Photography in movies – photography picks for May

This month, photography features as an inspiration for and the subject of two movies: the feature film Carol and the documentary The Salt of the earth. Get our books and our DVDs for the complete experience and the “full picture”!

indexCarol a film by Todd Haynes.
Two women from very different backgrounds find themselves in an unexpected love affair in 1950s New York. As conventional norms of the time challenge their undeniable attraction, an honest story emerges to reveal the resilience of the heart in the face of change. A young woman in her twenties, Therese is a clerk working in a Manhattan department store and dreaming of a more fulfilling life when she meets Carol, an alluring woman trapped in a loveless, convenient marriage.

Based on Patricia Highsmith‘s novel originally titled The Price of Salt, Todd Haynes’ Carol is heavily inspired by street photographers of the 40’s & 50’s.

Here are two photography books from our collection that will give you an insight on the exquisite cinematography of the movie:

Syndetics book cover Saul Leiter : Retrospektive
“Saul Leiter has only in recent years been acknowledged as one of the great pioneers of colour photography. Like Robert Frank or Helen Levitt, he found his motifs on the streets of New York, but at the same time was visibly interested in abstraction. This collection, published to mark the first major retrospective of Leiter’s work, features for the first time, in addition to his early black and white and colour images, his fashion photography, the overpainted nudes, as well as his paintings and sketchbooks.” (Syndetics)

51Y9uYMhexL__SX398_BO1,204,203,200_A way of seeing
“In this essay, one of the most penetrating ever written on photography, Agee calls Helen Levitt’s pictures “as beautiful, perceptive, satisfying and enduring as any lyrical work that I know… The photographs as a whole body, as a book, seem to me to combine into a unified view of the world.” Active in film-making as well as photography throughout the Fifties, Levitt was co-maker of The Quiet One, winner of the first prize at the Venice Film Festival, and In the Street, the renowned documentary made by Janice Loeb and James Agee.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverFiona Pardington : a beautiful hesitation 
This book showcases the work of one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s most important and celebrated photographers. Covering thirty years, it is the most comprehensive publication of her work to date. From her early black-and-white analogue photographs to recent digital images, Pardington’s oeuvre traverses the spirituality that underpins Māori customs and the metaphysical world, to sexual and cultural politics. Her cornerstones are the abject, the discarded, the precious and the wounded, and the deep ties she maintains with her K’i Tahu heritage. Designed by the artist’s brother, Neil Pardington, this book includes more than 150 images. Many early photographs are published here for the first time. With essays by Aaron Lister, Hana O’Regan, Susan Best, Kriselle Baker, Zara Stanhope, Ron Brownson and Peter Shand, with an interview by Andrew Paul Wood.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe wardrobe of Cecil Beaton : a life in fashion
“When fashion photographer and costume designer Cecil Beaton died in 1980, it was not surprising that one of his tailors was telephoned with the news before Buckingham Palace, despite his close association with the Royal Family. From the moment he arrived at Cambridge University in 1922 wearing an evening jacket, red shoes, black-and-white trousers, and a large cravat, to his appearance nearly forty years later at Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, Beaton expressed a flamboyant sartorial nonchalance. A Life in Fashion is a lively and informative study of Beaton’s style, which kept evolving over the decades, driving and reflecting the transitions in men’s fashion that followed the Second World War. Drawing on unpublished records and interviews with Beaton’s former tailors, Benjamin Wild delightfully scrutinizes Beaton’s approach to fashion as well as his influence on designers such as Giles Deacon and Dries van Noten.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverSebastião Salgado : the scent of a dream : travels in the world of coffee 
“In this remarkable visual survey, Sebastião Salgado documents traditional methods of sustainable coffee farming across the globe, revealing rituals deeply steeped in history and pride. The book spans nearly a decade of research into the hidden world of coffee, highlighting relationships characterized by respect, fair exchange, and a shared understanding that ever-improving quality has the power to improve lives. Salgado, a native to one of Brazil’s premier coffee-growing regions, is the perfect guide for a reader’s journey to principal farming locations in China, Colombia, Guatemala, Ethiopia, India, Brazil, Costa Rica, and beyond.”(Syndetics)

And don’t forget to watch the brilliant documentary The Salt of the earth : a journey with Sebastião Salgado by Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado in which we follow Salgado’s 40 year travel through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity.


Syndetics book coverEdward Weston : 1886-1958
“Uncompromising passion: The Life and Art of Edward Weston. Few photographers have created such a legacy as Edward Weston (1886-1958). After a decade of successfully making photographs with painterly soft-focus techniques, Weston became the key pioneer of the school of precise and sharp presentation, dubbed “Straight Photography.” Through the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s, Weston was a major force in pushing forward the art of photography. His photographs are monuments of sensual realism, perfectly composed images of stillness that sear with passion and intensity. Whatever the subject, be it a vegetable, landscape, shell, or naked body, Weston’s lens captures the essence of its life force, the fundamentals of its form.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverLee Miller : a woman’s war
“Lee Miller photographed innumerable women during her career, first as a fashion photographer and then as a journalist during the Second World War, documenting the social consequences of the conflict, particularly the impact of the war on women across Europe. Her work as a war photographer is perhaps that for which she is best remembered–in fact she was among the most important photographers on the subject of the twentieth century. Published to coincide with an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum, Lee Miller: A Woman’s War tells the story beyond the battlefields of the Second World War by way of Miller’s extraordinary photographs of the women whose lives were affected.” (Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe five-minute fix : 200 tips for improving your photography and growing your business
“The Five-Minute Fix began as a way for photographer Dale Benfield to share his photography and business knowledge with a growing base of photographers who followed his business, Benfield Photography. These tips evolved into a huge collection of techniques, tricks, and advice for beginning through early-professional photographers, covering a variety of topics, from posing, shooting, and lighting to social media and sales-and much more! Unlike many books for “beginners,” Dale takes photographers from the beginning stages and continues nurturing them into starting a business and becoming a professional. Includes over 200 bite-sized, easy-to-read tips to help photographers with technique, business strategies, and marketing Applies to photographers at all stages of their business, from aspiring to professionals.” (Syndetics)