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12 Stunning Photography Coffee Table Books

A guide to help you choose from the best photography coffee table books for your house

Welcome to the world of coffee table books and adventure books! If you’re a photography enthusiast like me, you’re in for a treat.

In this blog post, I will introduce you to the most stunning and awe-inspiring photography coffee table books that will grace your living room and transport you to different corners of the globe. 

Whether you’re looking to add some artistic flair to your home or simply seek inspiration for your next adventure, these books will captivate your attention and ignite your passion for photography. 

So grab a cup of coffee, get cozy, and dive into the world of visual storytelling together!

a pin with a shelf on which are colorful Photography Coffee Table Books

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Psssst…!!?? You can’t get enough of coffee table books? Have a look at my other posts:

Top Photography Coffee Table Books

1. Photography: The Definitive Visual History

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I can’t help but be amazed at the advancement of photography in the last 200 years. 

This art form has come a long way from black and white to mind-blowing digital imagery. 

Photography: The Definitive Visual History” is a coffee table book that I recently came upon and it blew my head. 

It’s perfect for all levels of photographers and anyone interested in the history of this incredible art form. 

Author Tom Ang dives deep into the beginnings of photography in the 1800s and provides biographies of 50 famous photographers, including legends like Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lang. 

The book also features iconic photos throughout history and special features on Pulitzer Prize winners. I was fascinated to learn how photography has catalyzed social and cultural change. 

The book explores different types of photography, like street photography, and special features delve into the impactful stories behind famous photographers. 

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in photography’s fascinating history. 

2. The Rainbow Atlas: A Guide to the World’s 500 Most Colorful Places

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As a self-proclaimed travel addict with an insatiable thirst for adventure, I’ve stumbled upon many coffee table photography books in my time. 

But one particular gem stands out in my collection: “The Rainbow Atlas“. 

This guidebook takes you on a vivid journey to the world’s 500 most colorful places, featuring everything from natural phenomena to architecture and art installations. 

What I love most about this book is how it’s organized by longitude, creating unexpected and mesmerizing juxtapositions between each entry. 

Each location is captured in stunning photos, leaving you wide-eyed and drooling with wanderlust. 

But it’s not just pretty pictures – the book also offers surprising facts and travel tips for each surreal rainbow location. 

Undoubtedly, “The Rainbow Atlas” is one of the best travel coffee table photography books out there and has earned a permanent place in my home.

3. Photographs from America’s Wild Places 

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I have always been captivated by the breathtaking beauty of America’s national parks and the incredible photographs that capture their essence. 

Ansel Adams was a true master of his craft, exploring over 40 of the country’s most stunning wilderness areas and documenting them with his camera, creating one of the best black-and-white coffee table books.

I was thrilled to discover “Ansel Adams in the National Parks: Photographs from America’s Wild Places,” a coffee table book with over 200 rarely seen photos of national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone. 

I was struck not just by the sheer beauty of the images but also by Adams’ commitment to preserving these wilderness areas through his work. 

A leading Adams expert edits the book and includes commentary on the photos and essays by noted nature writers. 

It’s a definitive collection for anyone who appreciates Adams’ work and America’s protected wild spaces and will be a treasured addition to your collection of nature coffee table books.

4. In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine

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I just picked up this incredible fashion coffee table book called “In Vogue: An Illustrated History of the World’s Most Famous Fashion Magazine,” I am completely hooked. 

It’s a deep dive into the captivating history of Vogue, from its early days as a high society publication to its undeniable reign as the world’s most influential fashion magazine. 

What I love most is the stunning collection of covers and interior pages from past issues, featuring iconic work from some of the biggest names in photography. 

This book also reveals the secrets behind how each issue comes together, giving a fascinating insight into editorial fashion. 

If you’re a fashion lover or enjoy a beautiful coffee table book, I highly recommend checking this one out – it’s a true masterpiece.

5. Yellowstone: A Land of Wild and Wonder

Yellowstone book, book cover showing wooden boardwalk path leading into misty distance across sandy brushland

I love Yellowstone and I could easily spend weeks exploring its natural beauty. 

I discovered a stunning coffee table book that perfectly captures the majesty of Yellowstone

Christopher Cauble’s breathtaking photography takes readers on an incredible journey through the park’s dramatic landscapes and up-close encounters with wildlife. 

Every page is a masterpiece, inviting you to linger and marvel at Yellowstone’s timeless beauty. 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next adventure or simply want to bring a taste of the outdoors into your home, this is one of the most perfect national parks coffee table books.

6. Colorful World

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I was browsing through a bookstore when I stumbled upon “Colorful World,” I couldn’t resist picking it up since it was also one of the cheap coffee table books

The breathtaking images of some of the planet’s most vibrant locations as I turned the pages astounded me. 

Every page was like a blast of happiness right to the heart, showcasing everything from the colorful cityscapes of Tokyo to the charming streets of Rome. 

Even better, the book is a perfect addition to any coffee table with its beautiful artwork and inspirational quotes from author Mikati. 

Photography coffee table books are a favorite of mine, and “Colorful World” has quickly become a go-to for when I need a dose of optimism and color in my day. 

7. Colorado’s National Parks & Monuments 

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If you’re a fan of coffee table books on photography and love exploring the great outdoors, then Colorado’s National Parks & Monuments is a must-have. 

I can vouch for the majesty and beauty of these natural beauties, having spent numerous hours exploring and taking pictures of them. 

