list, and there are plenty of great locations to shoot.
In order to make the most of your trip—no matter how long it is—Photographing Iceland provides you with five unique photography-focused itineraries that cover 40 must-see locations for you to capture. Photographer and Iceland expert Martin Schulz is your guide, providing you with exact directions and location descriptions (including QR codes with Google Maps links), along with tips and advice on the best time of day to visit locations and ideal angles from which to shoot. (Because who wants to end up on the wrong side of Europe’s largest waterfall, Dettifoss, shooting it against harsh midday sunlight?) Itineraries conveniently start and end in Reykjavik, allowing you to complete multiple tours on your trip or combine tours for one epic adventure.
by Glenn Randall
In the past, landscape photography largely ended when the last light of dusk faded from the sky. Today it’s only beginning. The latest digital cameras have made it easy to create images of the landscape at night that film and early digital photographers could only dream of. Equipped with off-the-shelf cameras, more and more photographers are venturing into the night, far beyond the comforting glow of city lights, and returning with spectacular images of places both familiar and unknown that are unlike anything seen before.
Dusk to Dawn: A Guide to Landscape Photography at Night is your guide to this new photographic world. In it, photographer Glenn Randall―author of the bestselling The Art, Science, and Craft of Great Landscape Photography―teaches you how to plan, shoot, and process professional-quality images of the Milky Way, the aurora, lunar eclipses, meteor showers, star trails, and landscapes lit solely by moonlight. Throughout the book, Randall emphasizes ways to integrate beautiful depictions of the night sky with equally compelling renditions of the land below to create complete landscape images that evoke a sense of place―and a sense of wonder. Equipped with the knowledge in this book, readers will be prepared to create their own nocturnal masterpieces.
by National Geographic
Filled with helpful travel tips and beautiful National Geographic photography, this expert guide showcases the best experiences in the top national, state, and city parks throughout North America.
In the sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 ideas, National Geographic turns to the United States' and Canada's most pristine--and adventure-filled--national, state, and city parks with 5,000 ideas for the ultimate vacation. Showcasing the best experiences, both obvious and unexpected, each entry in this robust guide provides an overview of the park, detailed travel advice, fascinating facts, insider knowledge about wildlife, and expert tips for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring. From the geysers of Yellowstone National Park to the Everglades' Nine Mile Pond Canoe Trail and the stunning peaks of Banff and Jasper in Alberta, each page will fuel your wanderlust. Plus, explore the natural beauty tucked away in cities like New York's Central Park and Boston Commons, and find bonus parks with day-trip suggestions to nearby neighbors. Top 10 lists throughout highlight best-of destinations for river trips, monuments, panoramic views, beaches, and more. This comprehensive book provides all the inspiration and information you need to plan your next park visit--and make it a memorable one.
10. Follow Me To
by Nataly Zakharova and Murad Osmann
The Follow Me project was created in 2012 based on the concept of showing the beauty and uniqueness of different locations around the world. It is a story told through the eyes of two ordinary travelers who attempt to portray local lifestyles and narratives by means of photography. Since the project’s launch on Instagram, it has become a worldwide Internet sensation, emerging as a leading news feature and gathering millions of views on social media and the news sites that covered it. In each stunning image, photographer Murad Osmann is led to a new location by his girlfriend, Nataly Zakharova.
These images remind us that in the hustle and bustle of daily life, we so often forget to stop and appreciate the things that surround us—the historical and architectural heritage left to us by our ancestors. Readers join Osmann from the point of view of the main character and are taken on a journey to different historical and cultural sites. The project aims to acquaint readers with different lifestyles. For Osmann and Zakharova, this theme seems infinite, as there are an endless number of places to visit on our planet. Paging through the book, readers will be invited to see something familiar to them from another point of view, via the lens of Osmann’s camera.
Follow Zakharova and Osmann on a trip around the world, through such locations as Moscow, Madrid, Ibiza, Hong Kong, New York, and London.