As we discussed in another article, it is a good idea not to spend too much money on photographic gear, if you want to advance your photography. Gear will not help you in your photography more than an expensive pen would help someone become a better writer.
One of the greatest possible investments would be in books. This is something that will actually help you in your path. The best way to start is by collecting actual photography-related books, mostly image books, but even biographies or essays. Being exposed to great images is very helpful as it trains your eye to appreciate a good scene/frame when it presents itself in front of you and be able to capture it yourself. It is the fastest way to train yourself in visual composition.
Photo books are probably the best means, as it suggests that the creator and their images have passed through an extra filter (the editor, etc.) in order for the book to be created. So, especially to the untrained eye, photo books are a real treasure.
I tried to compile a list to help you create your own photo book collection and make a great library for yourself. So the books I consider essential to my collection, with NO specific order of preference are:
Magnum Contact Sheets
This exceptional book, published here in an accessibly priced paperback format, comes out just as the shift to digital photography threatens to render the contact sheet obsolete. It celebrates the contact sheet as a fascinating way of accompanying great photographers as they work towards, and capture, the most enduring images of our time. 139 contact sheets, representing 69 photographers, are featured, as well as zoom-in details, selected photographs, press cards, notebooks and spreads from contemporary publications, including Life magazine and Picture Post. Further insight is provided by texts written by the photographers themselves or by experts chosen by members’ estates. It includes many greats of photography, among them Henri Cartier- Bresson, Elliott Erwitt and Inge Morath, as well as Magnum’s latest generation, such as Jonas Bendiksen, Alessandra Sanguinetti and Alec Soth. These photographers cover over 70 years of history, from the D-Day landings by Robert Capa and the Paris riots of 1968 by Bruno Barbey to images of Che Guevara by René Burri, Malcolm X by Eve Arnold and classic New Yorkers by Bruce Gilden.
2. Michael Kenna: Images of the Seventh Day
A beautifully designed monograph surveying the works of the highly acclaimed contemporary photographer.
Kenna’s photographs captivate viewers through their silent drama and magnetism: rather than being accurate descriptions of a place, the photographer seems interested in capturing the invisible lines which enclose space, and in so doing arousing a viewer’s imagination and reverie. Michael Kenna is an artist for whom the subject is above all the opportunity for a tremendous but constant variation in his view of the world.
Michael Kenna was born in England in 1953 but has been living in the United States for thirty years. Of the many showings of his works that have been held in public venues and private galleries, mention should be made particularly of those in museums in France, Japan and the United States, the latest being in the French National Library, Paris, in 2009.
3. On Photography, by Susan Sontag
'The most original and illuminating study of the subject.' The New Yorker
Photographs are everywhere. From high art to family albums to legal evidence, they capture and document the world around us. And whether we use them to expose, reveal or remember, they hold an enduring power.
In this essential and revelatory volume, Susan Sontag confronts important questions surrounding the power dynamics between photographer and subject, the blurred boundary between lived events and recreated images, and the desires that lead us to record our lives.
'Complex and contradictory... one of America's greatest public intellectuals' Observer
'Susan Sontag offers enough food for thought to satisfy the most intellectual of appetites.' The Times
'A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have had in our way of looking at the world, and at ourselves, over the years.' Washington Post
3. Vivian Maier: Photographin
Discovered in 2007, nanny-cum-street photographer Vivian Maier (1926-2009) has since become a cult figure. This volume presents a first survey of her candid oeuvre: obsessive, sharp, playful, humorous, and uncompromising.
4. Fred Herzog: Modern Color
Fred Herzog is known for his unusual use of colour in the fifties and sixties, a time when art photography was almost exclusively associated with black and white imagery. The Canadian photographer worked almost exclusively with Kodachrome slide film for over 50 years, and only in the past decade has technology allowed him to make archival pigment prints that match the exceptional color and intensity of the Kodachrome slide. In this respect, his photographs can be seen as a pre-figuration of the New Color photographers of the seventies.This book will bring together over 230 images, many never before reproduced, and will feature essays by acclaimed authors David Campany and Hans-Michael Koetzle. Fred Herzog will be the most comprehensive publication on this important photographer to date.
5. The Suffering of Light: Thirty Years of Photographs by Alex Webb
Gathering some of Alex Webb’s most iconic images, many of which were taken in the far corners of the earth, The Suffering of Light brings a fresh perspective to his extensive catalogue. Recognized as a pioneer of American colour photography, Webb has since the 1970s consistently created photographs characterized by intense colour and light. His work, with its richly layered and complex composition, touches on multiple genres, including street photography, photojournalism and fine art, but as Webb claims, ‘to me it all is photography. You have to go out and explore the world with a camera.’ Webb’s ability to distil gesture, colour and contrasting cultural tensions into single, beguiling frames results in evocative images that convey a sense of enigma, irony and humour. Featuring key works alongside previously unpublished photographs, The Suffering of Light is Webb’s first comprehensive monograph and provides the most thorough examination to date of this modern master’s prolific, thirty-year career.
6. All About Saul Leiter
‘A photographer’s gift to the viewer is sometimes beauty in the overlooked ordinary’
Photography lovers the world over are now embracing Saul Leiter, who has enjoyed a remarkable revival since fading into relative obscurity in the 1980s. This collection reveals the secrets of his appeal, from his life philosophy and lyricism to masterful colours and compositions. Some 200 works – including early street photographs, images for advertising, nudes and paintings – cover Leiter’s career from the 1940s onwards, accompanied by quotations from the artist himself that express his singular world view.
