New photography books: polaroids, the Queen, Wim Wenders, photojournalism & more…

Got a new toy for Christmas and want to delve into studio photography? Light it, Shoot it, Retouch it will get you started – there’s a wealth of information here about lighting layouts. Otherwise, why not just enjoy and admire other photographers’ work? This month we bring you titles that collect the work of Wim Wenders, as well as test Polaroids taken by Helmut Newton. Plus, 150 years of photojournalism, and Cecil Beaton’s portraits of Queen Elizabeth II. Enjoy!

syndetics-lcLight it, Shoot it, Retouch it
“Scott Kelby, the world’s #1 best-selling author of photography books, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Photoshop User magazine, and Publisher of the just-released Light It magazine, has reinvented how lighting books are written by finally revealing the entire process from start to finish. You see everything from the complete lighting setup (and all the gear used), to the shoot (including all the camera settings and a contact sheet of the progression of the shoot), to the all-important part that most books don’t dare include–the post-processing and retouching in Photoshop. This book also breaks new ground in the visual way it teaches you the lighting setup. There aren’t any sketches or 3D models – you see the lighting layout in a full-page photo, taken from above during the live shoot, so you can see exactly where everything’s positioned (the subject, the photographer, the lighting, the background – you name it – you see it all). Plus, you’ll see side, over-the-shoulder, and more behind-the-scenes views, so you can absolutely nail the lighting every time.” (

syndetics-lcAfterwards – Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past
This may sound like a difficult and unsettling subject . And it is. But the engagement is worth the reward. A collection of amazing photographs, thoughtfully captured and presented:
Afterwards presents work from leading contemporary photographers, with each in a self-contained sequence of images. More than 30 photographers are featured, including Robert Polidori, Suzanne Opton, Raphaël Dallaporta and Simon Norfolk, inviting the viewer to contemplate the aftermath of events in modern history – the Srebrenica massacre, human trafficking and slave labour, the Hiroshima bombing, the Holocaust and natural disasters – and get a sense of the physical and emotional scars they left behind. Accompanied by essays on cognitive responses to photographs, the ability to see and empathize, the nature of trauma and others, Afterwards shows the ability of contemporary photography to question what happens in the world and begin to understand it better.” (Adapted from publisher).

syndetics-lc Helmut Newton – Polaroids
A collection of Helmut Newton’s test Polaroids:
“Polaroids occupy a special place in the hearts of many photo enthusiasts who remember a time when ‘instant photography’ meant a one-of-a-kind prints that developed within minutes of clicking the shutter. What was once a crucial tool for photographers to test their shots before shooting on film has now become obsolete in the face of digital photography. Luckily for us, legendary photographer Helmut Newton saved his test Polaroids, allowing a privileged and rare chance to see the tests from a selection of his greatest shoots over a period of decades, including many from the TASCHEN titles SUMO, A Gun for Hire, and Work. Put together by his widow, June Newton, his collection captures the magic of Helmut Newton photo shoots as only Polaroids can.” (From

syndetics-lcWim Wenders – Places, strange and quiet
““When you travel a lot, and when you love to just wander around and get lost, you can end up in the strangest spots. … I don’t know, it must be some sort of built-in radar that often directs me to places that are strangely quiet, or quietly strange.”
Wim Wenders—painter, actor, writer, and one of the most successful contemporary filmmakers around—has assembled a fascinating series of large-scale photographs taken from 1983 to 2011 in countries all over the world. From his iconic images of exteriors and buildings to his panoramic depictions of towns and landscapes, this book presents the full range of Wenders’s photography.” (From publisher’s description)

syndetics-lcPhotojournalism – 150 years of outstanding press photography
“The events of the past few years, from 9/11 to the South Asian tsunami disaster, have once again shown us that despite round-the-clock news coverage, the Internet and multi-channel cable TV, the still image is as powerful as ever. Photography remains the ideal tool for capturing human emotion, drama and tragedy. “Photojournalism” features evocative and stirring images from the world’s greatest photojournalists, as well as providing a history of the medium. Starting with some of the first key figures such as Roger Fenton, who photographed the Crimean War with a bulky large-format camera, it moves on through the decades covering defining events in our history, from the Great Depression to space missions, the dismantling of the Berlin Wall and the recent war in Iraq.” (From publisher’s description)

syndetics-lcQueen Elizabeth II – Portraits by Cecil Beaton
After the speech on Christmas day, here is timely collection of portraits by photographer, costume designer, avid diarist Cecil Beaton:
“A “romantic royalist”, Cecil Beaton’s glittering photographs of Queen Elizabeth II were among the most widely published portraits of the 20th century. This fascinating book explores Beaton’s long relationship with the Queen and the royal family, and describes how his royal portraits shaped the monarchy’s public image from the 1930s to the late 1960s. It is a celebration of Beaton, the enduring flair of his portraits, and the myriad sources of inspiration that resulted in photographs so powerful that they molded the world’s perception of a mother, princess, and monarch.” (Adapted from