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Important Photo Books I should see before I die?
Old 11-05-2012   #1
rohankent
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Important Photo Books I should see before I die?

Not really gonna die anytime soon that I'm aware of. Just curious as to which books you consider to be important for the novice photographer to experience, in order to gain an awareness of great photography and to develop an aesthetic eye for photography.
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Old 11-05-2012   #2
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What direction are your current taste leaning towards? There is such a diversity of great books with great photos out there that everyone's choice would be a reflection of their personal interest without knowing what your interests are.
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Old 11-05-2012   #3
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Old 11-05-2012   #4
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It would depend on what type of photography you are fond of , i would recommend http://www.amazon.co.uk/Koudelka-Ret.../dp/3899042344 that is the genre of photography that suits me best. Not all the books are well printed or on the good paper , this one is brilliant - excellent b&w photographs deep blacks warm thick paper.
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Old 11-05-2012   #5
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Inferno. The only war photography book you will ever need.
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Old 11-05-2012   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Michaels View Post
What direction are your current taste leaning towards? There is such a diversity of great books with great photos out there that everyone's choice would be a reflection of their personal interest without knowing what your interests are.
Candid portraits. Street, Derelict buildings/objects, some landscapes (not über pretty colour ones), gnarly and majestic trees.

...everything

I have one book, Andrew Moore's "Detroit Disassembled" which was quite a powerful experience for me.

I figure I should at least get one HCB book, and Ansell Adams as a starting point.

I am REALLY starting out here, so just about everything has a wow factor.
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Old 11-05-2012   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emraphoto View Post
telex iran
I was curious, and it looks as though a second-hand copy would be around 450 to 500 Euros over here. After reading the write-up on the Magnum site, I think a visit to the public-library is in order.

My suggestions would be something by Salgado ("Africa" or "Workers", for example) and don't forget "On Being a Photographer" by David Hurn.

For examples of what you may want to produce yourself, if you will strive for your own impressive-but-maybe-justabout-almost-attainable publication, then look at what members here have published eg. SimonSawSunlight, Taylan, and many others.

I almost forgot, try to see as many exhibitions as you can, both big-name and less well known photographers. It will make the book experience different, as historically many books were a result of exhibitions - or the other way round.

Also, with all the suggestions you are going to receive, it might be useful to start planning your bank robbery and/or lottery win now - or at least join the library!


Edit: This was a 'crossed-post' with the OP's explanatory one above, so it doesn't exactly match up very well.

Last edited by MartinP : 11-05-2012 at 16:31. Reason: Memory loss
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Old 11-05-2012   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rohankent View Post
Not really gonna die anytime soon that I'm aware of. Just curious as to which books you consider to be important for the novice photographer to experience, in order to gain an awareness of great photography and to develop an aesthetic eye for photography.
Have been asking myself this exact same question. I have a lot of relatives and everyone always asks what to get for gifts for Xmas and Bdays. I often say photo books.

I bought Ansel Adams Yosemite yesterday mainly because i hvae a very strong climbing background and Yosemite has had an enormous influence on climbing so its 2 birds with one stone. A plce i dream of climbing and some amazing photographs. Im stumped as to what book i buy next.
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Old 11-05-2012   #9
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rohankent: since you define your tastes as "everything" I would recommend "The Imaginary Photo Museum" which contains photos from Ansel Adams to Gary Winogrand. It is from 1981 but covers all the bases. And, it should be available at a very reasonable price used. That is much better than choosing a book from some specific genre that someone else likes but you may not.
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Old 11-05-2012   #10
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A nice sampler of work by a wide range of photographers is "Photo:Box" (2009), edited by Roberto Koch and published by Abrams. It includes 250 photographs, reproduced very well, along with one-page biographies of the photographers. I found the book to be a great introduction to photographers I'd never heard of, and have been having great fun tracking down more of their work.
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Old 11-05-2012   #11
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It's a journey. Look broadly at as much as you can to start. Investigate what you find interesting. That will lead to the next and the next.

@ Batey. You should check this out...http://www.glendenny.com/

Gary
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Old 11-05-2012   #12
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Quote:
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It's a journey. Look broadly at as much as you can to start. Investigate what you find interesting. That will lead to the next and the next.

