What inspiring photography book did you read or buy recently?

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by TheToadMen, Apr 12, 2014.

  1. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I didn't see a thread like this, so I thought I start one. It is not meant to promote your own book or bookstore. So please no commercial stuff (there are other threads for that). It is just about telling others what book you discovered recently and bought - new or second hand. A book you saw or read about photography or a photographer that struck you. A book that inspired you and you'd like to share with us.

    Let me start this thing.

    I recently went to the town of Utrecht, The Netherlands. There I found a nice, small book store called Aleph Books, with interesting (used & antique) books about literature, philosophy, art, etc. They even had a whole cabinet with photography books. None of the "DIY digital photography" stuff, no, all good books about photo art, good artists, history of photography, autobiographies, etc. So I spend about an hour or so looking at all the books and selected four to take home with me. One is a thick book about the history of photography in The Netherlands (1850-2006) with some beautiful prints. An other one is a large book with all the images from Alfred Stieglitz Camera work (800 pages). The third booklet was from a Dutch museum with old photos from the Pictorialism aera in The Netherlands (1900-1930). A period I like.

    But the book that really surprised me was: The Water's Edge, Sally Glass (USA, 1995).

    Waters_edge_Sally-Gall.jpg (book cover)

    It's a hardbound book with square images beautiful printed. No technical data, just fine images and an essay as an introduction. I was struck by the atmosphere in the images - maybe the combination between contrast and softness of the prints? Quite inspirational for my landscape photography.

    Here are three images from the book:

    Sally_Gall-Canoe-1993.jpg Sally_Gall-Tampaksiring-1988.jpg Sally_Gall-Giverny-Willows-1989.jpg

    Writer James Salter wrote an interesting essay as a introduction for this photo book. A quote:

    "These are photographs that require a viewer; they would perish from loneliness otherwise. They summon memories, vague desires, the mystery of life and our inability to grasp it."

    I never heard of Sally Gall before (my loss), but I really like here work. Here website: http://www.sallygall.com
    I wonder what camera or lens she used and how these images were printed. But then, maybe I shouldn't ask about the technical stuff, just simply enjoy the viewing of these images ...

    Bert from Holland
    http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
     
  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Whilst it's not about actual photography, Insisting on the Impossible, the biography of Edwin Land - inventor of Polaroid photography, is a very inspiring book.


    Steve.
     
  3. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    "A Staggering Revolution" -culture of photography in the Thirties, by John Raeburn.
     
  4. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    My copy of Papersafe from Catlabs was fairly inspiring (to me, at least)
     
  5. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    Pentti Sammallahti

    Here, Far Away

    RR
     
  6. MrBrowning

    MrBrowning Subscriber

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    Barry Thornton's Edge of Darkness is the newest one I purchased and I love it.

    and
    David Plowden: Vanishing Point Fifty Years of Photographs has some of my favorite photographs in it. His photos in the steel mills are imo nothing short of amazing.

    Let it be know I work with a steel company as a primary job so I may be bias.
     
  7. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I recently read Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, a biography of Edward Curtis. It was very interesting and I enjoyed it.
     
  8. DWO

    DWO Member

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    Photo Nomad by David Douglas Duncan is my latest book. It is an autobiography in words and pictures. I had never heard of DDD before I got this book. He is a great photographer who has led a very interesting and full life.
     
  9. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Received yesterday "Albert Renger-Patzsch: Photographer of Objectivity". He was a contemporary of Ed Weston and Paul Strand, and had similar viewpoints. A quote from his Goals: "Let us therefore leave art to the artists and create with the means of photography photographs that have value because of their photographic qualities - without borrowing from art".
     
  10. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Self Portraits by Vivian Maier-she was a nanny in Chicago who's street photography work was recently rediscovered. She had no formal training in photography but what an eye!
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    A book I read recently was The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux which is a travel book. I can just imagine going through about 10 rolls of FP4 on a trip like this.
     
  12. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Subscriber

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    Both Barry Thorton books. Great anecdotes and stories around relevant photography experiences as examples for the aspects he discusses and teaches. Great inspiration and very entertaining. I've read them both a few times over the years.
     
  13. MrclSchprs

    MrclSchprs Subscriber

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    the Road To Seeing by Dan Winters
     
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  15. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Take it to the edge

    Everyone should own them!
     
