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What book do you guys recommend?
Old 01-31-2017   #1
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What book do you guys recommend?

What book do you guys recommend?

This is going to be my first book related to photography. I personally like Fan Ho's style. Someone from another thread recommended me The Road to Seeing. Thanks
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Old 01-31-2017   #2
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I suggest starting with "A New History of Photography" by Michel Frizot
https://books.google.com/books/about...kp_cover&hl=en
It's large, expensive and has a lot of text (and pictures of course) but it's a real deal.
That is if you really interested in photography as an art. Once you go thru that you will have completely different set of questions in mind (hopefully).
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Old 01-31-2017   #3
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Thanks for your suggestion It does look good, but 700+ pages!
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Old 01-31-2017   #4
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My current choices :

Any Fan Ho book
The Road to Seeing
A New History of Photography
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Old 02-01-2017   #5
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Bumppppppppppp
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Old 02-01-2017   #6
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Looking at Photographs by Szarkowski
The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore
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Old 02-01-2017   #7
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Looking at Photography looks good!
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Old 02-01-2017   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnb View Post
Looking at Photographs by Szarkowski
The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore
+1

And also:

The Photographer's Eye (also by Szarkowski)
Why People Photograph and Beauty in Photography (both by Robert Adams)
Ways of Seeing by John Berger
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Old 02-01-2017   #9
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I usually recommend monographs by individual photographers. Seeing great photos have always inspired me. But I can't argue with "Looking at Photographs", "The Photogapher's Eye" and the "Nature of Photographs". I liked the first half of "Roads to Seeing" but he sorta lost my attention with the celebrity portraits.
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Old 02-01-2017   #10
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It's good to have books outside of your genre as well. I think it helps keep the creative juices flowing.
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Old 02-01-2017   #11
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Nice recommendations~ Thanks everyone!
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Old 02-01-2017   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brennanphotoguy View Post
It's good to have books outside of your genre as well. I think it helps keep the creative juices flowing.
Agree. I was also going to recommend The Story of Art, by Gombrich, which will give a higher level perspective.
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Old 02-01-2017   #13
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Any Henri Cartier Bresson book.
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Old 02-01-2017   #14
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I picked up my first book recently after seeing the work posted at Stephen Bugler. Some great stuff and I decided to take the plunge.

Viktor Kolár: Canada: 1968-1973.
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Old 02-01-2017   #15
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Landscape/Architecture:
1) Christopher Thomas (Venice in Solitude, New York Sleeps, Paris City of Light
2) Nick Brandt (Inherit the Dust, A Shadow Falls, Across the Ravaged Land)
3) Sebastiao Salgado (Genesis, Exodus, Africa, Other Americas)

Portrait:
1) Annie Leibovitz (A Photographers Life, American Music)
2) Richard Avedon
3) Danny Clinch (Still Moving)
4) Harvey Stein (not a portrait photographer but Harlem Street Portraits is great)
5) Peter Lindbergh

Street/Documentary:
1) Josef Koudelka (all of his books are awesome, Walls is a bit different though)
2) Harvey Stein
3) Elliot Erwitt (Snaps is a good overall book)
4) Hiroji Kubata (Photographer)
5) Don McCullin
6) Alex Webb (Memory City, The Suffering Of Light)
7) Ed van der Elsken (Love on the Left Bank)
8) Saul Leiter
9) Boogie
10) Bruce Davidson

General Books that are good to have:
1) The Road to Seeing
2) Magnum Contact Sheets
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Old 02-01-2017   #16
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Thank you very much for your recommendation
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Old 02-01-2017   #17
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Gonna buy one from the street section since I do street photography
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Old 02-01-2017   #18
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Yum to Books, Yum to Inspiration and 'Eye Candy'... my 5 Favorites

Helen Levitt ... (the green hardbook, Powerhouse Books)
as Walker Evans said in the Introduction "Helen Levity's work may be called anti-journalism"
Beautiful be it Color or B&W, ths Simplicity of Life in Motion, an Emotionally charged view

Bill Brandt... Shadows and Light (MOMA)
just Magnificent, his View Of Life, be it British Society, Artists, Landscapes, Nudes ...simply Adore his Work


Jean Loup Sieff... (Taschen books, 20th anniversary)
whether Jean was shooting with a Rolleiflex, a 21 Supae Angulon, his 'Eye' caught your Eye... made You drunk