@ Batey. You should check this out...http://www.glendenny.com/

Gary
Thanks a lot for that link
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Old 11-05-2012   #13
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I will second "Photo:Box." Good selection of photos, well reproduced, in a handy size.
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Old 11-05-2012   #14
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Folks who guided me early and still guiding me today.
David Douglas Duncan
Ansel Adams. All titles. Even the obscure ones. The Camera, The Negative, & The Print belong in everyone's library. Seeing his photos in person is a must.
Eliot Porter. Doesn't get the notice he deserves.
Walker Evans. Gritty.
The Ladies. White. Lange. Arbus.
Stephen Shore
John Szarkowski
Philippe L. Gross & S.I. Shapiro
My wife's collection of books of gardens, plantation homes, etc.
Galen Rowell
The Ancients: O'Sullivan, Watkins, Curtis, Jackson
Contemporaries: Members of the Leica Users Group. Advice. Support. Photos.
Dr. Ted Grant. A living legend.

That should cover a few bases and keep you busy for awhile. No links. The hunt is part of the journey.

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Old 11-05-2012   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pickett Wilson View Post
Inferno. The only war photography book you will ever need.
I agree up to a point - there are many other great war photography books that are equal to Inferno, but one such book is enough in a collection from an emotional point of view (they really are that draining to look through). Inferno would be a fine choice as the sole war photography book in one's collection. It's also usually on offer when Phaidon do their sales.
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Old 11-05-2012   #16
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First and foremost, "Family of Man."

As for books of work by individual photographers, here is a short list: Diane Arbus, Eugene Atget, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Larry Clark (Tulsa), Robert Doisneau, Robert Frank (The Americans), Nan Goldin, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Robert ParkeHarrison, Martin Parr, Alexander Rodchenko, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, Garry Winogrand.
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Old 11-05-2012   #17
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Michael Freeman, The Photographer's Eye, The Photographer's Mind and The Photographer's Vision
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Old 11-05-2012   #18
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I'm going to have something of an American slant because of my birth...

"The Americans" Robert Frank
"American Photographs" Walker Evans
"The Portfolios of Ansel Adams" is a nice place to start

Photographers I recommend, but I don't have a particular book title to recommend.

HCB
Edward Weston (many good choices, I have (I think) "Portraits and Nudes")
André Kertész (recent large volume last year or thereabouts)
Robert Doisneau
Paul Strand (I like his later European works, but his earlier American days are what got him noticed over here. Aperture published at least one book which I enjoy)
Bill Brandt (I've seen more in person than photobooks, not sure what exists)
Diane Arbus

I'm noticing that I have nothing from someone working in color. Another bias of mine, but

William Eggleston "William Eggleston's Guide" (1973) or "William Eggleston" (2001)
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Old 11-05-2012   #19
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My favorite two:

The Great Unreal by Onorato & Krebs

Redheaded Peckerwood by Christian Patterson.

These are wonderful free association sequences of landscape, townscape and constructions. Stunning work.
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Old 11-05-2012   #20
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Quote:
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First and foremost, "Family of Man."
I would strongly second this book, it's what made me interested in photography as a kid.
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Old 11-05-2012   #21
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Two books that I am currently reading that I strongly recommend.

Photo Icons - Eastman Kodak House Image Collection
Dorothea Lange - A Life Without Limits
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Old 11-05-2012   #22
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Great place to see all sorts of photography:http://www.americansuburbx.com/
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Old 11-05-2012   #23
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The only photography book you need:
The Decisive Moment
Henri Cartier Bresson
However, be prepared to pay up to $5,000 or more for a really nice copy with the Matisse cover.
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Old 11-05-2012   #24
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"top ten photography books of all time" ... here's one selection from the captioned internet search

http://elizabethavedon.blogspot.ca/2...ks-of-all.html
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Old 11-05-2012   #25
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Herbert List : The Monograph (or 'The Essential Herbert List', which is the same I think in paperback)
Ragnar Axelsson : Last Days of the Arctic
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Old 11-05-2012   #26
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Josef Koudelka - Chaos
Josef Sudek - Prague Panoramic
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Old 11-05-2012   #27
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"American Photographs" Walker Evans
"The Americans" Robert Frank

Both in glorious new editions. The printing quality is amazing.
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Old 11-05-2012   #28
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My favourite HCB book is Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer. Good reproduction quality, one image per page, nice size.

