NZ life & humans of the world – Photography Picks for December

Starting with three photography books about New Zealand, this month’s selection will fill your eyes and your imagination with photographic reflections on the world that surrounds us and the people that make it so interesting, from New Zealand children and their pets to skateboarders of the world, residents of New York or craftspeople of London. We also read about the lives of famous photographers and get a fresh insight into Lois Greenfield’s body of work. No review would be complete with some how-to’s which this month focus on smartphone photography.

Syndetics book coverSee what I can see : New Zealand photography for the young and curious
“Photography was invented in France in 1839 – the year before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed in New Zealand. Within a few years, cameras were charting the life and times of people at this end of the planet. See What I Can See is a celebration of that remarkable, well-travelled, ever-changing invention – the camera – the New Zealand that it captured, and the artists who wielded it. See What I Can See is an introduction to New Zealand photography that will appeal to young and curious photographers, students of New Zealand art history, or anyone who wants to sample the extraordinary range of images made in this country by our photographers.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverVernacular : the everyday landscape of New Zealand
“As long as people have lived in New Zealand, they have left traces of all kinds upon the land: stone walls, sculpted earthforms, urban benches, farm fences, boardwalks, walls, steps and drains. These everyday parts of our landscape form the backdrop to our lives, but are a frequently overlooked and underappreciated part of our cultural legacy. Landscape designer Philip Smith and photographer David Straight have travelled the length and breadth of New Zealand to document a wonderful diversity of forms and objects that make up our everyday landscape.” (Adapted from book cover)

Syndetics book coverLittle loves : New Zealand children & their favourite animals
“Rachael Hale McKenna’s stunning photographs catch the joy and delight that exist between children and animals and show off the amazing New Zealand landscape, whether it be coast, country, or city. There are many cute and funny stories about the children’s relationships with their favourite animals. As well as kittens and puppies, there are all sorts of pets, such as horses, rabbits, goats, pigs, chickens, and even eels!” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLives of the great photographers
“In the history of photography, the lives of the major personalities behind the lens are often as captivating as the images they have left behind. Yet, while certain photographs have become world famous, the stories of the photographers have been all too often distorted, obfuscated, or overlooked, and their social and political environments misunderstood or forgotten. With entries on Margaret Bourke-White, Brassai, Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, André Kertész, Eadweard Muybridge, Edward Steichen, and many others, Lives of the Great Photographers captures from a new angle the contributions of some of the most masterful image-makers in history.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMoving still
“Rather than shooting literal moments from a dance, Greenfield captures split-second movements created specifically for her camera. Her astonishing images of dancers in mid-flight appear to defy all laws of physics, with her performers seeming to levitate and assume incredible sculptural forms. Moving Still charts Greenfield’s shift to colour photography and from shooting with a film camera to a digital camera. Greenfield herself, through commentaries on the photographs, offers fascinating insights into her creative process behind the camera and the challenges she faces in shooting these images.” (Adapted from book jacket)

Syndetics book coverSkate the world : photographing one world of skateboarding
“Hit the streets with 200 exhilarating photographs of the world’s greatest professional skateboarders in action. In this dynamic collection, award-winning photographer Jonathan Mehring takes us from New York to Hong Kong to Istanbul and beyond. Featuring stars like Tony Hawk, Nyjah Huston, and Eric Koston, Mehring invites us along on his exhilarating photo adventures across six continents.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe bag I’m in : underground music and fashion in Britain 1960-1990
“Youth subculture in twentieth-century Britain was a unique phenomenon. Throughout the decades, young people sought to define themselves sartorially, reflecting their identity in terms of regionalism, class and crucially, musical taste, through their clothes. This book is a comprehensive survey of forty-five “tribes” that roamed the streets of Britain from the ’60s to the ’90s. From Mod to Skinhead and Rocker to Rudeboy, the look of each movement is captured in meticulously researched, previously unpublished archive photography.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe sartorialist : X 
“Schuman’s boldest collection yet, The Sartorialist: X shares the visual and cultural diversity of the world that surrounds us all. It is a thrilling, human adventure from Marrakesh, Dubai, Johannesburg, Milan, Cusco, Paris, Bangkok, Jodhpur, New York, Lima, Rome, Naples, Mumbai, Madrid, Varanasi, Bali, Kiev and London to rural Bhutan, Poland and Pennsylvania. The Sartorialist: X is an invitation to free your imagination with every turn of the page.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverMakers of East London
“East London is the creative hub of one of the world’s most dynamic cities and is seeing a resurgence of craftspeople breathing life back into traditional practices. This reflects a global interest in a return to handmade products created with individual passion. This book takes an intimate look at the people behind the craft, their studios and their practices to see what it takes to be a maker in a world of increasing mass production.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverHumans of New York : stories
“In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project -to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog Humans of New York. In 2013, his book Humans of New York, based on that blog, was published and immediately catapulted to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List where it has appeared for over forty-five weeks. Now, Brandon is back with the Humans of New York book: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe mobile photographer : an unofficial guide to using Android phones, tablets and apps in a photography workflow
“It’s been said that, with smartphones, everyone is a photographer. There is a snide implication here that camera phones aren’t ‘real’ cameras and that the people who use them aren’t ‘real’ photographers. In this book, Robert Fisher proves that today’s Android devices offer cameras that are remarkably powerful and more than capable of producing images that rival those made with more ‘serious’ equipment. From hardware and software, to uber-geeky apps, this book provides a solid foundation for creating artistically masterful shots with an ever-available, affordible device.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe smartphone photography guide : shoot, edit, experiment, share
“Thanks to our smartphones, we’ve all become camera-carrying photographers, able to snap a photo whenever and wherever we want. But how can we realize the full potential of this powerful tool? Complete with “Pro Tips,” “Try This” panels, jargon-buster explanations of technical terms, and advice on video settings, this smart guide will help you take, create, manipulate, and share your phone images like an expert.” (Syndetics)