Recommend a good photo/art book for me!
Alright, so I'm fairly comfortable with most technical aspects of photography, so a book on that subject won't be of a ton of use to me.
What I'm looking for is a book that helps me "see" photos better and look for better photo opportunities. I feel like my vision has gotten a little bit stale over the last couple of months.
I don't consider myself a "street" or landscape photographer, so books that specialize in those things are going to be lower on my list. I do a lot of portraits and also some photo walkabouts that can involve shooting just about anything. A book that fits into that style of photography is even better.
I just want something that will freshen my photographic perspective. Photographers/authors talking about strange, surreal, or alternative photography would be great, as this lines up with my interests.
Current photographers I really like: André Kertész, Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, Josef Sudek, and Diane Arbus. Thanks for any suggestions!
You can see some of my portfolio here
Shooting 35mm with a Voigtländer Bessa R2 w/ Canon Serenar 35mm f2.8, Summitar 50mm, Elmar 90mm
I think "Photography: the art of composition" by Bert Krages might suit your moment brilliantly. I enjoyed the texts and exercises a lot. And if you're more into street-style imaging, you would probably enjoy them even more!
Also something like "Learn to look at paintings" by Mary Acton would enhance one's vision greatly, in my opinion.
Tao of Photography - seeing beyond seeing by Gross and Shapiro
The Complete Photographer by Tom Ang
I recently bought Sylvia Plachy's Signs and Relics. It's out of print, but can be found via used book dealers. Great, great seeing, and she was a protege of Kertesz.
Any of Irving Penn. Harry Callahan' Eleanor is a favorite of mine. Eugene Meatyard is a good look. I recently bought "Why Photographs Work". not the best book but interesting.
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"How to See", by George Nelson. By the renown graphic and industrial designer, who was also an avid photographer and observer of the world around us. Richly illustrated.
"If You Want To Write", by Brenda Ueland. Although addressed to the aspiring and practicing author, it is really written for anyone pursuing creative endeavors in all mediums. It's about exploring and working out your creative discipline, whether it be visual or the written word. Very inspirational; I return to it every couple of years.
"Diana & Nikon", by Janet Malcolm. Most of these essays appeared in "The New Yorker". Very good writing style without being heady (read: brain-bleeds ala ARTFORUM). Places photography and its various practitioners within a wider cultural context.
Any books from Lustrum Press (Ralph Gibson's imprint). Recommended --- Contact:Theory, Portrait: Theory, Darkroom, Darkroom 2. In these books, photographers discuss their own working methodologies and creative thinking. All are out-of-print, but local libraries may carry some.
Check out Steidl's site, as well: http://www.steidlville.com/. High-quality publisher of modern and contemporary photography and fine art.
Hold the phone....
Go out and get Andreas Feininger's "Photographic Seeing".
His reputation isn't as big as it deserves to be. His books are like being in class with a professor that you greatly admire. No flowery interpretations about photographs, just straightforward facts about photographic composition. You do the flowering, he gives you the soil.... (dang, that was pretty flowery on my part...)
If you are the big tree, we are the small axe
arshiel gorky or kandinsky, or picasso, or matisse or ...
motherwell & the new york school
seeing non photographic books and looking
at paintings ( in a book or museum / gallery )
will allow you to see landscapes and the street in a different light.
and if it has to be photographic .. atget
ha, i compiled a list for a friend this morning--you're lucky!
The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski (1966)
Looking at Photographs by John Szarkowski (1974)
On Photography by Susan Sontag (1977)
Camera Lucida by Roland Barthes (1988)
The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore (1998)
How to Read a Photograph by Ian Jeffrey (2009)
Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag (2004)
after you read all this you'll write your own...