7. Bruce Davidson: In Color
This volume presents Bruce Davidson’s personal selections from his lesser-known color archive, from a period of nearly sixty years. Assignments from various magazines including Vogue, National Geographic, Life, as well as commercial projects, led Davidson to photograph subjects as diverse as fashion (in the early 1960s), the Shah of Iran with his family (1964), keepers of French monuments (1988), the supermodel Kylie Bax (1997), and college cheerleaders (1989). He photographed in India and China, but also at home in New York, in Chicago, and along the Pacific Coast Highway. In 1968, Michelangelo Antonioni invited Davidson to document the making of his film “Zabriskie Point.” Davidson also continued to pursue personal projects, such as photographing the Yiddish writer and Nobel Prize laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer (1972–75), the New York City subway (1980), and Katz’s Delicatessen (2004). Often staying on in a country after an official assignment, Davidson documented Welsh coalfields and family holidays in Martha’s Vineyard, and travelled through Patagonia and Mexico.
8. August Sander Masterpieces
When August Sander (1876-1964) opened his photography studio in Cologne in 1910, he commenced taking portraits of his fellow Germans. These images laid the foundation for a project of cyclopedic scope that he would pursue until his death. His photographic typology of the society of his day, arranged by rank, occupation, and social status, ranging from "The Farmer" to "The City" and "The Last People," is today considered a milestone in the history of photography. In 1929 Sander published 60 portraits titled Face of our Time selected from his monumental People of the 20th Century project. Our volume is a compilation of 153 of the best-known and most significant portraits of Sander's unfinished lifework, which was slow in receiving the global recognition it deserves. Sander's "fanaticism of a truth seeker," as Alfred Döblin phrased it in his preface to Face of Our Time, has since served as a model for generations of photographers.
9. Martin Parr - The Last Resort
When Martin Parr's 'The Last Resort' was first published and exhibited in 1986 it divided both critics and audiences alike. Some saw it as the finest achievement to date of colour photography in Britain whilst others viewed it as an aberration . With the benefit of hindsight there is little doubt that it transformed documentary photography in Britain and placed Parr amongst the world s leading photographers. The book is now recognised as a classic and is highly sought by collectors worldwide. Steering a perilous course between objectivity and voyeurism, Parr viewed the decaying holiday resort of New Brighton and its holidaymakers in a way that was new, unique and deeply disturbing. And he did so in colour, something which at the time was seen as revolutionary for documentary work. For some his camera seemed cold and cruel as it followed the working classes desperately pursuing their holiday dreams surrounded by dereliction and decay and wading through the apparently endless detritus of a pollution-ridden consumer society. Others felt it showed an affectionate, humorous and humanistic response from Parr. However it was viewed, it was undoubtedly a sharp, bitter satire of the Britain of the Thatcher years.
10. Josef Koudelka: Exiles
One of the most powerful documents of the spiritual and physical state of exile ever published
About Exiles, Cornell Capa once wrote, 'Koudelka's unsentimental, stark, brooding, intensely human imagery reflects his own spirit, the very essence of an exile who is at home wherever his wandering body finds haven in the night...'
In this revised and expanded edition of the 1988 classic, which includes new images, Josef Koudelka's work once more forms a powerful document of the spiritual and physical state of exile. Most of the images were taken in Europe during Koudelka's own twenty-year exile from his native Czechoslovakia, starting in 1970, after having left in the wake of photographing the Soviet-led invasion of Prague. The sense of private mystery that fills these photographs speaks of passion and reserve, of his rage to see. Solitary, moving, deeply felt and strangely disturbing, the images in Exiles suggest alienation, disconnection and love.
Exiles evokes some of the most compelling and troubling themes of the twentieth century, still resonating with equal force during this time of migrations and profound transcience.
11. William Eggleston Portraits
‘I want to make a picture that could stand on its own, regardless of what it was a picture of. I’ve never been a bit interested in the fact that this was a picture of a blues musician or a street corner or something.’ – William Eggleston William Eggleston’s photographs are special for their eccentric, unexpected compositions, playfulness, implied narrative and, above all, his portrayals of people. Over the past half-‐century he has created a powerful and enduring body of work featuring friends and family, musicians, artists and others. Eggleston frequented the 1970s Memphis club scene, developing friendships and getting to know musicians, including Ike Turner, Alex Chilton and others. His fascination with the nightclub culture resulted in the experimental video Stranded in Canton (2005), which chronicles visits to bars in Memphis, Mississippi, and New Orleans. At the same time he encountered and photographed the likes of Dennis Hopper, Eudora Welty and Walter Hopps – and for a brief moment Eggleston even entered the Warhol Factory scene, dating the Warhol protégé, Viva. William Eggleston: Portraits accompanies the first exhibition to explore Eggleston’s pictures of people. Works included span his career from the 1950s through to his well-‐known portraits of the 1970s to the present day. The catalogue includes an essay, chronology and beautifully reproduced exhibition plates, as well as a series of revealing interviews with Eggleston and his close family members, conducted in Memphis by exhibition curator Phillip Prodger.
12. Gerda Taro: Inventing Robert Capa
In Paris in 1934, a young and beautiful Jewish émigrée, Gerda Pohorylles, met a Hungarian political exile, André Friedmann. They reinvented themselves as the photographers Gerda Taro and Robert Capa and he would become the most important photojournalist of his generation.
When Gerda was killed in the Spanish Civil war at the age of twenty-six, Robert Capa was her most notable mourner his grief was beyond control. Her funeral drew crowds of thousands and she became a hero of the political left. Despite the legend that was built around her, she subsequently became a mere footnote in Capa's story. Seventy years after her death a long-lost suitcase was discovered in Mexico, containing thousands of negatives by Capa and Taro. Most astonishingly of all, the Mexican suitcase showed that photographs that had been attributed previously to Capa were, in fact, the work of Taro.
