Favourite colour landscape photography books

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by coigach, Aug 17, 2007.

  1. coigach

    coigach Member

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    Hello all

    Thought it would be interesting to ask others for their favourite colour landscape photography books, along with a weblink and short explanation of why they are your faves.

    Here are my top 3:

    Jan-Peter Lahall ‘ I have seen’
    http://www.beyondwords.co.uk/Book.aspx?id=4301
    A personal exploration of the cycles of nature, regeneration and decay.

    Jan Tove ‘Beyond Order’
    http://www.beyondwords.co.uk/Book.aspx?id=4205
    A collection of 'intimate' landscapes, looking at chance, balance and harmony. Also has a thought-provoking title essay.

    Andrew Nadolski, 'The end of the land'
    http://www.beyondwords.co.uk/Book.aspx?id=4306
    http://www.nadolski.com
    A rhythmic meditation on time and place - all pictures taken at one small beach.

    To my mind, all of these books offer a personal artistic vision.

    Cheers,
    Gavin
     
  2. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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  3. Ian Leake

    Ian Leake Subscriber

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    My favourites are:


    It's probably common knowledge here, but for what it's worth, both Joe Cornish and Charlie Waite are exceptionally good teachers as well as photographers.
     
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  4. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Photographing the Landscape: The Art of Seeing by John Fielder
    Large Format Nature Photography by Jack W. Dykinga
    Light and the Art of Landscape Photography by Joe Cornish (also called First Light in the UK)

    You can read my review of these books here: http://www.visionlandscapes.com/ArticlesTips.aspx?Article=11
     
  5. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    "Cape Light", Joel Meyerowitz

    "A1 - The Great North Road", Paul Graham

    "Southern Photographs", William Christenberry

    This was a revealing task for me -- I don't have many books of color landscape work! :surprised:

    Ed
     
  6. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Ed,

    Could you reveal some more and tell us how you came across this book, why it is one of the few colour landscape books you have, and maybe more about what you see in it.

    I was very happy to see that book published.

    Have you seen Paul Graham's 'Beyond Caring'?

    Thanks,
    Helen
     
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  7. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    That's a fair question. Let's see if I can answer it! :surprised:

    I found it at a local gallery where I live, 20+ years ago, probably right about the time I first saw 'Local Hero,' one of my favorite movies of all time. The film had pretty much blown me away with the beauty of the Northern light (not 'lights' -- I'm talking about the quality of the sky light in the northern latitudes) and finding this book I think just underlined that for me.

    It's harder to say what I like about it. Certainly, there are photos in it that I think are incredible, but I think more is that his vision fits my aesthetic. I also like some the underlying ideas of the book -- it is sort of a "road trip" book and it has a specific focus (i.e. the A1).

    As for why I don't have very many color landscape books, I really can't say. I have a ton of black and white landscape books; in fact, that's probably most of what is in my collection. It's not a bias against color, per se -- I love color, even though I don't shoot all that much of it anymore. But perhaps, too, I should emphasize that my definition of a 'landscape' book was somewhat narrow. For example, I ruled out 'William Eggleston's Guide.'

    Maybe the bottom line of it is that between this book and 'Local Hero', I decided I had to go make pictures in the British Isles. I made it to Ireland the first time (on my honeymoon, with my beautiful Irish lass, who would have been 56 yesterday) in 1993 and finally made it to Scotland in 2006. Odd thing is that, when I finally did get to Scotland, I shot more black and white than color. But I think having an accessible darkroom was a big influence on that.

    Hope that helps!

    Ed
     
  8. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    Alec Soth - Hes so smart, and this book just blew me away the first time I saw it. The work he has done since hasn't even come close to measuring up in my opinion (http://www.alecsoth.com/Mississippi-new/pages/frameset.html)

    Joel Sternfeld - American Prospects - Inspires me every time I go out to take photographs. And all of the essays are phenomenal. The first book I found that eloquently said a lot of the things that I was struggling to say in my own work, and it came at the perfect time for me to totally embrace it. (already posted above)

    Mike Smith - You're Not From Around Here - Okay so this one isn't strictly landscapes..(i suppose the other two aren't either)...and the portraits are my favorite part...but I think this book is an overlooked gem in photography. (http://www.americanplaces.org/CAPgallery/mikesmith/smithindex.html)

    Jem Southam's Landscape stories was close to making the cut, but I couldn't be TOO much like Helen...although her list was darn good.

    -Dan
     
  9. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    I also don't have many books of color landscape work, but I concur 100% about "Cape Light". I've had it for five years now and look at it at least 2-3 times a week. Also, love Meyerowitz' "Bay/Sky". Wonderful stuff.

    Not completely landscape, but Sam Abell's work in "Seeing Gardens" and "Stay This Moment" is simply captivating.

    I can't believe no one has mentioned Galen Rowell yet, so I will. Hard to pick just one of his books, though. I'll choose "Mountain Light" for now.

    Also, Stephen Shore's "Gardens at Giverny".

