Book suggestions.....

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews & Shows' started by scootermm, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    I just finished reading Ansel Adams autobiography. Ive never been a huge fan of his work, but have always admired him hugely.... after reading the autobiography this is only compounded. It was a very honest and beautifully written book I thought.

    I borrowed it from the local Austin Library and thought Id poke the APUG community for any other suggestions of this sort.

    thanks in advance.
     
  2. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    There are several biographies of AA but the one I like is by Mary Alinder. She actually helped him with the autobiography and was his assistant for a number of years. It is, of course, written from a different perspective, but the two books together make a reasonably well rounded portrait. It's probably not hard to find on Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.

    (I asked her once at a gallery in NYC if AA was really a decent pianist or whether his talent and ability were overstated. She replied that he really was excellent, even when hampered by arthritis and minimal practicing. That was very nice to know.)
     
  3. Bighead

    Bighead Member

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    Speaking of Autobiographys, I have two copies (don't ask me why) of Helmut Newton's.. What a cool story.
     
  4. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    As far as biographical type of works:


    Avedon at Work in the American West by Laura Wilson
    Diane Arbus Revelations

    Autobiography by Helmut Newton (take what he says with a grain of salt, but still a good read)

    Focus by Beaumont Newhall (this is the one book on the list I haven't read yet, it's on the bookshelf, but I just haven't had time to get to it)

    Mapplethorpe; A Biography by Patricia Morrisroe (this was a very interesting book to read)

    I'm off to school, but that's what I could grab quickly off the shelf.
     
  5. Peter Rockstroh

    Peter Rockstroh Member

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    Another great biographical book is The Daybooks of Edward Weston. As he had no literary ambitions, these journals are an unpretentious, honest account of what motivated Weston to photograph. His passion for the craft was amazing, especially when you realize how little he cared about equipment and materials.
     
  6. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    I second the Diane Arbus "Revelations". Because it is filled with passages from so many of her letters and notes it takes on an autobiographical feel. The copy of the origional autopsy report on her is haunting. It is a good mixture of her photographs and life story.
     
  7. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    While not autobiographical...

    I find Lenswork to be the shot in the arm I need sometimes for creative inspiration.

    joe
     
  8. noblebeast

    noblebeast Member

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    Along with the other recommended titles I would suggest the Jim Hughes biography of W. Eugene Smith, "Shadows & Substance" - sometimes hard to find but one of the best, well-rounded, warts-n-all biographies ever written about anyone.

    Joe
     
  9. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Margaret Bourke White:Vicki Goldberg
    Man Ray American Artist:Neil Baldwin
    Self Portrait:Man Ray
    Stieglitz:Sue Davidson Lowe
    Through Another Lens(Weston):Charis Wilson
     
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Thanks Joe, I added this one to my list of books to buy/read :smile:
     
  11. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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    First of all, I second the nomination of Jim Hughes' book about W. Eugene Smith.

    Second, I'd like to nominate Russell Miller's book about the Magnum Photo Agency.

    Third, I'd also like to nominate "Photographic Memories" by Jack Delano, one of the WPA photographers.
     
  12. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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    Sorry, I meant FSA (Farm Security Administration) and not WPA (works progress administratio). Time to brush up on those New Deal acronyms...
     
  13. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    I second this one. A very interesting insight into Edward Weston and that whole art community in California.

    Cheers y'all.
     
  14. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Another nice read is Robert Capa "Slightly Out of Focus" ...and I will add the Smith book to my wish list as well.
     
  15. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Biographies are a great way to learn about the history of the medium. i would suggest "Walker Evans" by James R. Mellow, and any biography of Alfred Stieglitz. There are also a pair of Weston books edited by Nancy Newhall, "On Photogrpahy" by Edward Weston. It contains letters and essays written by Weston and is a great companion to the Daybooks. the other is "Edward Weston Omnibus", a compilation of articles, and essays about Weston and his work. It contains probably the finest essay about Weston and his work written by Ansel Adams a few years after Weston's death.
     
  16. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    went to the library (La Biblioteca for you spanglish folks) and picked up vol. I of the Weston Day books and also Edward Weston: The last years in Carmel by Travis.

    both look interesting and after finishing the Vol 1 of the Daybooks Ill likely get the Vol 2.

    Thanks for all the suggestions all... Ive made a little running list to widdle away at.
     
  17. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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    I'd also like to recommend "From Adams To Stieglitz" by Nancy Newhall.
     
  18. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    I'd recommend the journals of Eugene Delacroix, Paul Strand's essay in the last issue of "Camera Work," Garry Winogrand and Ted Papageorge's essays (and Strand again) in the 1974 "Snapshot" issue of APERTURE, Joshua Reynold's "Discourses" etc and Ruskin's "Masters of Fesole" book -- all are artists writing about process from the inside.
     
  19. Bill Hahn

    Bill Hahn Member

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    More on W. Eugene Smith

    With the various references to W. Eugene Smith, I thought I would post
    a URL with the last interview with him. Many people have called him the "Van Gogh of photography"....but you probably shouldn't read this interview until you're familiar with "The Country Doctor" or Minimata or the Pittsburgh essay:

    http://www.focalpress.com/companions/0240804155/smithqa/smithqa.htm