Jane Rogoyska s book will trace Taro s life and reveal the depth of her relationship with Capa. Charismatic and extraordinary, they epitomised one of the most tumultuous periods of the century.
13. René Burri: Mouvement / Movement
Over the course of a half-century, the photographs of René Burri (1933-2014) have tracked the turning points, triumphs and crises of the twentieth century. Whether it was the 15-year-old Burri's portrait of Winston Churchill or his later portrayals of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon, Anwar as-Sadat or Muammar al-Gaddafi, all have lodged themselves in the collective consciousness. Removed from sensationalism yet no less striking are Burri's images of the theater of war, of people suffering in poverty and calamity. And as if to hold such horrors in check, Burri turned his lens with equal intensity to the spheres of beauty and creativity--to the landscapes of Latin America, to great artists such as Picasso and Maria Callas, and to luminaries of architecture such as Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. This two-volume collection offers an extensive compilation of images from the eminent photojournalist.
14. Harry Gruyaert: Edges
The ‘edges’ that Harry Gruyaert, a pre-eminent member of the Magnum photo agency, explores in this incredibly lush, full-colour book, are the oceans, seas and rivers where humans meet the edge and the water begins. This unusual volume, which opens from the top up, takes the reader to Israel’s Dead Sea, the Mali River in Niger, the North Sea of Iceland, South Korea and Biarritz, as Gruyaert’s sensitive photos record the subtle chromatic vibrations of the edges of the Orient and the Occident. Gruyaert opposes the hustle of the city with a pared-down, yet intense, nature. His landscapes are never empty; they are inhabited places where light, colour, objects, people and situations weave a serene, sublime tableau.
This beautifully produced photographic manifesto reveals the profoundly poetic character of Gruyaert’s work, and the sensual elegance of his faultless compositions.
15. Sergio Larrain: London. 1959.
In 1958, Sergio Larrain’s photographs of a smoggy, down-at-heel London captured an extraordinarily powerful vision of the city. Larrain's London is a fast-moving blur of activity. He revealed the signs of the emergence of a new, post-war London society – in its streets, parks, pubs and clubs – and captured the class divisions, the burgeoning fashions of its youth, and the everyday life of Londoners about to enter a new decade: the Sixties. The photographs brought Larrain to the attention of Henri Cartier-Bresson, who immediately signed him to Magnum Photos.
This edition comprises the entire series including around forty previously unseen images from the archives of Magnum Photos. These powerful photographs conjure up the mood of a coal-fired, smoke-laden London that has long since disappeared.
16. Annie Leibovitz: Wonderland
“[A] gorgeous anthology of fashion images … Leibovitz is nothing less than America’s greatest living photographic portraitist … she has changed fashion photography forever.” – Anna Wintour
Legendary photographer Annie Leibovitz’s surprising account of her encounters with fashion over five decades
‘Looking back at my work, I see that fashion has always been there,’ Annie Leibovitz observes in the preface to Wonderland. ‘Fashion plays a part in the scheme of everything, but photography always comes first for me. The photograph is the most important part. And photography is so big that it can encompass journalism, portraiture, reportage, family photographs, fashion ... My work for Vogue fueled the fire for a kind of photography that I might not otherwise have explored.’
Includes 350 extraordinary images (many of them previously unpublished) featuring a wide and diverse range of subjects: Nicole Kidman, Serena Williams, Pina Bausch, RuPaul, Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga, Matthew Barney, Kate Moss, Natalia Vodianova, Rihanna, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Karl Lagerfeld, Nancy Pelosi. With a foreword by Anna Wintour.
17. Andy Warhol. Polaroids 1958-1987
Andy Warhol was a relentless chronicler of life and its encounters. Carrying a Polaroid camera from the late 1950s until his death in 1987, he amassed a huge collection of instant pictures of friends, lovers, patrons, the famous, the obscure, the scenic, the fashionable, and himself. Created in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation, this book features hundreds of these instant photos.
Portraits of celebrities such as Mick Jagger, Alfred Hitchcock, Jack Nicholson, Yves Saint Laurent, Pelé, Debbie Harry are included alongside images of Warhol’s entourage and high life, landscapes, and still lifes from Cabbage Patch dolls to the iconic soup cans. Often raw and impromptu, the Polaroids document Warhol’s era like Instagram captures our own, offering a unique record of the life, world, and vision behind the Pop Art maestro and modernist giant.
18. By Helmut Newton - Polaroids
Helmut Newton (1920-2004) was one of the most influential fashion photographers of all time. Born in Berlin, he arrived in Australia in 1940 and married June Brunell (a.k.a. Alice Springs) eight years later. He first achieved international fame in the 1970's while working principally for French Vogue, and his celebrity and influence grew over the decades. Newton preferred to shoot in streets or interiors, rather than studios. Controversial scenarios, bold lighting, and striking compositions came to form his signature look. In 1990 he was awarded the Grand Prix National for photography; in 1992 the German government awarded him Das Grosse Verdienstkreuz for services to German culture, and he was appointed Officer des Arts, Lettres et Sciences by S.A.S. Princess Caroline of Monaco. In 1996, he was appointed Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by Philippe Douste-Blazy, the French Minister of Culture.
Working and living in close companionship with his wife until his death at 83, his images remain as distinctive, seductive and original as ever.
19. Peter Lindbergh. On Fashion Photography. 40th Ed.
It was on a Malibu beach in 1988 that Peter Lindbergh shot the White Shirts series, images now known the world over. Simple yet seminal, the photographs introduced us to Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Rachel Williams, Karen Alexander, Tatjana Patitz, and Estelle Lefébure. This marked the beginning of an era that redefined beauty, and Lindbergh would go on to alter the landscape of fashion photography for the decades that followed.