The parks and monuments have something unique and breathtaking to offer, from the breathtaking views of Rocky Mountain National Park to the historic ruins of the Canyons of the Ancients Monument. 

I’m thrilled that this 2nd edition includes the newest national monuments, Chimney Rock and Browns Canyon, and new images featuring the parks under the night sky. 

So grab a cup of coffee and let yourself get lost in the breathtaking beauty of Colorado’s National Parks & Monuments through the lens of Grant Collier.

8. 100 Cars That Changed the World

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As a car enthusiast, I can’t get enough of the book “100 Cars That Changed the World.” It’s the perfect addition to any coffee table and will spark interesting conversations. 

The photography in this book is top-notch, with stunning color images and vintage black and white to take you on a fascinating journey through the evolution of cars from the end of the nineteenth century up to 2020. 

You’ll read about the Ford Model T that revolutionized American travel, the Volkswagen Beetle that was beloved all around the globe, and the Jeep that was an essential part of winning World War II. 

The Pontiac GTO, Dodge Caravan, Ford Explorer, and Tesla Model S are also on the list, all of which significantly impacted the way we think about cars. 

If you’re a car enthusiast or love beautiful photography books, this is a must-have for your collection.

9. National Geographic Stunning Photographs

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Have you ever had one of those moments where you just want to escape into another world? National Geographic Stunning Photographs captured in their coffee table books do just that. 

I was taken to peaceful sunset scenes and fireworks celebrations as I turned the pages of these books.

Their top photographers bring to life moments that may have been sparked in the blink of an eye, but that we can now appreciate repeatedly. 

Each photo is accompanied by inspiring quotes that make you take a deep breath and soak in the awesomeness of the world around you. 

It’s the kind of definitive and striking photo collection that will appeal to everyone and offers an array of colors, textures, and sensations from everyday life that you might miss if you weren’t paying attention.

10. Our America: A Photographic History

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Our America: A Photographic History” is a book that, I have to admit, has rapidly become one of my favorite coffee table books.

Ken Burns has done a fantastic job compiling a diverse range of photographs that truly capture the essence of the American experience over the past two centuries. 

Each image is striking, from sprawling landscapes to intimate portraits of everyday citizens. 

It’s incredible to see legendary figures and regular folks side-by-side, highlighting our undeniable connection. 

Whether you’re a photography buff or just looking for a beautiful addition to your living room, “Our America” is one of the best photography coffee table books out there.

11. National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs

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When it comes to stunning nature photography, National Geographic is a household name. 

So when I heard about their Simply Beautiful Photographs book, curated by the award-winning photographer Annie Griffiths, I knew it would be a visual delight. 

What I love most about this coffee table book is that it’s organized around themes of beauty, and each photo truly captures the essence of that theme. 

The brief essays on aesthetic concepts and lyrical quotes from scholars and poets only enhance the visuals.

The chapter on Light, featuring words from Leonard Cohen and breathtaking photos, left me in awe. 

If you’re a nature photography enthusiast like me, this is one of the best National Geographic coffee table books you must have.

12. Andy Warhol Polaroids 1958 – 1987 

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been fascinated by artists’ personal lives. I was thrilled to discover Andy Warhol’s Polaroids from 1958 to 1987. 

The photos are candid and intimate, ranging from shots of his friends and lovers to landscapes and everyday moments. 

One of the most incredible things is how many celebrities Warhol captured, like Mick Jagger, Jack Nicholson, and Yves Saint Laurent. It’s like a peek into his glamorous life! 

As a photography lover, I think these Polaroids should be featured in coffee table books or exhibited to share their unique view of the iconic Pop Art artist. 

Plus, they remind me of the casual snapshots I see on Instagram today – it’s like Warhol was ahead of his time!

My final thoughts on the best photography coffee table books

Close up shot of a stack of books with one book open on the top with a full bookshelf visible behind, photography coffee table books

Photography coffee table books are a feast for the eyes and a treasure for any photography enthusiast. 

These books consistently capture the spirit of the world, whether through powerful portraits or breathtaking landscapes. 

Through their stunning visuals and carefully curated collections, they take us on a journey through time and space, showcasing the beauty and diversity of our planet. 

As I come to the end of this blog post, I can’t help but feel inspired and encouraged to delve deeper into the world of photography. 

I hope this post ignites a spark in you as well and encourages you to explore this beautiful medium. 

While digital may be convenient, there’s something timeless and special about printed photography that cannot be replicated. 

So next time you’re browsing through an art or book store, take a moment to pick up one of those beautiful photography coffee table books and immerse yourself in its pages. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed to take a look at the most inspiring surf photography books either.

FAQ about photography coffee table books

What are the best photography coffee table books?

Some of the best photography coffee table books are Ansel Adams in the National Parks: Photographs from America’s Wild Places, There and Back: Photographs from the Edge, or the National Geographic Stunning Photographs.

What are the best coffee table books?

Some of the best coffee table books are Annie Leibovitz: Portraits : 2005-2016, 1000 Record Covers by Michael Ochs, or The Bucket List: 1000 Adventures Big & Small.

What are the best nature photography coffee table books?

Some of the best nature photography coffee table books are Shark: Portraits by Mike Coots, Forests: Nature Photography Coffee table Book by Melgren Jacqueline, or The Life & Love of the Sea by Lewis Blackwell.