  16. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    not photography books but inspirational just the same
    treasure island + alice in wonderland
     
  17. MattKrull

    MattKrull Subscriber

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    +1
    I'm half way through it. I absolutely loved the stories of the celebrity portraits. Reading the autobiographical bit at the start, bascially stating how he got where he is, was very interesting.

    Vivian Maier's Street Photographer was a christmas present I keep going back to. I find her portraits to be absolutely stunning.
     
  18. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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  19. darkosaric

    darkosaric Subscriber

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    Last Saturday I got "Picasso and Jacqueline" book by David Douglas Duncan for 1€ at flea market. Beautiful book.
     
  20. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Did you know that Alice in Wonderland was written by a rather good photographer? That's inspirational in itself...
     
  21. PeterAM

    PeterAM Member

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    I've picked up a bunch of books over the past few months and have just recently sat down to slowly go through them:

    "terra Incognita" by Richard Sexton
    "white light silent shadows" Bruce Cratsley
    "here far away" Pentti Sammallahti
    "Urban Landscapes', "Seacoast Maine". Fields of Peace", "Paterson II" George Tice
    "departures and arrivals" Charles Harbutt
    "Road to Seeing" Dan Winters
    "50 Portraits" Gregory Heisler
    "Sergio Larain"

    I've been in a pictureless funk for a while and am looking for inspiration. Also, I own prints by Sexton and Cratsley and have now been looking at works by Sammallahti and Tice.
     
  22. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    Chris Killip [Phaidon 55 Series]
     
  23. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Do you have permission to reproduce these images, aren't these photographs the copyright of the photographer and her publisher ?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2014
  24. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    As far as I know it is allowed in an "editorial way", when writing about a book (on a forum like this) while mentioning who's images it are and what book it is. I'm not reproducing the images as my own or in a commercial way. I'm writing an article or comment about the book. It is normal practice in Europe, but if it is not allowed on this forum, I can remove it?
    But then how am I to show what I like about the book? This post is meant as an editorial review of a book I did buy and own.
    Just to make sure, I'll try to mail Sally Gall to see what she thinks about this post.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2014
  25. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    I've just sent this email to the photographer:

    ----------

    Dear Sally Gall,
    I recently bought your book The Water's Edge in a 2nd hand book store in The Netherlands, Europe. I was quite impressed with your images, especially "Canou, 1993" and "Tampaksiring, 1988". So I bought the book as an inspiration for my own landscape photography. I recently bought me a Hasselblad SWC camera (from 1963) with a 38 mm lens to try to make a nice series of B&W landscapes from Denmark this Sumer during my holiday. I'm an amateur photographer with an interest in B&W analogue photography, still using old cameras and film.

    I posted a thread about your book on the analogue photography forum, see:
    http://www.apug.org/forums/forum56/...otography-book-did-you-read-buy-recently.html
    I added the book cover and 3 images from the book to illustrate why I bought the book and to share what inspired me. I also mentioned the title of the book, your name as the photographer and the link to your website.
    This post is only meant as an editorial review of your book and has no commercial intend or value. The forum is a gathering of analogie photographers and not an commercial site as well.

    Today a fellow member of the forum asked me: "Do you have permission to reproduce these images, aren't these photographs the copyright of the photographer and her publisher ?"

    I was under the assumption that I didn't need specific permission for this personal book review on this forum, but wanted to check with you all the same.
    Do you mind if I show the book cover and these three images from your book to illustrate my article/review of your book? If so, please let me know and I will remove the images images.

    And if I may post an other question, do you remember what camera you used for these images, and the film and developer type? As i wrote in the article: "I was struck by the atmosphere in the images - maybe the combination between contrast and softness of the prints?"
    Like shown in your images "Canou" and "Tampaksiring". It somehow reminded me of the Pictorialism style from around 1900. A style I like very much. I would love to make a carbon print or a albumen print of one of these images of yours once. I'm mastering these old alternative printing processes from over 100 years ago.

    In admiration of your work,
    Sincerely,
    Bert Kuijer from Holland
    http://thetoadmen.blogspot.nl
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2014
  26. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    You don't need to do this, as you don't need permission.