Elliot Erwitt...New York , (TeNeues Books)
A city that comes ALIVE under his Gaze

Brassai... Paris (Taschen Books)
His Photos of Parisian Life just seem to have a 'Glow', pull You in
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Old 02-01-2017   #19
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Nice suggestions

Gonna buy Elliot Erwitt's Snaps since I like his style. Gonna buy more if I like it!
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Old 02-01-2017   #20
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I know I am in minority on this one, but I would NOT recommend any photography books as collection of photographs (be that AKB or anybody else). I would, however, highly recommend an albums of paintings (Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, Edgar Degas, Andrew Wyeth, Delacroix, El Greco, Edvard Munch, Piet Mondrian... etc. etc.) This way you are actually learning the principles of harmony (basis of any art) from the source, rather than chewing what already was chewed for you.
How many more of Henri Cartier-Bressons does this world need? Wouldn't you rather try to make something of your own than to be copycat with a Leica?
Just my suggestions but it took me years to understand this.
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Old 02-01-2017   #21
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Makes sense, but I never owned a book related to photography! Gonna start off with something simple
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Old 02-01-2017   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIkhail View Post
I know I am in minority on this one, but I would NOT recommend any photography books as collection of photographs (be that AKB or anybody else). I would, however, highly recommend an albums of paintings (Vincent van Gogh, Picasso, Edgar Degas, Andrew Wyeth, Delacroix, El Greco, Edvard Munch, Piet Mondrian... etc. etc.) This way you are actually learning the principles of harmony (basis of any art) from the source, rather than chewing what already was chewed for you.
How many more of Henri Cartier-Bressons does this world need? Wouldn't you rather try to make something of your own than to be copycat with a Leica?
Just my suggestions but it took me years to understand this.
I'm sure there is a painting forum you can join then.

Also, Larry Fink has some great work as well.
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Old 02-01-2017   #23
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The Amateur Photographer's Handbook by Aaron Sussman is one of the better how-to books I've come across. It starts out like most books for beginners but then goes far beyond others I've read with in depth explanations about things like how filters work etc. As it was first published in the 1940s and revised several times over the next few decades it tends to give a lot more "hands on" advice than more modern books, and some of the earlier editions even contain instructions for using things like flash powder.
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Old 02-01-2017   #25
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Yep, gonna buy Elliot Erwitt's Snaps this weekend . It's gonna be my very first book related to photography, and I quite like his style. I wanted to buy a Fan Ho one buy it's just a bit too expensive to me
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Old 02-01-2017   #26
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Quote:
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I am sorry... apparently forgot to consult with you... Will be more careful from this point on.
That would be appreciated. I'll make my inbox available for you to send your comments to for approval before posting.
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Old 02-01-2017   #27
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This depends partially upon what you want to see.
If you want to study form then photography may not be something to look at, at all. As suggested, paintings, drawings and sculpture can teach a lot about seeing.
I've been a journalist and "street photographer" for almost two decades now and have found that artistic movements in history have informed my eye recently more than the works of prominent photographers.
A good exercise might be to find the artistic movement which tugs at you to look longer and think as if you are the painter, at first just looking to see the art in the world around you; then frame it within a viewfinder of a camera.
The social movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries have really informed how I see the modern world. That is, the paintings and prints of these movements.
The Meiji period in Japan is fascinating with its rapidly changing art. Immediately following, Japan and the whole world began seeing socialist uprisings.
The non-photographic art is still representative of what was happening in the world at the time and can easily be looked at with an eye to "street photography."
Recently, my personal favorite artistic era is that of the Mexican revolution and following. This is due, in-part, to the extraordinary Mexican Revolution art exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art which recently closed and permanently moved to Mexico City. I also grew up in New Mexico and the greater southwest part of the USA, so the Mexican influence is something that informed my whole young life.
Look at the work of the prominent Mexican muralist and nationalist artists: Orozco, Siquieros, Rivera, Tamayo, Khalo and Leal. These all painted with the social uprisings in mind and it is very apparent in their works. One of my favorite paintings is of Zapatistas by Alfredo Martinez. Many downturned sombreros with several pairs of wary eyes. It is a theme that has been revisited by photographers quite a bit.
Having served in the US Navy as a combat photographer, I used to concentrate on the purely photographic visual documentary but I feel that I have personally grown out of that mode and I'm seeing the world differently, its abstractions inform reality more than I had previously seen. That said, my favorite documentary books are "Minamata" by W. Eugene Smith and "Vietnam Inc." by Philip Jones Griffiths.