This edition gathers more than 300 images from forty years of Lindbergh’s career. It traces the German photographer’s cinematic inflections and humanist approach, which produced images at once seductive and introspective.
In 1980 Rei Kawakubo asked Lindbergh to shoot a Commes des Garçons campaign, one of his earlier forays into commercial photography. Kawakubo gave him carte blanche. The following years brought forth collaborations with the most venerated names in fashion and resulted in a relationship of mutual reverence; Lindbergh’s respect for some of the greatest designers of our time is palpable in his portraits. Among those photographed are Azzedine Alaïa, Giorgio Armani, Alber Elbaz, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Thierry Mugler, Yves Saint Laurent, Jil Sander, and Yohji Yamamoto.
Widely considered a pioneer in his field, Lindbergh shirked the industry standards of beauty and instead celebrated the essence and individuality of his subjects. He was pivotal to the rise of models such as Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Cindy Crawford, Mariacarla Boscono, Lara Stone, Claudia Schiffer, Amber Valletta, Nadja Auermann, and Kristen McMenamy.
Lindbergh’s reach also extended across Hollywood and beyond: Cate Blanchett, Charlotte Rampling, Richard Gere, Isabelle Huppert, Nicole Kidman, Madonna, Brad Pitt, Catherine Deneuve, and Jeanne Moreau all appear in his works. From the picture chosen by Anna Wintour as the cover of her first Vogue issue to the legendary shot of Tina Turner on the Eiffel Tower, it is never the clothes, celebrity, or glamour that takes center stage in a Lindbergh photograph. Each picture conveys the humanity of its subject with a serene melancholy that is uniquely and unmistakably Lindbergh.
From the outset of his career, Lindbergh was well-known in the contemporary art world, where his photographs were exhibited in galleries long before they appeared in magazines. This edition features an updated introduction adapted from an interview in 2016, allowing a glimpse behind Lindbergh’s lens, where the photographer recounts his early collaborations, the tenuous relationship between commercial and fine art, and the power of storytelling.
20. Ansel Adams' 400 Photographs
Beautifully reproduced and cleanly presented, the four hundred images in this volume represent the finest work of a pre-eminent landscape photographer. The photographs are arranged chronologically into five major periods in order to convey Adams's maturation as an artist - from his first photographs in 1916 to his last great photograph in 1968.
ANSEL ADAMS' 400 PHOTOGRAPHS is intended as a must-have gift and reference book for anyone who appreciates photography and the allure of the natural world. Few artists or photographers of any era can claim to have produced four hundred images of lasting beauty and significance. It is a testament to Ansel's vision and his prodigious output that a book of this scale can be justified, and it is a point of pride for Little, Brown to publish a comprehensive overview of the work of Ansel Adams in a single well-packaged volume.
21. Dorothea Lange: Aperture Masters of Photography
The Aperture Masters of Photography Series has become a touchstone of Aperture’s longstanding commitment to introducing the history and art of photography to a broader public. Each volume provides an ongoing comprehensive view of the artists who have helped shape the medium. Initially presented as the History of Photography Series in 1976, the first volume featured Henri Cartier-Bresson and was edited by legendary French publisher Robert Delpire, who cofounded the series with Aperture’s own Michael Hoffman. Twenty volumes have been published in total, each of them devoted to an image-maker whose achievements have accorded them vital importance in the history of photography. Each volume presents an evocative selection of the photographer’s life’s work, introduced with a foreword by a notable curator or historian of each artist. The series will be relaunched in Fall 2014, beginning with books on Paul Strand and Dorothea Lange, elegantly updated and refreshed for today’s photography-hungry audiences, and introducing new, image-by-image commentary and chronologies of the artists’ lives for each of the previously published titles. The series will also include entirely new titles on individual artists. The Aperture Masters of Photography Series is an unparalleled library of both historical and contemporary photographers, and serves as an accessible compilation for anyone studying the history of photography.
22. Don McCullin: The New Definitive Edition
The updated retrospective published for McCullin's 80th birthday.
Contains 40 new unpublished photographs and a new introduction ― the definitive edition.
McCullin’s reputation has long been established as one of the greatest photographers of conflict in the last century. In the fourteen years since the first publication of the book, McCullin has shed the role of war photographer and become a great landscape artist. He has also travelled widely through Africa, India, the Middle East and among the tribes living in Stone Age conditions in Indonesia. His journey from the back streets of north London to his rural retreat in the depths of Somerset is unparalleled. It includes a passage through the most terrible scenes of recent history, for which his stark views of the West Country offer him some redemption.
23. Sebastião Salgado: GENESIS
“In GENESIS, my camera allowed nature to speak to me. And it was my privilege to listen.” ―Sebastião Salgado
On a very fortuitous day in 1970, 26-year-old Sebastião Salgado held a camera for the first time. When he looked through the viewfinder, he experienced a revelation: suddenly life made sense. From that day onward―though it took years of hard work before he had the experience to earn his living as a photographer―the camera became his tool for interacting with the world. Salgado, who “always preferred the chiaroscuro palette of black-and-white images,” shot very little color in his early career before giving it up completely.
Raised on a farm in Brazil, Salgado possessed a deep love and respect for nature; he was also particularly sensitive to the ways in which human beings are affected by their often devastating socio-economic conditions. Of the myriad works Salgado has produced in his acclaimed career, three long-term projects stand out: Workers (1993), documenting the vanishing way of life of manual laborers across the world; Migrations (2000), a tribute to mass migration driven by hunger, natural disasters, environmental degradation and demographic pressure; and this new opus, GENESIS, the result of an epic eight-year expedition to rediscover the mountains, deserts and oceans, the animals and peoples that have so far escaped the imprint of modern society―the land and life of a still-pristine planet. “Some 46% of the planet is still as it was in the time of genesis,” Salgado reminds us. “We must preserve what exists.” The GENESIS project, along with the Salgados’ Instituto Terra, are dedicated to showing the beauty of our planet, reversing the damage done to it, and preserving it for the future.
