If you have a dSLR camera and you have yet to use any of the settings beyond "auto" shoot, you owe it to yourself to read this quick digital photo tip and hint book - get it from the library or buy it from Amazon. I bought it and I've found The Digital Photography Book to be my most valuable quick reference of all my photography books. It is simple and to the point, and isn't full of techno mumbo-jumbo that's hard to understand. The author, Scott Kelby, is a well-known author of many computer books as well as Editor-in-Chief of Nikon Software User magazine. He has a rather tongue-in-cheek, humorous writing style which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Pro Tips for Getting Really Sharp Photos
Shooting Flowers Like a Pro
Shooting Weddings Like a Pro
Shooting Landscapes Like a Pro
Shooting Sports Like a Pro
Shooting People Like a Pro
Avoiding Problems Like a Pro
Taking Advantage of Digital Like a Pro
Taking Travel & City Life Shots Like a Pro
How to Print Like a Pro and Other Cool Stuff
The last chapter, Photo Recipes to Help You Get the Shot, gives a common scenario on each page and then tells you how to capture the shot, step-by-step.
Scott's book is just as informative for those with point-and-shoot digital cameras.
Do give it a look-see. I think you'll find this book will help you to improve your basic photography skills.
Also in my photography library:
The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman
Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
Nikon D60 Guide to Digital SLR Photography by David Busch
Digital Photography MacWorld SuperGuide
(This book was specifically helpful to me for post-processing since I have an iMac computer.)
Most of these books have been helpful, and I'm sure I will go back to them time after time. But the first one I mention, The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby, is my go-to reference. As you may have noticed in the photos, I have flagged some of the pages for quick reference.
Without further ado, I'm going to read some of my photography books this afternoon and see if I can improve my skills even more!