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Eclectic mix

Find out about our latest photography books below!

syndetics-lcPhotocraft
“Digital Photography and Mixed Media–a creative match made in heaven! Love photography? Want to make yours better? Want to use your photography as a springboard for fabulous and diverse mixed media and digital projects?
Photo Craft will help you elevate the average into the extraordinary! Using Adobe Photoshop Elements and following thorough, easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions, you’ll learn to make basic adjustments to your photographs that will yield stunning and artistic results. You’ll also learn to use those photographs — along with some everyday mixed-media supplies — to create unique and personal art.
Inside You’ll Find:

  • 13 stepped out mixed media techniques and projects
  • 16 stepped out digital techniques
  • 9 stellar techniques and projects from contributing artists including Michele Beschen and Claudine Hellmuth
  • Dozens of great examples of and tips for iPhoneography
  • Countless inspirational suggestions for photo field trips and photo shoots
  • An author curated list of recommended apps to take your photos to the next level
  • Access to exclusive online materials including new techniques and projects and downloadable materials for your personal use

So get to it! Take new pictures today (and every day!), look through those boxes of old and long-forgotten photos, and free those lonely images from your hard drive. Make them better, make them new and make them art. Soon you’ll be seeing things in a whole new way!” (from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverHarbour / photographs by Alastair Grant.
“For the past three years Alastair Grant has travelled the great inland harbours of the west coast of the North Island creating a photographic record of these fascinating and under-appreciated regions, trying to capture their atmosphere and a feel for the people who live and work around them. The harbours are drowned river valleys. They differ greatly in size, but share a similar climate with prevailing westerly winds. They are all tidal. They were settled by Maori following the great migration in the 13th and 14th centuries and have played significant roles in Maori history. To this day, marae dot their shores. The large number of shipwrecks around the entrances and within the harbours bears witness to their importance as centres of commerce and trade in earlier times, particularly following the arrival of Europeans in the early to mid-19th century. The Manukau and Porirua harbours support large urban populations and commercial activities on their shores, while the others are less populated and more remote, popular for holidays or little known by outsiders”–Publisher information.

syndetics-lcAll About Bond
“The release of the latest 007 movie, Skyfall, was the 24th movie starring the fictional secret service agent and All About Bond is a unique memoir that will delight, amuse and inform Bond fans the world over.
All About Bond is packed with surprises, insights and candid memories, both personal and photographic from legendary names who cut their teeth and carved out careers in some of the most memorable scenes in movie history.
The humor, the drama and the camaraderie, on set and off, is captured through the immortal lens of one of the world’s most legendary photographers. Bond girls from Honor Blackman and Shirley Eaton to Britt Ekland and Joanna Lumley recall their thrills and spills filming cinema’s most enduring and alluring sex symbols; and the man – and men – who made Bond, share the facts and the fictions behind the creation of cinema’s foremost superhero.” (from Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcThe Essential Cecil Beaton
“Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) was a man of many facets and extraordinary skill. He was a successful theatre designer, a writer, a fashion and society photographer, as well as a gardener. As a photographer, he was world-famous. The secret of his success was probably his ability to capture with his photographs a whole era, as a kind of master of ceremonies to the British Empire. Always self-assured and stylish, he depicts with his customary elegance and panache the high and low of the century: The British Royal family, the nobility, the London bohemian scene, and the New York underground. Since the Nineteen-Twenties, his work has been unique in depicting the international “Zeitgeist.” Without doubt, Cecil Beaton’s photographic work is one of the most important contributions to the history of art and photography of the 20th century. This marvelous volume offers a comprehensive and complete presentation of Beaton’s work and life.” (from Amazon.com)

Out of space odysseys, the world of make-believe and fairytales

From this month title, one could wonder whether this post is really about photography, or whether I am taking a cynical view of the role of photography. The truth is, photography as this month’s post will demonstrate, allows us to delve in the wonders of the universe around us, thanks to the technological feats of space travel. It also gives the most creative amongst us, the license to create a world of fantasy and extravagance, by arranging, composing, altering, juxtaposing, hiding and revealing, collaging and using any other clever means to create the desired image. The issue of photography and truth has long been debated. Even the “straightest” photograph is in some way a manipulation of reality. So once we are at peace with this fact, we can explore the world of possibilities at our disposal as some of this month’s books illustrate brilliantly.  

