With the solstice just around the corner, it’s time to revisit your New Year’s resolution to read more books. Check out our 2019 Rocky Nook summer reading list, with titles that will inspire your creative eye, hone your process with specific skill-building projects, and introduce you to brand new hobbies. Whether you’re traveling with photography in mind, or taking smartphone snapshots of casual summertime activities, the books on this list can enhance the connection between you, your camera, and your subjects.


Have you been prioritizing reading books that deal with hard skills, leaving books about developing and exploring your creativity on the shelf? This summer, dedicate some time to the left side of your brain with a Rocky Nook book about inspiration and the creative process. Whether you need mind fodder for the train ride to work or reading material for a lazy beach afternoon, books like David DuChemin’s A Beautiful Anarchy and Soul of the Camera offer insight into the art of photography and how to cultivate the creative side of your craft.

Read an excerpt from The Soul Of The Camera here.



If you’re heading out on an adventure this summer, no doubt you’ll be taking your camera along to capture the shots that define your experience. Scott Kelby’s new The Landscape Photography Book offers techniques to make (and edit) your landscape photographs, and gives Kelby’s best tips for traveling with your gear. If photography is part of your travels, this book in an important summer read to prepare you for your trips.

For those who travel light, you can still capture great travel moments with your smartphone. Pick up a copy of The Enthusiast’s Guide to iPhone Photography and take your smartphone images to the next level. Author Seán Duggan offers 50 tips on how to get the most out of your smartphone photography, including camera controls, apps for shooting and processing images, and of course, how to share all your shots with your friends and followers.

Read an excerpt from The Landscape Photography Book here.


For those looking to take on a summer project, Rocky Nook books open the door to hands-on learning. Explore incorporating color into your shots with Chroma, or how to use hard light in interesting and flattering ways in Studio Anywhere 2: Hard Light. Photographer and author Nick Fancher distills his unique methods into these topic-specific titles so you can discover and master a new aspect of photography.

Maybe this is the year you finally learn how to use Photoshop to a more full potential. In The Photoshop Toolbox, Glyn Dewis breaks down Photoshop into three main features: layer masks, brushes, and blend modes. The book includes a start-to-finish project concentrating on photo retouching, so you can check your skills as you learn and practice.

Read an excerpt from Studio Anywhere 2: Hard Light here.


If you’re looking to dive into an entirely new skill, check out Morpho, Rocky Nook’s comprehensive drawing series that teaches you techniques to sketch human anatomy in incredible detail. If you’re more of a graphic designer than a sketcher, learn the skills of creating and decorating lettering and fonts In The Lettering Workshops. This text offers 30 lessons across five workshops that will teach you the art and technique of lettering design.