Sometimes the best things in life are free and fortunately the library falls into that category. Immersing yourself in photography and photography related books and magazines is key to developing a photographic eye. One thing you may not know is that you can check out magazines, at least ones other than the current issue..
The number of photography books and the quantity of newer titles vary from library to library. Often, the bulk of titles are pre-digital age, but don’t let that discourage you. While some aspects of photography have changed since the days of film, the majority of the techniques still apply. Aperture, shutter speeds and even ISO still work the same way, the only real changes are mostly how images are developed, darkroom versus digital.
By delving into the world of images develops a sense of what a good picture is. Just like almost everything else photography is subject to fads and what is fashionable today may look terrible, or dated, tomorrow. When looking at older photographs see what images have stood the test of time. Look past the dated clothing and hair styles and instead look at the picture itself.
Also, don’t limit your reading to just photography books, look at other types of books and magazines that heavily use images. From magazines like National Geographic, Vogue , Life and Wired to biographies, travel books and cultural books, they all provide wonderful examples of good (and bad) photography.
Learning does not have to cost you money. The library is probably the source of the cheapest education that you can give yourself. And regardless of the size or newness of the collections, you will find books and magazines to draw inspiration and learning.