    Great thread - looking forward to reading on...
     
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  10. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I hate/loathe Meyerowitz..... his work is boring, lacking in any type of understanding of the natural world around.
     
  11. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    Robert,

    You should say how you REALLY feel! ;-)

    I've heard this many times before. I've had many conversations with people who I share the same interests with, yet we completely differ on Meyerowitz. I think I understand what you mean when you say that his work lacks an understanding of the natural world around us, but I find I really enjoy an very large number of his photographs. I actually like the washed out palette look prevalent in much of his work. Not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but infinitely more interesting and pleasant to look at for me than ordinary pics of mundane things, like Sternfeld and Shore, though I like them very much as well.

    But I am having a hard time figuring out what is landscape photography, and what isn't. When I thought about my responses, I thought about color photographers in general. I want to expand my list to Steve McCurry and Ragubhir Singh, who are in my mind the among finest color photographers this world has ever seen.
     
  12. Jon Shiu

    Jon Shiu Subscriber

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  13. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I'm trying to keep from saying what I really feel about this guy. :surprised:
     
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  15. Andrew Moxom

    Andrew Moxom Member

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    Lake Powell by Gary Ladd. Awesome photos
     
  16. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    Jack Dykinga - Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau

    Craig Blacklock - The Lake Superior Images. Although he has gone over to the dark side now, the images in this book are all film.

    Jerry
     
  17. Neanderman

    Neanderman Member

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    Among my small number of color landscape books, I do have "American Prospects." I didn't list it for two reasons:

    • Other's had already listed it and I thought I should list some that other's hadn't.
    • I sometimes find Sternfeld's ironies just a bit too easy. (This is not to say I think it was easy for him to find and photograph them, I just think they are so visually obvious that I get bored.)
    This is not to run that book down, it's just one I have some issues with.

    Others I have that I could have listed include:

    • "Desert Cantos," Richard Misrach. I'm on the fence about this one.
    • "The Democratic Forest," Willam Eggleston. Occasionally, I think this is a brilliant book, on the par of "The Americans." Other times, I'm less sure.
    • "New Color," Harry Callahan. Callahan was brilliant, but I like his black and white work more.
    I likely would have listed Stephen Shore, but I don't have any of his books. :smile:

    Alex Soth I'm just getting familiar with.
     
  18. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    I would absolutely agree with this. If I can see a photograph and learn all that there is to learn from it within 2 minutes, then I don't really feel its worth my time, and thats exactly how some of his photographs strike me. However, when he's on, I can't really think of many people I enjoy more.

    Its ironic that you bring up Stephen Shore when right after talking about some of Sternfeld's images being a little visually easy, because I feel the same way about Shore. At least in Uncommon Places. I feel in a lot of photos that its all form and very little content, and I have a bit of a problem with that...at least from a man as smart as Shore. Not to say hes not a great photographer, American Surfaces is one of my favorite books...but yeah.
     
  19. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Since when did Eggleston or Shore become landscape photographers?
     
  20. PhotoHistorian

    PhotoHistorian Member

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  21. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I'm familiar with their work, and neither is a landscape photographer by any stretch of the imagination. Just because they may have taken the odd landscape photo or two in the past, doesn't make them a landscape photographer, any more than my photographing my niece makes me a portrait photographer.
     
  22. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    LOL. Do you mean Meyerowitz' himself, his work, or both? From interviews I've seen of Meyerowitz, he doesn't come off as too likable, but your sentiments seem to go way past that.

    I think HCB was a complete idiot, but he is my favorite photographer. I'd like to think we are able to separate our personal feelings about the artist from their work.
     
  23. PhotoHistorian

    PhotoHistorian Member

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    Just because Stephen Shore and William Eggleston's vision of the landscape doesn't meet your eye as a landscape photograph does make it not so. Their work in the landscape is not an "odd photo or two." They both have a body of work in the landscape that has been shown at many museums throughout the world.
    What is your definition of a landscape photograph?

    Walker
     
  24. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I've been a passionate landscape photographer for 30+ years, and I have never once heard either Shore or Eggleston mentioned as even being remotely associated with the field.

    Landscape photography is about having an affinity for the natural world; in order to affinity for something something and show you love for it, you must have an understanding of it. Something which neither has shown in their work, hence a lack of recognition by the world of landscape photography for their work.
     
  25. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I don't know anything about him personally, and don't have an opinion on it. I object to his work. It is banal, mediocre and lacking in any appreciation for the natural world.

    BTW, as for HCB. I'm not a fan of his work, other than his stated objective of capturing the "defining moment", it is something I strive for in my own work.
     
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  26. dc1215

    dc1215 Member

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    I feel that I would be pretty hard pressed to find someone who WOULDN'T agree that they were landscape photographers...Just because they aren't necessarily pretty pictures celebrating nature doesn't mean they aren't landscape photographers. There is more than one type of landscape, and more than one type of landscape photographer.

    Just my opinion.

    -Dan