Id highly recommend " The Photoshop CS Book for Digital Photographers" by Scott Kelby. Its extremely well written and I have learnt tonnes of great techniques from it. I actually understand the vast world that is photoshop now which is a miracle!
Here is a small quote
"So here it was, about four weeks before I would be flying up to New York City to teach a one-day seminar to more than 1200 professional Photoshop junkies. (Okay it was more like 1,160 pros, 42 people who just wanted a paid day off from work, and one total freak who kept asking me if i'd ever been to prison. I told him unequivocally, "Not as far as you know".)
He mixes humor with knowledge, its actually an enjoyable way to learn.
To anyone wanting to understand the fundamentals of photography, I would recommend the two books by Bryan Peterson: "Understanding Exposure" and "Learning To See Creatively". Just about all you really need to know in two interesting and not too expensive books. Riceball stocks both.
"I photograph things to see how things look when they are photographed". This is a particularly good response for any photographer who likes to take pictures of random objects and is questioned "What are you taking a picture of that for?"
interesting recommendation. can also check out the "sequel": Regarding the Pain of Others, written by sontag some years later. interesting to see how her perspective changed over the years. deals a great deal with the kind of images we've gotten so used to seeing in the news.
If you're into Landscape photography, I recommend books by Peter Watson. He's a British photographer who runs around the United Kingdom shooting. I've seen his Field Guide to Landscape Photography and Light in the Landscape; his pictures are absolutely awe-inspiring and he gives quite a few practical tips. I haven't been able to find them in bookstores so far, but in national library.