Over 30 trips―traveled by foot, light aircraft, seagoing vessels, canoes, and even balloons, through extreme heat and cold and in sometimes dangerous conditions―Salgado created a collection of images showing us nature, animals, and indigenous peoples in breathtaking beauty. Mastering the monochrome with an extreme deftness to rival the virtuoso Ansel Adams, Salgado brings black-and-white photography to a new dimension; the tonal variations in his works, the contrasts of light and dark, recall the works of Old Masters such as Rembrandt and Georges de La Tour.
What does one discover in GENESIS? The animal species and volcanoes of the Galápagos; penguins, sea lions, cormorants, and whales of the Antarctic and South Atlantic; Brazilian alligators and jaguars; African lions, leopards, and elephants; the isolated Zo’é tribe deep in the Amazon jungle; the Stone Age Korowai people of West Papua; nomadic Dinka cattle farmers in Sudan; Nenet nomads and their reindeer herds in the Arctic Circle; Mentawai jungle communities on islands west of Sumatra; the icebergs of the Antarctic; the volcanoes of Central Africa and the Kamchatka Peninsula; Saharan deserts; the Negro and Juruá rivers in the Amazon; the ravines of the Grand Canyon; the glaciers of Alaska... and beyond. Having dedicated so much time, energy, and passion to the making of this work, Salgado calls GENESIS “my love letter to the planet.”
Whereas the limited Collector’s Edition is conceived like a large-format portfolio that meanders across the planet, this unlimited book presents a selection of photographs arranged in five chapters geographically: Planet South, Sanctuaries, Africa, Northern Spaces, Amazonia, and Pantanal. Each in its own way, this book and the Collector’s Edition―both edited and designed by Lélia Wanick Salgado―pay homage to Salgado’s triumphant and unparalleled GENESIS project.
24. Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself: A Lifetime Retrospective
Where I Find Myself is the first major single book retrospective of one of America's leading photographers. As the title indicates, it is organized in inverse chronological order and spans the photographer's whole career to date.
It covers all of Meyerowitz's great projects: his work inspired by the artist Morandi, his work on trees, his exclusive coverage of Ground Zero, his trips in the footsteps of Robert Frank across the US, his experiments comparing colour and black and white pictures, and of course his iconic street photography work.
The text is all by Joel Meyerowitz himself and the book coincides with a major retrospective show in Berlin.
25. Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World
Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World offers a timely and critical reconsideration of Erwitt’s unparalleled life as a photographer. Produced alongside a major retrospective exhibition, the book features examples of Erwitt’s early experiments in California, his intimate family portraits in New York, his major magazine assignments and long-term documentary interests, and his ongoing personal investigations of public spaces and their transitory inhabitants. Essays by photography experts based on extensive new interviews with the photographer consider less-studied aspects of Erwitt’s work: his engagement with social and political issues through photojournalism, the humanist qualities of his very early photographs, and his work as a filmmaker. Home Around the World traces the development and refinement of Erwitt’s unique visual approach over time. With over two hundred photographs, and ephemera including magazine reproductions, advertisements, and contact sheets, this volume is the first to offer a comprehensive historical treatment of Erwitt’s body of work and position in the field.
26. Elliott Erwitt's Dogs
Big Boy is back! Elliott Erwitt's classic is available again in original size
In a generously oversized format, Elliott Erwitt's distinctive photographs of dogs
Text in English, German, French, Italian and Spanish
One of the 20th century's most celebrated image-makers, this collection, in a generously oversized format, focuses on Elliott Erwitt's distinctive photographs of dogs. In a heartfelt and original tribute to man's best friend, this photographic master captures all the diversity of the canine kingdom. We witness Fido's many moods from playful, perky scamp to quiet and constant companion. Ranging from daring little imps to lumbering and gentle beasts, Erwitt's images unveil the quirkiness that makes these creatures so beloved while combining an unerring sense of composition with the magic of the moment.
27. Constantine Manos: American Color
This photographic collection, taken in unusual locales throughout the United States, presents a kaleidoscope of American culture. The images do not seek to constitute a general or definitive statement about America, but aim to convey their own message and elicit their own responses from the viewer.
28. Constantine Manos: American Color 2
In this brilliant new work, Magnum photographer Constantine Manos continues his exploration of the dynamic intersection between subject and time, the real and the surreal in American towns. From Santa Monica to New York City, Manos has captured the varied spectrum of contemporary life in all its offbeat and charming strangeness.
29. Jane Bown: A Lifetime of Looking
Featuring 200 black-and-white and colour images, this book includes her iconic portraits and extensive photojournalism from the Greenham Common evictions to the Iranian embassy siege. Bown's pictures allow us to walk back in time as she captured - with curiosity, respect and wit - the people of the UK: you'll find heroic strikers, soulful miners, proud dogwalkers, busy fishermen, dancing girls, picnicking postmen and excited daytrippers side by side with the Queen, Mick Jagger, Charlie Chaplain, Margot Fonteyn, Sinéad O'Connor, the Beatles and Spike Lee. This definitive collection not only presents Jane's well-known shots, it includes substantial material that has never been seen before.
This book presents the most comprehensive collection of the photographer's work - created during the 1940s through the 2010s. The book will be edited by friend and curator Luke Dodd.
