Isabelle Baldwin 🌎🎞
Books about photography that you should know (a thread):
Book mentions in this thread
by Sally MannNATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEARThe New York Times, Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, Vogue, NPR, Publishers Weekly, BookPage A revealing and beautifully written memoir and family history from acclaimed photographer Sally Mann. In this groundbreaking book, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Mann's preoccupation with family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by the family history that precedes her. Sorting through boxes of family papers and yellowed photographs she finds more than she bargained for: "deceit and scandal, alcohol, domestic abuse, car crashes, bogeymen, clandestine affairs, dearly loved and disputed family land . . . racial complications, vast sums of money made and lost, the return of the prodigal son, and maybe even bloody murder." In lyrical prose and startlingly revealing photographs, she crafts a totally original form of personal history that has the page-turning drama of a great novel but is firmly rooted in the fertile soil of her own life.
by David CampanyAn intimate meditation on photography for the ages, curated around 120 epochal photographs. In On Photographs, curator and writer David Campany presents an exploration of photography in 120 photographs. Proceeding not by chronology or genre or photographer, Campany's eclectic selection unfolds according to its own logic. We see work by Henri Cartier-Bresson, William Eggleston, Helen Levitt, Garry Winogrand, Yves Louise Lawler, Andreas Gursky, and Rineke Dijkstra. There is fashion photography by William Klein, one of Vivian Maier's contact sheets, and a carefully staged scene by Gregory Crewdson, as well as images culled from magazines and advertisements. Each of the 120 photographs is accompanied by Campany's lucid and incisive commentary.
Ways of Seeing
by John BergerWays of Seeing is a key art-historical work that continues to provoke widespread debate. It is comprised of seven different essays, three of which are pictorial and the other containing texts and images. Berger first examines the relationship between seeing and knowing, discussing how our assumptions affect how we see a painting. He moves on to consider the role of women in artwork, particularly regarding the female nude. The third essay deals with oil painting looking at the relationship between subjects and ownership. Finally, Berger addresses the idea of ownership in a consumerist society, discussing the power of imagery in advertising, with particular regards to photography.
by Lincoln KirsteinWalker Evans' American Photographsis widely deemed the most important photobook ever published. Originally conceived to be a catalogue to accompany his one-man show at The Museum of Modern Art in 1938 (the first solo show MoMA had given to a photographer), it quickly became a document so definitive of its era that curator John Szarkowski wrote that "it was difficult to know now whether Walker Evans recorded the America of his youth, or invented it." The book opens with images that cite photography, immediately establishing a tension between medium and message, although it is certainly for the message that Evans has become famous: American Photographspoints over and over again to the unhappy lot of the poor and the dispossessed in 1930s America. Lincoln Kirstein's accompanying essay (famous in its own right) declares: "What poet has said as much? Only newspapers, the writers of popular music, the technicians of advertising and radio have, in their blind energy accidentally, fortuitously, evoked for future historians such a powerful monument to our moment. And Evans' work has, in addition, intention, logic, continuity, climax, sense and perfection." American Photographscontinues to go out of print for long stretches of time, and the first edition of Errata's 2009 spread-by-spread reprint followed suit. This revised edition of that volume presents the original 1938 edition with its 87 legendary black-and-white photographs (reproduced in full-page rather than quarter-page spreads), the classic Kirstein essay and a contemporary essay by Evans scholar John T. Hill. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Walker Evans(1903-1975) took up photography in 1928. His book collaboration with James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men(1941), which portrayed the lives of three white tenant families in southern Alabama during the Depression, has become one of that era's most defining documents. Evans joined the staff of Timemagazine in 1945, and shortly after moved to Fortune, where he stayed until 1965. That year, he became a professor of photography at the Yale University School of Art. Evans died at his home in Old Lyme, Connecticut, in 1975. The Errata Editions' Books on Booksseries is an ongoing publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints or facsimiles but complete studies of the original books. Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study of the creation and meanings of these great works of art. Each volume in the series contains illustrations of every page in the original photobook, a new essay by an established writer on photography, production notes about the creation of the original edition and biographical and bibliographical information about each artist.
by Susan SontagWinner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award for Criticism. One of the most highly regarded books of its kind, "On Photography" first appeared in 1977 and is described by its author as " a progress of essays about the meaning and career of photographs." It begins with the famous " In Plato' s Cave" essay, then offers five other prose meditations on this topic, and concludes with a fascinating and far-reaching " Brief Anthology of Quotations."