Photographic books are good but visual art and seeing the world to photograph it is far more than photography.

Phil Forrest
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Old 02-01-2017   #28
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Phil,

I drove up to Philly to see that Mexican show and totally agree with you about how powerful -- and educational -- it was, especially the posters. Wish there had been a more expansive section devoted to the photographers and photographs. How about the 'Stridentists' and 'Stridentism'? That was new to me.
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Old 02-01-2017   #29
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A lower priced option is to look around at some of the members websites and see what they share.

Helen Hill might be a great start. She posts on flickr.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/helenartemishill/

Lots of great folks share ideas, photos, and such here.

B2 (;->
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Old 02-01-2017   #30
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Personally I go to shows, and I buy books -- simultaneously.

With the advent of Amazon, sometimes I will order a book while in the show, and because it takes me a few days to get home, the book will be waiting there for me (happened recently at the National Gallery in DC).

Also I get on jags. I now probably own too much Gregory Crewdson, after going to Gagosian a year ago.

I prefer monographs. But more importantly, I live in a city where I can go to many incredible photo shows each month. Usually about a dozen. Shows are more meaningful to me, and you can have coffee with friends, and talk about the work.

Also I take photos of work I enjoy with my iPhone, recent from Wash DC attached (Sharon Core, Still Life, 2009).
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Old 02-01-2017   #31
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I would go to the library. See what you like, move on from there.

americansuburbx.com has lots of stuff
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Old 02-01-2017   #32
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Quote:
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Phil,

I drove up to Philly to see that Mexican show and totally agree with you about how powerful -- and educational -- it was, especially the posters. Wish there had been a more expansive section devoted to the photographers and photographs. How about the 'Stridentists' and 'Stridentism'? That was new to me.
I take the bus to Philly a couple of times a year, incredible museum.

Really cheap hotels always available, and great food in Philly.
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Old 02-02-2017   #33
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I mean. should I even buy Elliott Erwitt's Snaps as my first book? Does buying book inspire you more than looking at then online?
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Old 02-02-2017   #34
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Yes. Looking at something "physical" inspires me more than on a computer screen. Whether it's a zine, print, gallery, book, etc.
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Old 02-02-2017   #35
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I wouldn't angst over your first photography book. You will undoubtedly buy more. There's lots of good suggestions in this thread, including MIkhail's. You will find inspiration in lots of artists/photographers' works. Why not look at a few of the suggestions in Google images and Amazon reviews and decide from there.

I think the most benefit would be a book that will give you insight into ways of seeing, and into what makes a good image (whether photograph or art), but that's just my opinion.

My original suggestions were intended to give you the analytical language and the techniques used to analyse photographs, to better understand the medium.
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Old 02-02-2017   #36
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Put this one on the TOP of your list: "Valparaiso", by Sergio Larraine.
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Old 02-02-2017   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jusxusfanatic View Post
I mean. should I even buy Elliott Erwitt's Snaps as my first book? Does buying book inspire you more than looking at then online?
I love looking at my books. I think, much like film vs digital photography, you spend more time really absorbing the images in a book rather than just quickly consuming images you see online.

I buy books because photography exhibitions are always too far away from me.

I forgot to add, some of my favourites that I own are:

Stephen Shore
Jeol Meyerwitz
Elliot Erwitt
Josef Koudelka
Robert Frank
W Eugene Smith
Henri Cartier Bresson
Brassai
Robert Doisneau
Robert Capa
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Old 02-02-2017   #38
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You know what, very good suggestion! I really like Serigo's style. But I'm gonna get Snaps first~ Elliott is still better to me tbh
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Old 02-02-2017   #39
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Go to your local remainder bookshop and buy half a dozen remaindered books for the price of one new one. Let chance guide you: you'll learn far more about what you like, and what you don't, than you will by concentrating on one fashionable or "iconic" photographer.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 02-02-2017   #40
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Magnum Contact Sheets by Kristen Lubben. An extraordinary book.
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