John Szarkowski's Looking At Photographs and Stephen Shore's The Nature of Photographs will give you thoughtful insights into the photographs you see.

I also have PhotoBox and recommend it.

If you see a photographer's work that you might like but are unsure about whether to commit to a large volume, the Thames & Hudson Photofile series and the Phaidon 55's series are a good way to get an inexpensive overview of a photographer's work.
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Old 11-05-2012   #29
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this is a good thread.

there should be a coffee table book about the top 100 photo books you should look at before you die
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Old 11-05-2012   #30
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John Szarkowski's 'The Photographer's Eye'
André Kertész of Paris and New York (?Thames and Hudson), similar size and format to the HCB Lynn referred to.
Manuel Alvarez Bravo by Elenia Poniatowska
Eisenstaedt's Guide to Photography, Viking
Saul Leiter. Early Color.
and others....
The little Photopoche series including the ones on HCB, Lartigue and Werner Bischof.
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Old 11-06-2012   #31
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This may be my favorite photo book, Mario Giacomelli's monograph:

http://http://de.phaidon.com/store/p...9780714846040/

Such a great poet.
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Old 11-06-2012   #32
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Diane Arbus' book (titled Diane Arbus) is probably my favorite book of photography.
http://www.amazon.com/Diane-Arbus/dp/B002JBTVF8/

(Edit) I also have a book by relatively unknown photographer 方大曾 (Fang Da Tseng), who documented the Japanese Occupation following WWI, which was put out by Photographers International. It's absolutely amazing, but pretty rare, as I can't really find it online.
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Old 11-06-2012   #33
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if I had to pick just one book, it would be
Jason Eskenazi: Wonderland

but there are other great photobooks, classic and contemporary, mentioned here

if you would like to learn more about history and evolution of photobook and get an idea of books you might not be able to get into your hands, The Photobook: A History vol 1, 2 (and next year also vol. 3) are great for this.
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Old 11-06-2012   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denizg7 View Post
this is a good thread.

there should be a coffee table book about the top 100 photo books you should look at before you die

Like this?...http://www.amazon.com/The-Book-101-B.../dp/0967077443
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Old 11-06-2012   #35
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As there are many that are either out of print or difficult to find, I have bought these two volumes:

The Photobook: A History Volume 1

The Photobook: A History Volume 2

~ Hibbs
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Old 11-06-2012   #36
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Quote:
originally posted by palec:
if I had to pick just one book, it would be
Jason Eskenazi: Wonderland
I also can recommend Wonderland. Another: Like You've Never Been Away by Paul Trevor.

Books are very good, but don't forget to go look at high quality, original prints in a gallery. It's instructive to see the difference between quality books and original prints. Few books do the originals justice, those that have high repro quality are usually very expensive (but not always).

You will learn for yourself which publishers produce quality work. Steidl is one - their reproduction of August Sander's People of The Twentieth Century boxed set is an excellent example (brilliant set, too, if your budget stretches that far).

Mike Johnston over on The Online Photographer also occasionally recommends good photo books.
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Old 11-06-2012   #37
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Jason Eskenazi's Wonderland is a masterpiece.. i also recommend it.

also:

The Americans by Frank
Shashin Yo Sayonara by Moriyama
Subway by Davidson
Figments from the Real World by Winogrand
William Eggleston's Guide
Utatane by Kawauchi

these are some of my favorites at least.
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Old 11-06-2012   #38
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I can't really advise, but I have about 100 photography books on my bookshelves.
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Old 11-06-2012   #39
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Contemporary works:

Pieter Hugo- "The Hyena & Other Men"
Simon Roberts- "Motherland" and/or "We English"
Jan Kempenaers- "Spomenik" and/or "Picturesque"
Alec Soth- "From here to there: Alec Soth's America"
Roman Bezjak- "Socialist Modern"



Others-
Eggleston's Guide
"The Suffering of Light" by Alex Webb
"Uncommon Places" by Stephen Shore
Anything by Avedon
"Subway" by Bruce Davidson

I dont really recommend "The Americans" by Robert Frank. I consider it to be important in the grand scheme of things (photographic) but ultimately underwhelming by todays' standards.
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Old 11-06-2012   #40
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Among all my photo books, there's one I return to again and again - possibly because it covers a period long ago when I was 20-something and living in London. It's Birth of the Cool by David Bailey - just outstanding! TW
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