I really like the Boring Postcards books by Martin Parr. I think everyone should have those in their collection. That along with something classy, like Richard Kern.
I can't take issue with your opinions - being yours, they are of course right for you. However, a few comments, if I may...
Originally Posted by Lee Shively
Me, too. For me, though, it is the words they contain that interest me. Not being a smartass, I mean that prose transports me - the book becomes a conduit, not a thing in itself, but a doorway to another plane. A photograph printed in a book does not take me away in that manner.
I love books--they are important to me.
I live in the sticks, but I do have occasional opportunities to visit bigger cities like NYC, Boston, DC, and so on. I can only say that seeing an Edward Hopper in a museum and seeing a copy in a book are not even close to one another - same for Yousuf Karsh, whose work I have been privleged to see in person at an exhibit. I just can't drag that value out of a photograph reproduced in a book.
Of the books I love, photography and art books are my greatest loves. They are the only real means I have of seeing the art that interests me. I don't live in an area that has a lot of museums and art galleries and I'm not a big fan of visiting those large metropolitan areas that are the cultural centers.
Hyperion to a Satyr, I say! A photograph in a book is to a gallery print as a computer screen is to a photograph in a book. Well, just one man's opinion.
I despise looking at photographs on computer screens and have no interest in photography galleries on the internet. Public libraries are okay but they don't compare to a personal library.
I enjoy some arcane and exotic information such as may have been lost from time to time. I have read with interest the various 'rediscoveries' that have become available to the online community that were common knowledge in the 1920's. Not that every page contains a pearl, but some do, and I find it fun to read and learn. So very little is new, even the arguments are recycled.
Personally, I have no interest in books on cameras, procedures, techniques, etc., with very few exceptions. I can get all that information with a little research on websites such as APUG.
Books of photographs by photographers I admire are relatively cheap compared to actual photographs and books are pretty relatively available. Some of my favorite photographers produced their pictures mainly for the purpose of publishing them in books. Robert Frank, Paul Strand and Ralph Gibson all come to mind.
That's how I feel re-reading a copy of a Kodakery magazine from 1929.
I've been buying photographer's monographs and books of photography since I first got interested in the subject almost 35 years ago. It was a natural thing to do since I was a book-nut before becoming a photo-nut. Going through some of those older books is like rediscovering forgotten treasures.
I'm hip. I guess we just walk different paths, is all.
Also, I was lucky enough to gain my interest in photography at a time when there were lots of photographs printed in photography-based publications simply because they were good photographs, not because they were there to illustrate and article on a new product. So, books OF
photographs are my interest.
Note to Self: Tse-Tse Fly - No Antidote
Unlike many visual arts, in many ways the true home of many photographs is the book. A well printed book can display and present books in a way that is very different to a show or exhibition. There is also an intimacy about viewing photographs in a book that is also in many ways a unique visual experience.
A truly well printed photographic book/monograph is a work of art in it's own right. Indeed some of the most beautifully printed books are indeed better than viewing a show of silver prints on a wall (Friedlander's Factory Valleys comes to mind as just one).
(there is a slight similarity to the best works of Chinese scroll paintings. The most wonderful painting, but never meant to be seen displayed on a wall, but section by section - perhaps by at most two or three viewers at a time)
And of course what better book to add to all this than Martin Parr's (and Badger's) History of the Photobook (did I mention that already... it's a long thread) Vol I. (Vol II out soon)
I was going to say the same thing -- the Parr History and the Book of 101 Books are crucial indices through which to explore most all otehr photobooks. Plus they can help you with books that you may otherwise never ever see (still reeling from when I ran across a copy of the Brodovitch "Ballet")
1. "How to Take Good Pictures", KODAK, any pre-1950 edition
2. "Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads", PH Emerson
3. "Minimata", W. Eugene Smith
"One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"
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Man ray: Taschen Press
Reflections in a Glass Eye: Bullfinch Press
Art and Fear*
The War of Art*
*good books on the art world including photography
DIGITAL IS FOR THOSE AFRAID OF THE DARK.
No mention of Fay Godwin
which I find surprising - anything by John Blakemore and I do need some of Kenna's books. Seamus Ryans of course - even better as it was a gift! I too wish I could afford Cig Harveys book! Oh and Kerik Kouklis when he gets round to getting his act together - the print crafted by the man himself next to my John Blakemores will just have to do for now!
The Photography Reader if it hasn't been mentioned. Edited by Liz Wells.
Includes a pretty comprehensive collection of writings on photography in general. Essays and thoughts by Sontag, Walter Benjamin, Szarkowski, Morris, Weston, Bailey....
For something a bit different i've enjoyed [font=Verdana]Carl Chiarenza's[/font] Evocations, or Richard Woodward's Abelardo Morell.
Carl, glad you like the book, lucky you to have friends with such good taste, did you get it with the free 10x8 print offer?
Originally Posted by CarlRadford
just had a look at your groups website, some fab images, our version of katie (Esme) is now 4 but I remember those days well.
I just picked up the , now out of print, Penn Platinum Prints book, I was disheartened reading it because the author took such pains to point out what a fabulous gift he had given the museum and how helpful and open he was that she wasn't able to get much detail from him regarding the production of the prints and she made many guesses about them. A great opportunity missed I feel, ho hum. But lovely book none the less.
enjoy and be well
ps the offer of a free 10x8 kodak ektalure print with my book is still available