Photo Books - What must I have in my collection?

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews & Shows' started by david b, Oct 10, 2005.

  1. david b

    david b Member

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    Like many of you, I am sure, I collect photography books. I buy at least one a month.

    So, I am wondering what book must I have? It doens't matter if it's a landscape book, a portrait book, color or black and white.

    Also, where do you buy your books from?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    I buy most of my books at the gallery openings, eBay, or from Photo Eye.

    Some book suggestions from glancing back at the shelf:

    Mark Citret "Along the Way"
    Diane Arbus "Revelations"
    Edward Weston "Life Work"
     
  3. VoidoidRamone

    VoidoidRamone Subscriber

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    Since I am living in a tiny room in NYC I don't have a lot of room for big photography books. But I brought along one of my favorites that I own- _Bernd and Hilla Becher Basic Forms_ text by Thierry De Duve. It's a small book, but I look at it quite often for inspiration.
    Also, I am impressed with the new _The Polaroid Book_. Really nice collection.
    -Grant
     
  4. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    The three books I most treasure

    About one per month is also my average as well. So far, these are probably the ones I don't think I'd ever want to part with:

    1) Stay This Moment by Sam Abell (2 copies - one still new & shrinkwrapped)
    2) Europeans by Cartier-Bresson
    3) Perfect Times, Perfect Places by Robert Adams
    4) Cape Light by Joel Meyerowitz
    5) Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, edited by John Szarkowski

    Of these, only Stay This Moment has any real value (the HCB book is a 90s reprint), but, if I may use a cliche, these books speak to me more than everything else I've come across in my ten years of book buying.

    It pains me to leave out the book I read most often: Examples - The Making of 40 Photographs by Lord Ansel, but it is more of a technical book than one that introduced art to the world.

    Finally, I buy most new books at Barnes & Noble or the International Center of Photography's bookstore, and most used from ebay or Amazon marketplace sellers.
     
  5. David H. Bebbington

    David H. Bebbington Inactive

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    For one book with more concentrated practical, esthetic and creative advice than any other, I would recommend "The Creative Photographer" by Andreas Feiniger. The latest edition is still in print, lots of used copies of early editions out there. I bought my copy in a store in Glastonbury, England for £3, although I buy now almost all my books on e-bay. Edward Weston's Daybooks are also indispensable.
     
  6. brent8927

    brent8927 Subscriber

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    I think that Eric Alan's Wild Grace: Nature As a Spiritual Path is also a wonderful book; it has a lot of great spiritual writing, but the photographs (all from color negatives) are also just outstanding-- in my opinion. My style tends to lean towards the more quiet and contemplative style and if you appreciate that kind of photography (I think most do) then you'll like his photographs.

    By far though, one book outweighs any other, and that's Recording Historic Structures. Most of the photographs are just typical HABS/HAER (i.e. mostly standard architectural and industrial shots) but there is one photograph in the text that I think needs to be on every photographer's wall.

    Anyway, one photograph is of one of the HAER photographers, Eric DeLony, who is standing on a water pipe doing field shots with a TLR, and the pipe he's standing on looks like it's at least forty feet above the water. I've always loved the photograph of St. Adams standing on his car with his camera set up, but I think that this portrait of Eric DeLony beats any photographer's portrait that I've ever seen. I actually cut out the photograph and put it on my wall, I love it that much!

    The only unfortunate part about the portrait is I really want to get a portrait of me in a similar situation, balancing on a pipe or trunk above some sort of certain doom, just calmly looking into my waist level finder...
     
  7. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    z

    Freeman Patterson,s book "The Art of Seeing".
    Opens up many doors. It changed the way I view my world.

    Mike
     
  8. Davec101

    Davec101 Member

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    My fave books are :

    I love these books in my collection and i believe others would enjoy them, although i am a big 'still life' fan.

    Kenro Izu 'Still life'
    Irving Penn 'Still life'
    Robert Parke Harrison 'The Archietects Brother'
    Robert Mapplethorpe 'Pistils'
    The Jouranal of Conemprorary Photography, Volumes 1 & 2
    Szarkowski 'Ansel Adams at 100'

    One book I would love to get is Tom Baril's, self titled book. Its out of print and thus demands a high preimum to get hold of a copy, but i hope to get lucky one of these days and find one for a reasonable price.
     
  9. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    A few of my favorites - just off the top of my head...

    In This Proud Land: America 1935-1943...
    The FSA photographs.

