New photography books – a little nostalgia…

This month, a bit of nostalgia, a lot of black and white street photography, with an unplanned bias for British and US photography, and just one book on the creation process, addressing both technical and artistic aspects.

Linda McCartney, Life in Photographs

syndetics-lc“When I ask myself, what my mother’s biggest passion other than her family and food, it was definitely photography. She lived it. It was not only her profession but her life, it was an extension of herself, every photo has a part of her in it.”  This quote from Stella McCartney taken from this book, sums up beautifully Linda McCartney’s life philosophy. Honest, passionate and deeply human, she was a talented and multifaceted artist. This is a sumptuous publication, not to be missed.

On this occasion, it is worth revisiting an ealier publication of Linda McCartney’s photography of the 60’s music scene.

Linda McCartney’s sixties: Portait of an era

“Approaching musicians with a combination of wide-eyed interest and complete understanding of the games involved in the business, she combined an artistic sense with insight into the characters of the scene. Her photos of Traffic are some of the best ever taken of the group; one can also say the same for her photos of the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Janis Joplin.”  (Adapted from

Vintage 80s by Stiletto, Johnny.

syndetics-lcBuy a 35mm camera at the beginning of 1980 and spend the next 10 years walking around London taking half a roll of black and white a day and photograph whatever happens in front of you. You get Mick Jagger, New Romantics, Ra Ra skirts, Boy George, Sloane Rangers, the beginning of Covent Garden, Yuppies, The IRA bombings, the Iranian Embassy siege, 100s of newspaper flyers, John Lennon Shot Dead,  Margaret Thatcher’s London, fashions that came and went.

This is Johnny Stiletto: “Well known for his intimate, socially revealing black and white street shots. A collection of his photographs is in the Tate Gallery, London. His TV work includes documentaries and commercials. Stiletto’s photograph of Francis Bacon on the London Underground was reputedly Bacon’s favourite photograph of himself.” (From

Perceptions, Patrick Lichfield

Perceptions: Patrick Lichfield“The name of Patrick Lichfield, photographer, is indelibly associated with a world of beauty and style that he inhabited with conspicuous success for more than 40 years. From the time of his first commissions for Life, Queen and Vogue magazines in the mid-1960s, he was chiefly identified as a documenter of this lustrous milieu. Throughout his career he photographed personalities from all walks of life: stars of stage and screen, politicians, aristocracy and royalty, sportsmen and women, models and socialites, as well as ordinary men and women going about their daily business. He was an acute observer of the world around him and of the period in which he lived and worked. Curated by Martin Harrison and divided into sections on Memory, Land, Empires, Cultures and Styles, Perceptions is filled with photographs from Lichfield s entire archive, from the 1960s to 2005, over half of which have never been seen before. This superbly produced retrospective, the first representing his complete career, establishes Patrick Lichfield as one of the great British photographers of the late 20th Century.” (From

Unposed, Craig Semetko foreword by Elliott Erwitt..

syndetics-lcFollowing in the footsteps of Cartier-Bresson and Elliott Erwitt, Craig Semetko is a connoisseur of the spontaneous moment. With a keen eye for serendipity, he captures the offbeat and the unusual to be found all around us. Each of his images intrigues us, yet lets us draw our own conclusions. Although a skilled technical artist, for him the camera is just a tool. To borrow a phrase from Henri Cartier-Bresson, “Photography is nothing–it’s life that interests me.” Craig Semetko’s photographs have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and publications worldwide. As well as being a photographer, he is a comedic actor and writer of note.

Elements of photography by Faris-Belt, Angela

syndetics-lc“Ever dreamt of studying photography but never had the time? This is as close as going to photography school as you will get.”
“The greatly revised and expanded edition of The Elements of Photography is a new kind of textbook for a new generation of photographers. Moving far beyond the usual technical manual, Angela Faris Belt dives deep into merging technique and vision, allowing you to master craft while adding meaning to your images. Here you’ll really learn to see photographically, expand your creative and conceptual use of apertures and shutter speeds, and choose the right media to create the look and feel you want.”
“Angela Faris Belt holds an MFA in Photography from the University of Michigan. She is a fine art photographer who has worked as a professional educator for fifteen years. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and she has received several awards and recognition for her fine art work and her work in photography education.” (Adapted from publisher)