Reflections on Photography in 100 ideas and 100 years

What better time than the new year to reflect back on the journey that photography as a medium has achieved in the last century, from experimental, messy beginnings to the sleek and high tech styles of today’s digital age. A choice of very interesting and gorgeous books will take you on this amazing journey, looking at the early techniques, seminal photographers, myriad genres and styles from black and white documentary to glossy colour fashion photography. We will finish with a couple of titles that will help you improve your own photography from exposure to digital storage. May these inspire, illuminate and guide you at the start of a creative new year.

syndetics-lc100 ideas that changed photography
This compelling book chronicles the most influential ideas that have shaped photography from the invention of the daguerreotype in the early 19th century up to the digital revolution and beyond. Entertaining and intelligent, it provides a fascinating resource to dip into. Arranged in a broadly chronological order to show the development of photography, the ideas that comprise the book include innovative concepts, cultural and social incidents, technologies, and movements. Each idea is presented through lively text and arresting visuals, and explores when the idea first evolved and its subsequent impact on photography.
From amazon.com

syndetics-lcAmerican Photographs
More than any other artist, Walker Evans invented the images of an essential America that we have long accepted as fact. American Photographs, first published by the Museum of Modern Art in 1938, is the purest and most complete expression of his cool, unblinking vision. The eighty-seven photographs reproduced on its pages are as relevant and essential as ever, with Lincoln Kirstein’s essay as their eloquent foil. American Photographs has been a key touchtone for photographers and those who seek to understand the lyric potential of the medium, but it has often been out of print. This 75th anniversary edition, with sumptuous duotone plates complementing the elegant restraint of the original typography and design, makes Evans’s landmark book available again. For the first time, digital technologies aid in emulating the precise cropping and finely tuned balance of the 1938 reproductions, capturing as never before the look and feel of the first edition. (dust  jacket)

syndetics-lcMaster Photographers
An expansive publication for larger than life photographers and their arresting photographs. The images jump at the viewer who cannot stay unmoved, whether by the beauty, horror, significance or sheer scale of the print. This book assembles a wide range of styles, subject matters and photographic periods. A mammoth of a book that is sure to make a similarly grand impression.

syndetics-lcComing into Fashion
A fittingly plush publication looking back a the history of the world famous Condé Nast fashion magazines (Vogue, Vanity Fair), this book offers informative texts and interviews, dotted with 200 images from the publisher’s archives, some never seen before , as well as actual pages from magazines. It features over eighty photographers, revealing their talent and vision, sometimes from a very early point in their career. The big names seem to all appear along the pages, such as Edward Steichen, David Bailey or Paolo Roversi,  up to today’s exciting new comers such as Michael Baumgarten or Sølve Sundsbø. This book was published to coincide with the exhibition ‘Coming into fashion : a century of photography at Condé Nast’ curated by Nathalie Herschdoj and organized by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography

syndetics-lcThousands of images, now what?
Digital photography has a way to induce “image creation overload”. The average amateur photographer can shoot between 5,000 and 50,000 images per year, a far cry from the days of analog photography when slides, negatives and prints could fit in shoe boxes under the bed. Another characteristic of the digital age is that our images are stored in computers and hard drives. We generally view them on screen, not in print. To add to this slippery situation, original images are often copied multiple times to suit different purposes such as uploading, posting, editing etc. No wonder most photography enthusiasts will find themselves tearing their hair out, trying to find a better way to manage an increasingly unruly and monstruous collection. This book is just what is needed to get on the way to a better, simpler, more efficient system to store, retrieve and use photographs, making sure that managing images doesn’t take over the creative side of photography.

syndetics-lcEnvisioning Family: a photographer’s guide to making meaningful portraits of the modern family
Another book that should be a favourite during this season of reunions with friends and family. Tamara Lackey, a professional lifestyle photographer, featured in numerous publications such as O Magazine, Men’s Journal and Parenting Magazine and showcased on TV shows such as The Martha Stewart Show, CNN’s Anderson and The Today Show shares her knowledge, techniques and wisdom to inspire and guide us in making successful family portraits indoors or outdoors thanks to a host of new ideas, contemporary images and clear texts.  For amateur and professional photographers alike.

syndetics-lcThe Weekend Photographer
Rewarding when done correctly, photography can also be frustrating when you don’t achieve the results you envisioned. Whether it is an issue of lighting, focus, white balance or photographer positioning, most mistakes can be easily identified, with a bit of help. The Weekend Photographer is a comprehensive guidebook to diagnose your problems and improve your overall technique, all within the time constraints of one weekend. Mainly focused on landscapes, whether urban or natural, this book will satisfy those who prefer to venture out by themselves and leave the family portraits to others.