    The Man Who Shot Garbo
    a collection of b&w studio partraits in the classic Hollywood style by C.S. Bull

    Uncommon Places Stephen Shore, Aperature 1982
     
  10. Mark H

    Mark H Member

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    I would second Kenro Izu's "Still Life" and add Michael Kenna's "Japan" (besides the photos, it's beautifully bound and enclosed in a silk-covered slipcase).
     
  11. jovo

    jovo Membership Council

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    Anything from Michael and Paula's Lodima press will be worth having. Either their own work (the Tuscany books for example) or their productions of other photographer's work, like "Edward Weston, Life's Work" are excellent volumes.

    As mentioned above, PhotoEye is a terrific source. They have an email flyer every week. The books that have a "book tease" link are obviously much easier to evaluate.
     
  12. wfe

    wfe Member

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    I agree with Michale Kenna's "Japan". The best book that I own is a handmade book with 24 original photographs in it by a photographer that I studied with at a workshop in Maine. The photography is beautiful and the book itself being a work of art compliments it niclely. The photographer is Cig Harvey http://www.cigharvey.com. I love her work and she is an amazing person.
     
  13. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member

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    Some favorites on my shelves...

    "The Americans" by Robert Frank
    "Warwick Mountain Series" by Phil Perkis
    "Prague Panoramic" by Joseph Sudeck
    "Passage" by Irving Penn
    "Odyssey" National Geographic
    "Treadwell" by Andrea Modica
    "Ralph Eugend Meatyard" published by ICP/Steidl
    "Frederick Sommer" published by Yale Univeroty Press
    "Gertrude Kasebier" by Barbara Michaels

    I find that Photo-eye can be a great source for hard to find out of print books, but you can get better prices through Amazon. (Got a great price on that Frederick Sommer book!)

    Hmmm... it's been awhile since I bought a new photo book :D
     
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  15. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    • Eric Kroll: "Fetish Girls"
    • Chas Ray Krider: "Motel Fetish"
    • Nigel Parry: "Sharp"
    • Helmut Newton: "Work" (just to have one of the oldies in there, too)
     
  16. gcoates

    gcoates Member

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    Here are a few that are in my collection that I really like:

    "Within the Stone" by Bill Atkinson
    "Places of Power" by John Sexton
    "Light and Air: The Photography of Bayard Wootten" by Jerry Cotten
     
  17. laz

    laz Member

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    20 or so years ago I worked at a used and rare bookstore. I had free reign of the extensive photo section. There are 2 photographers whose work burned into me: Sally Mann, and Ralph Eugene Meatyard. I have and will not part with Sally Mann's Immediate Family, and the recent Ralph Eugene Meatyard by Ralph Eugene Meatyard and Guy Davenport.

    I continue to learn from them and be haunted by their images.

    -Bob
     
  18. Tach

    Tach Member

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    William Klein, New York 1954-1955.
    Salgado, Workers.
    Salgado, Exodus.
     
  19. mikewhi

    mikewhi Restricted Access

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    http://dogbert.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=359988438&searchurl=an=Tom+Baril&y=14&x=39

    Here is a copy for $200. NOt sure what is 'reasonable' to you, but it was the least expensive that I could find.

    -Mike
     
  20. cvik

    cvik Member

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    I don't really have a lot of photography books, but these are my favorites:
    "Workers" by Sebastião Salgado (no need to comment on this one!)
    "Shooting Sex" by Bob Carlos Clarke (even funny and somewhat useful to read...)
    "Belles" by Hervé Lewis (pure beauty)

    Then there is a book which I really want to buy but haven't found in any stores which is "Serge Lutens" by Serge Lutens. I have only seen two or three pictures from this book and still I want it, I must have it, and I will get it some day!
     
  21. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    Has anyone mentioned 'Creative Black and White Photography' by Les McLean?
     
  22. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    I didn't mention it in my original reply, but here's another vote for Sally Mann's Immediate Family. It continues to haunt me like no other book I've ever purchased or looked at.
     
  23. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    I seem to prefer books with pictures AND text (not necessarily related). My favorite of all photo books is Paul Strand/Nancy Newhall's "Time in New England." Also, Weston's "Daybooks," Larry Clark's "Tulsa," and "Teenage Lust." And both volumes of "US Camera Annual, 1941."
     
  24. Shawn Rahman

    Shawn Rahman Subscriber

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    Bill,

    Good choice - Time in New England is one of my faves also. If you like great books with pictures and text, check out "The Photographic Life" by Sam Abell. Great stuff.
     
  25. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation. After reading your post, I checked Amazon, and found it is $150 (added it to my "wish list"). I'll keep my eyes open for remainders. Bill.
     
  26. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    I highly recommend William Mortensen's _The Model_ and _The Command to Look_.