30. In Whose Name?: The Islamic World After 9/11
Abbas veteran Magnum photographer of political and social conflict in Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, South America and South America turns his attention in this collection to the Islamic world in the wake of 9/11. In over 170 compelling duotone images, Abbas exposes an inside view of a world seen by very few people in the West until now. Focusing on the resurgence of Islam everywhere on the planet since September 2001, these pictures swell with the undercurrents of global disturbance, uncertainty and threat. A member of Magnum for more than 25 years, Abbas is widely recognized as one of the most exceptional photographers of our time: these images represent some of the most memorable work he has produced, on a subject of compelling interest across the globe.
31. Magnum Artists: When Great Photographers Meet Great Artists
Matisse and Picasso by Robert Capa, Takashi Murakami by Olivia Arthur, Warhol and de Kooning by Thomas Hoepker, Bonnard by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sonia Delaunay by Herbert List, Kiki Smith by Susan Meiselas, and many more. For the first time, Magnum Artists brings together a collection of over 200 photographs that define the unique relationship between the world's greatest photography collective and the world's greatest artists.
32. Hiroshi Sugimoto: Black Box
Hiroshi Sugimoto has explored ideas of time, empiricism, and metaphysics through a surreal and formalistic approach since the 1970s. A self-described “habitual self-interlocutor,” Sugimoto uses the camera as a bridge between abstract questions and the quiet, comical nature of modern everyday life. Whether formally photographing Madame Tussauds wax figures and the wildlife scenes at the American Museum of Natural History, or opening the lens of his 8-by-10 camera to capture a two-hour-long film in one exposure, he explores themes of consumerism, narrative, and existence in rich and evocative imagery. This new project presents a survey of Sugimoto’s iconic work, from his calm seascapes to his more recent exploration of lightning fields and photogenic drawing. Created in conjunction with an upcoming exhibition at FUNDACIÓN MAPFRE in Spain, the survey includes an introduction and essay by writer and curator Philip Larratt-Smith, an interview with Sugimoto, and text by the prominent Brazilian artist Iran do Espírito Santo.
33. Daido Moriyama (Photofile)
Daido Moriyama is one of two new books this season in Thames & Hudson’s acclaimed ‘Photofile’ series. Each book brings together the best work of the world’s greatest photographers in an attractive format and at an easily affordable price. Hailed by The Times as ‘finely produced’, the books are printed to the highest standards. Each one contains some sixty full-page reproductions, together with a critical introduction and a full bibliography.
34. Josef Koudelka: Invasion 68: Prague
In 1968, Josef Koudelka was a 30-year-old acclaimed theater photographer who had never made pictures of a news event. That all changed on the night of August 21, when Warsaw Pact tanks invaded the city of Prague, ending the short-lived political liberalization in Czechoslovakia that came to be known as the Prague Spring. Koudelka had returned home the day before from photographing gypsies in Romania. In the midst of the turmoil of the Soviet-led invasion, he took a series of photographs which were miraculously smuggled out of the country. A year after they reached New York, Magnum Photos distributed the images credited to an unknown Czech photographer to avoid reprisals. The intensity and significance of the images earned the still-anonymous photographer the Robert Capa Award. Sixteen years would pass before Koudelka could safely acknowledge authorship. Forty years after the invasion, this impressive monograph features nearly 250 of these searing images--most of them published here for the first time--personally selected by Koudelka from his extensive archive. Interspersed with the images are press and propaganda quotations from the time, also selected by Koudelka, alongside a text by three Czech historians. Though the images gathered in this remarkable publication document a specific historical event, their transformative quality still resonates.
35. Josef Koudelka: Gypsies
This mini paperback edition of Gypsies makes a foundational body of work by master photographer Josef Koudelka newly accessible. This volume includes all 109 photographs from Koudelka's recent remastering of the Cikáni series (Czech for Gypsies)--photographs of Roma society taken between 1962 and 1971 in then-Czechoslovakia, Romania, Hungary, France, and Spain. Roma scholar and sociologist Will Guy, who wrote for both the 1975 and 2011 editions, updates his analysis of the condition of the Roma today, including the most recent upheavals in France and Europe. Stuart Alexander, photo historian and newly appointed editor in chief of Delpire Éditeur, contributes a brief historiography of the evolution of this body of work in book form.
36. Martin Parr: The Non-Conformists
In 1975, fresh out of art school, Martin Parr found poor footing in the London photography scene, so he moved to the picturesque Yorkshire Pennine mill town of Hebden Bridge. Over a period of five years, he documented the town in photographs, showing in particular the aspects of traditional life that were beginning to decline. Susie Parr, whom he had met in Manchester, joined him in documenting a year in the life of a small Methodist chapel, together with its farming community. Such chapels seemed to encapsulate the region’s disappearing way of life. Here Martin Parr found his photographic voice, while together he and Susie assembled a remarkable and touching historic document―now published in book form for the first time. The Non-Conformists takes its title from the Methodist and Baptist chapels that then characterized this area of Yorkshire and defined the fiercely independent character of the town. In words and pictures, the Parrs vividly and affectionately document cobbled streets, flat-capped mill workers, hardy gamekeepers, henpecked husbands, and jovial shop owners. The best Parr photographs are interleaved with Susie Parr’s detailed background descriptions of the society they observed.
37. Real Food | Martin Parr
A fun collection of Martin Parr's food pictures, which documents the simple notion that 'we are what we eat'.
Real Food celebrates all things food through the eyes of the renowned British photographer Martin Parr - a kaleidoscope of foods the world over, from hot dogs to sticky buns and langoustine to lemon meringue pie.
Featuring photographs taken throughout Martin Parr's prolific career to date, Real Food will comprise the very best of Parr's iconic imagery - a collection of close-up food shots, in typical garish colour, taken by Parr throughout his travels across the world.