Planetfall 
“Thanks to the photographic output of a small squadron of interplanetary spacecraft, we have awakened to the beauty and splendor of the solar system. Since Michael Benson’s masterful book Beyond: Visions of the Interplanetary Probes, new, more powerful cameras in probes with greatly improved maneuverability have traversed the wheeling satellites of Jupiter; roamed the boulder-strewn red deserts of Mars; studied Saturn’s immaculate rings; and shown us our own ravishing Earth, a blue-white orb with a disturbingly thin atmosphere, as it plunges deeper into ecological crisis. Benson takes raw data from NASA and European Space Agency archives and processes it, creating large-format landscapes. He edits, composites, then frequently mosaics, and then finally optimizes these images, producing seamless digital C prints of landscapes beyond direct human experience. These new images are the subject of Benson’s Planetfall, a truly revelatory book that uses its large page size to reproduce the greatest achievements in contemporary planetary photography as never before”. (Adapted from publisher)

For a comprehensive review of the book, you may want to read Rebecca J. Rosen’s article in The Atlantic, complete with photographs and a link to Michael Benson’s current exhibition at the Hasted Kraeutler gallery in New York.

And on the subject, if you have missed the beautiful moonrise over Wellington on 29 January, here is an amazing video of the celestial display. 

Faking it – Manipulated Photography before Photoshop
“It is a long-held truism that ‘the camera does not lie’. Yet, as Mia Fineman argues in this illuminating volume, that statement contains its own share of untruth. While modern technological innovations, such as Adobe’s Photoshop software, have accustomed viewers to more obvious levels of image manipulation, the practice of “doctoring” photographs has in fact existed since the medium was invented. In “Faking It”, Fineman demonstrates that today’s digitally manipulated images are part of a continuum that begins with the earliest years of photography, encompassing methods as diverse as overpainting, multiple exposure, negative retouching, combination printing, and photomontage. Among the book’s revelations are previously unknown and never before published images that document the acts of manipulation behind two canonical works of modern photography: one blatantly fantastical (Yves Klein’s “Leap into the Void” of 1960); the other a purportedly unadulterated record of a real place in time (Paul Strand’s “City Hall Park” of 1915). Featuring 160 captivating pictures created between the 1840s and 1990s in the service of art, politics, news, entertainment, and commerce, “Faking It” provides an essential counterhistory of photography as an inspired blend of fabricated truths and artful falsehoods.”–Publisher’s website.

syndetics-lcJonathan Becker – 30 years at Vanity Fair
“Over three decades with Vanity Fair, Jonathan Becker has photographed some of the most fascinating characters from the rarefied worlds of art, literature, politics, pop culture, and society, capturing the personality and individuality of the subjects he celebrates. Assignments for the magazine have dispatched Becker far and wide—from the Amazonian jungle to Buckingham Palace”. (from amazon.com)

For a sneek peek of the photographs collected in this mammoth of a book, visit the Vanity Fair’s slideshow dedicated to this new publication.

syndetics-lcTim Walker, Story Teller
“Famed fashion photographer Walker shares a new collection assembled from the world’s most famous magazines (including Vogue, Vanity Fair, W, the New Yorker, a follow-up to 2008’s Pictures, which you can also find in our collection timed to coincide with a major exhibition at Somerset House in London, that will be held until end of January 2014 (for those who might be heading that way in the coming 12 months). Aided by an introduction by Robin Muir, foreword by Kate Bush, and Walker’s own afterword, these extravagantly choreographed, fantastical images never fail to deliver a jolt. They are usually disconcerting, and often have a downright wonderful sense of humor and play, as in a human windup doll. A holdout for shooting on film, Walker has an uncanny gift for stretching a moment and playing with time. This strength perhaps explains the cheeky dignity he lends his elderly subjects, whose portraits temper Walker’s usual archness with a welcome humanity. His images are stunningly vivid, sometimes over-bright in the manner of Avedon, whom Walker assisted. Many of his models wear facial expressions so flat and affect-free as to appear proxies for mannequins, suspended between worlds and struck hollow in the process. Like Avedon, Walker knows how to strip the human face of warmth to electrifying effect, and that tension between these macabre, morose faces and the comic elements in Walker’s visions gives the work its dynamism. This unresolved tension, always at the heart of Walker’s work, makes it perpetually thrilling. 170 color illus. (Adapted from Publishers weekly).

