Book Recommendations


There are many, many books on my shelves, but these are some that have been either useful or inspirational to me in my photography and exploration.


Abandoned Places - Henk van Rensburgh.

You've seen the website, now buy the book! Henk's website was one of the drivers for getting me more into this nonsense, and his photography is stunning. He's visited some fascinating sites, and I use the book to inspire me to get out there and do stuff!

Abandoned Places II

The eagerly awaited sequel! And it's even better!

Forbidden Places - Sylvain Margaine

Another book based on a website of the same title. More pages and more sites than Henk's, not quite as good though. Still recommended!

Mechanical Landscapes

Exploring The Indus...
By Andy Marland

Might as well promote my own book while I'm at it! A year in production and several years in the photographing - 160 pages of the best black and white photos from this site. Not available in the shops, only available from Blurb!

Detroit Disassembled

Andrew Moore's excellent book on the ruins of Detroit.


Within The Frame - The Journey Of Photographic Vision - David DuChemin

A hugely inspirational book, that goes beyond camera technique and focuses on creativity and photographic vision. I highly recommend this book for any serious photographer, in fact all of David DuChemin's are highly recommended.

Understanding Exposure - Bryan Peterson

Exposure is one of the things that people most struggle with when starting photography. I found this explained, and illustrated it, very well.

Learning To See Creatively - Bryan Peterson

Another one of Bryan Petersons. Not having any kind of artistic trainng, I found this useful in giving me some ideas on composition. Again, it's very well illustrated.

The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos

Another one that is useful in understanding how to compose pictures.

Photo Ideas Book

Some off-beat photographic ideas in here - it's not written by a pro photographer but a designer, so prepare for the unexpected!


The History of ROF Chorley

A comprehensive history of Chorley ROF, although slightly out of date as it's all been demolished now.

Horwich Locomotives Works

The definitive work on the works, lots of photographs and quite a bit of history.

Cotton Mills in Greater Manchester

Another book that I bought years ago, but is still available. Details different eras and construction methods used in mill construction as well as a gazetteer of mills, that's probably out of date by now.

Industry, Architecture and Engineering

OK, so this is an American Book, but some great quality photographs and a detailed text make this substantial book great value.

An old book, but still available new, for some reason. I loved doing engineering drawing at school and college, and some of the old Victorian stuff in here is fantastic. Being a 1981 book, the CAD stuff is way out of date, but ironically now interesting from an historical perspective.

Industrial Landscape

The British Landscape

John Davies is one of the people I draw inspiration from, even though my style is nothing like his. He doesn't do many books, so it's worth buying when they do come out.

Shadows of Change: Photographs of a Disappearing Industrial Landscape

Leigh Preston is well known in Camera Club circles, and produced this book in the 1980's. Similar style to what you've seen on this site, but done 20 years earlier!

A bit of a departure from the topographical presentations of the rest of the Becher's work, this is a book of industrial landscapes in the more traditional sense. Very pricey, worth keeping your eye out for a cheaper copy if possible (I paid £30).


Pictures on a Page

No longer in print, but I bought an old 1970's copy for a fiver a while back. I'm no photo-journalist, but talks about cropping, composition and photo selection, all useful skills for any photographer. Cracking book!

Young Meteors

Another source of inspiration to me is the work of the post war British photo-journalists know as the 'Young Meteors'. This is the definitive (and maybe only) book on them and their work.


China: The World's Last Steam Railway

Absolutely stunning book of photographs by three Brits who travelled extensively to China in the 1990's and 2000's to capture steam in operation. Cannot recommend this highly enough, it is a fabulous book.

Decline of Steam

Colin Gifford is probably the best known of the 'progressive' railway photographers to emerge from the 1960's. Very few of his books are cheap, and some are downright scarce, but they're well worth picking up for some alternative railway photography.

All Trains To Stop

I picked this up for a mere 50 pence in a second hand bookshop and it's got some of the finest examples of progressive railway photography I've yet seen. Hans Steeneken is someone I'd never heard of before, and he doesn't appear to have done any more books since, but this book would have been hard to surpass! Photos of the last days of steam in Britain, France, Germany and Spain from the engines in service, to decay and dereliction in the sheds and stations, and engines in the breakers yards. As good as Gifford.

Requiem For Steam

David Plowden isn't really known outisde of America, but his railway and industrial photos are a huge inspiration to me. This is a superb collection of his photographs from the last years of American steam.

Steam - An Enduring Legacy

Similar in style to Plowden, but taken in the modern era, this book is a collection of black and white photographs by Joel Jenson on America's heritage steam railways. I despise the term 'timeless' when it comes to describing monochrome railway photographs, but I can't think of a better word at this moment in time!

The definitive book of O.Winston Link's photographs! Highly recommended.

The 2012 edition of Colin Gifford's classic. Highly recommended.