Introduced with an essay by Fergus Henderson, British chef and founder of the restaurant St John's in London, which considers Parr's photographs in the context of global cuisine, and Parr's fascination with the social aspect of food that is at the heart of these photographs.
38. Curse of the Black Gold: 50 Years of Oil in the Niger Delta
A graphic look at the profound cost of oil exploitation in West Africa. World-renowned photojournalist Ed Kashi traces 50 years of Nigerian oil interest and the resulting degradation and community conflicts that have plagued the region. This is the first book to document what has been called the "scramble for African oil". Kashi exposes the reality of oil's impact, providing a compelling pictorial history of one of the world's great deltaic areas.
39. Antoine D'Agata: Mexico
Over the past 30 years, French photographer Antoine d'Agata (born 1961) has undertaken various journeys in Mexico. As a photographer, d'Agata tends to focus on societal taboos like addiction and prostitution, and embroil himself directly in these darker parts of human nature. "It's not how photographers look at the world that is important," d'Agata has remarked. "It's their intimate relationship with it." This book is a record of the photographer's Mexican travels, a tense, immobile diary of his experiences in the devastated landscapes of an increasingly volatile criminal society. Still images, cinematographic narratives and texts make up a personal diary that, through intimate, sexual and narcotic encounters, constructs an increasingly sickening reality. Mirroring his journey as he wanders through a lonely and marginal world, d'Agata's photographic language seems to fracture and degenerate page by page. As a whole, Mexico presents a complex, difficult portrait of a period that has been constructed as a time of lawlessness and criminality in Mexican society. D'Agata structures the book around six photographic movements, relating directly to different times in the contemporary history of Mexico. These chapters suggest ruptures in the continuity of history, even as D'Agata creates a narrative of descent into pain and savagery.
40. Richard Avedon: Woman in the Mirror
Among the significant projects of the last year of his life, Richard Avedon (1923–2004) completed a book of his photographs of women. Always transcending categorization―he was both a fashion photographer and known as a “poet of portraiture”―Avedon was interested in seeing how elemental facts of modern life and human existence were reflected in his work. And what could be more elemental than women, who have mesmerized artists across the centuries? Looking at his work in this way, Avedon was able to create an unparalleled view of women in his time, a tumultuous half-century of rapidly changing social facts, cultural ideals, popular styles, and high fashion. As an artist, Avedon was deeply responsive to nuances of expression, gesture, and comportment, and his photographs unfailingly opened a window to the interior lives of his subjects. These ranged from celebrities (Marilyn Monroe), artists (Marguerite Duras, June Leaf), and high-fashion models (Suzy Parker, Dovima) to anonymous people that simply drew his attention. Like the best of art and literature, they evoke rich lives and complex experiences. An incisive essay by art historian Anne Hollander offers an overview of a half-century of Avedon’s images of women.
41. Across the Ravaged Land by Nick Brandt
Across the Ravaged Land is the third and final volume in Nick Brandt's trilogy of books documenting the disappearing natural world and animals of East Africa. The book’s title, combined with the titles of Brandt’s first two books, captures the change he has witnessed: “On this Earth, a shadow falls across the ravaged land.” The book offers a darker vision of the world that Brandt has been photographing for the last decade, a world still filled with stunning beauty, but now tragically tainted and fast disappearing at the hands of man. In addition to a range of new, starkly powerful portraits of animals; elephants, lions, leopards, hyenas, that appear to be posing especially for the photographer as if in a studio, Brandt introduces some new themes. For the first time, humans make an appearance in his photographs. On the jacket, a crouched ranger supports the weight of two giant tusks of an elephant killed by poachers. One new series of photographs has hunters' trophies placed back in the epic landscapes where once these creatures roamed. Another features perfectly preserved animals calcified by the salts of a Rift Valley soda lake. In both instances, the subjects appear strangely alive and sentient in death. Brandt also contributes two essays summing up his photographic odyssey, which has taken more than a decade of intensive work to complete. One details his work from the perspective of conservation, giving a broad overview of the wave of destruction of wildlife and habitat across Africa and describing the work his Big Life Foundation is doing to preserve the Amboseli ecosystem of Kenya and Tanzania. The other discusses technical aspects of his project.
42. In my room by Saul Leiter
Fed by thrilling recent discoveries from Saul Leiter’s vast archive, In My Room provides an in-depth study of the nude, through intimate photographs of the women Leiter knew. Showing deeply personal interior spaces, often illuminated by the lush natural light of the artist’s studio in New York City’s East Village, these black-and-white images reveal the unique collaboration between Leiter and his subjects. In the 1970s, Leiter planned to make a book of his nudes, but never realized the project in his lifetime. Now we are granted a first-time look at this body of work, which Leiter began on his arrival in New York in 1946 and chipped away at over the next two decades. Leiter, who was also a painter, incorporates abstract elements into these photographs and often shows the influence of his favorite artists, including Bonnard, Vuillard and Matisse. The prolific Leiter, who painted and took pictures fervently up to his death, worked in relative obscurity well into his eighties. Leiter preferred solitude in life, and resisted any type of explanation or analysis of his work. With In My Room, Leiter ushers viewers into his private world while retaining his strong sense of mystery.
43. Henri Cartier-Bresson/Scrapbook: Photographs 1932-1946
In 1946 Cartier-Bresson travelled to New York with about 300 prints in his suitcase, bought a scrapbook , glued each one in and brought that album to MoMA’s curators. Here, published for the first time in its entirety, is a facsimile of that famous scrapbook.
44. The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers by Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson's writings on photography and photographers have been published sporadically over the past 45 years. His essays―several of which have never before been translated into English―are collected here for the first time. The Mind's Eye features Cartier-Bresson's famous text on "the decisive moment" as well as his observations on Moscow, Cuba and China during turbulent times. These essays ring with the same immediacy and visual intensity that characterize his photography.
45. Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph: 40th Anniversary Edition
When Diane Arbus died in 1971 at the age of forty-eight, she was already a significant influenceeven something of a legendamong serious photographers, although only a relatively small number of her most important pictures were widely known at the time. The publication of Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph in 1972 along with the posthumous retrospective at The Museum of Modern Artoffered the general public its first encounter with the breadth and power of her achievements. The response was unprecedented. The monograph of eighty photographs was edited and designed by the painter Marvin Israel, Diane Arbuss friend and colleague, and by her daughter Doon Arbus. Their goal in making the book was to remain as faithful as possible to the standards by which Diane Arbus judged her own work and to the ways in which she hoped it would be seen. Universally acknowledged as a classic, Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph is a timeless masterpiece with editions in five languages and remains the foundation of her international reputation. Nearly half of a century has done nothing to diminish the riveting impact of these pictures or the controversy they inspire. Arbuss photographs penetrate the psyche with all the force of a personal encounter and, in doing so, transform the way we see the world and the people in it. This is the first edition in which the image separations were created digitally.
46. Robert Frank: The Americans
First published in France in 1958, then the United States in 1959, Robert Frank’s The Americans changed the course of twentieth-century photography. In eighty-three photographs, Frank looked beneath the surface of American life to reveal a people plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and rendered numb by a rapidly expanding culture of consumption. Yet he also found novel areas of beauty in simple, overlooked corners of American life. And it was not just his subject matter – cars, jukeboxes, and even the road itself – that redefined the icons of America; it was also his seemingly intuitive, immediate, off-kilter style, as well as his method of brilliantly linking his photographs together thematically, conceptually, formally, and linguistically, that made The Americans so innovative. More of an ode or a poem than a literal document, the book is as powerful and provocative today as it was fifty-five years ago.
47. Helmut Newton. SUMO. 20th Anniversary Edition
Helmut Newton (1920–2004) always showed a healthy disdain for the easy or predictable, so it’s no surprise that the SUMO was an irresistible project. The idea of a book the size of a private exhibition, with spectacular images reproduced to state-of-the-art origination and printing standards, emerged from an open, experimental dialogue between photographer and publisher. With the SUMO weighing in―boxed and shrink-wrapped―at 35.4 kg (just under 80 pounds), Newton created a landmark book that stood head and shoulders above anything previously attempted, both in terms of conceptual extravagance and technical specifications.
Published in an edition of 10,000 signed and numbered copies, the SUMO sold out soon after publication and quickly multiplied its value. It now features in numerous collections around the world, including New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The legendary copy number one, signed by more than 100 of the book’s featured celebrities, broke the record for the most expensive book published in the 20th century, sold at an auction in Berlin on April 6, 2000 for 620,000 German marks―about 317,000 euros.
Now, this XL edition celebrates 20 years of SUMO, the result of a project conceived by Helmut Newton some years ago. Revised by his wife June, the volume gathers 464 images and a new booklet that takes us through the making-of this publishing venture―a spectacular tribute to the larger-than-life Helmut Newton, now in a friendly format.
48. Photo Icons. 50 Landmark Photographs and Their Stories
From Nicéphore Niépce’s 1827 eight-hour-exposure rooftop pictures to the horror of Nick Ut’s “napalm girl,” the 50 photographs in this collection have defined eras, made history, or touched something so fundamentally human that they have become resonant icons around the world. Each image goes under the microscope, revealing the history of the medium and its social, historical, and artistic impact.
49. A History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present (Bibliotheca Universalis)
In the beginning there was light
The George Eastman House Collection: photography throughout the ages
From a delivery boy to one of the most important industrialists in American history, George Eastman s career developed in a particularly American way. The founder of Kodak died in 1932, and left his house to the University of Rochester. Since 1949 the site has operated as an international museum of photography and film, and today holds the largest collection of its kind in the world. The continually expanding photography collection contains over 400,000 images and negatives - among them the work of Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Ansel Adams and others - as well as 23,000 cinema films, five million film stills, one of the most important silent film collections, technical equipment and a library with 40,000 books on photography and film. The George Eastman House is a pilgrimage site and a place of worship for researchers, photographers and collectors from all over the world.
This volume shows in chronological order the most impressive images and the most important developments in the art of light that is photography. It provides in its huge collection and themes a unique survey of the medium from its origins until now.
50. Tarkovsky: Films, Stills, Polaroids & Writings
Andrey Tarkovsky was the most important Russian filmmaker of the post-war era, and one of the world’s most renowned cinematic geniuses. He directed the first five of his seven films – Ivan’s Childhood, Andrei Rublev, Solaris, Mirror and Stalker – in the Soviet Union, but in 1982 defected to Italy, where he made Nostalgia. His final film, The Sacrifice, was produced in Sweden in 1985. Tarkovsky’s films are characterized by metaphysical themes, extended takes, an absence of conventional dramatical structure and plot, and a dream-like, visionary style of cinematography. They achieve a spiritual intensity and transcendent beauty that many consider to be without parallel.
This book presents extended sequences of stills from each of the films alongside synopses and cast and crew listings. It includes reflections on Tarkovsky’s work from fellow artists and writers including Jean-Paul Sartre and Ingmar Bergman, for whom Tarkovsky was ‘the greatest, the one who invented a new language.’ Extracts from Tarkovsky’s own writings and diaries offer a wealth of insights into his poetic and philosophical views on cinematography, which he described as ‘sculpting in time’. The book also reproduces many personal Polaroid photographs that confirm the extraordinary poetic vision of a great artist who died aged only 54, but who remains a potent influence on artists and filmmakers today.