Syndetics book coverPhotographers / Michael Pritchard and Tony Nourmand.
“Photographers celebrates some of the men and women behind the camera. They range from press photographers and photojournalists from Life and Picture Post magazines to studio and fashion photographers such as Avedon and Bailey. Some of the greatest names from twentieth century photography are shown with their Leica, Nikon, Rolleiflex and Speed Graphic cameras taking pictures of film stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and John Wayne and pop stars such as the Beatles – as well as self-portraits and pictures of their contemporaries”–Cover.(Syndetics summary)

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.

Festive ideas for the accidental photographer

syndetics-lcNew Zealand – Craig Potton

As we enter the festive season, this book might be high on the list of most coveted gifts. A majestic display of what New Zealand’s nature has to offer and what we may want to discover or rediscover during the summer months. A beautiful coffee table contender by one of New Zealand’s most distinguished landscape photographers, famous for his moody, often dramatic images of the wild parts of New Zealand.

syndetics-lcRobert Doisneau – Paris Les Halles Market

Once coined the Belly of Paris by Emile Zola, for its crucial role in the social, economic and gastronomic fabric of the capital, the central market of Les Halles was painfully extracted from its historic central location in the 70’s and transferred to the outskirts of Paris, to become the largest wholesale food market in the world (Rungis). In its place, a large commercial centre was constructed, which became known for its controversial architecture and the doggy characters loitering in the pedestrian area.
In 1932, Robert Doisneau was a budding photographer in love with Paris and its people in their daily activities and Les Halles was a hive and treasure trove for such imagery.
This book is a celebration of the market, depicted with candour and passion over 40  years. Doisneau became a fierce supporter of the market and documented the demolition and subsequent transformation of “le trou des Halles” into its current state. On the eve of a new remodelling of this vibrant part of Paris, “Paris Les Halles Market” is a timely reminder of the history of the place, and a nostalgic window into a bygone world as described by the affectionate words of Doisneau himself. “Saint-Eustache, the “village church”, was itself a mixture of styles and aromas: incense-scented and Gothic on the inside, celery-scented on the outside. And all around, humanity massed in the glow of fairground lights, rich and poor alike, truck drivers and market porters, butchers and Dior customers, grocers and drunkards. Everyone was on familiar terms, and all around there floated a sense of great gaiety and good will, values that electronic computers cannot calculate.” (excerpt from book)

syndetics-lcLooking at Ansel Adams

As expected for such a photography legend, the library holds quite a few titles by and about this seminal artist.
This latest addition is a nice combination of text and photographs in equal parts, making “Looking at Ansel Adams” a very attractive illustrated concise biography. The book is divided into chapters following the chronology of his career and his major photographs such as ” Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941″  or “Trailer-Camp Children, Richmond, California, 1944″.  A succession of personal accounts from Adams himself, together with contributions from his closest artist friends, family letters, postcards and mementos combine into a rich canvas complemented by details of the making of some of the iconic photographs we are so familiar with.  The book starts with a list of the major “characters” at play in the man’s life and concludes with a useful chronology and a glossary of photographic terms.

syndetics-lcMario Testino – Private View

The name is synomym with fame & glamour, fashion and celebrity. For the past 30 years, Mario Testino has been consumed by a passion for the world of fashion photography and has reached the pinnacle of his career, although he would argue that he is only started  “My favourite words are possibilities, opportunities and curiosity. I think if you are curious you create opportunities, and then if you open the doors, you create possibilities. People close doors all the time.”
A workaholic, Testino never tires of travelling the world to create ever more challenging, exciting and vibrant tableaux and protraits.
Mario Testino Private Views” was published to celebrate his inaugural exhibition in China. Beautifully and cleverly designed, this book is divided into three separate sections: LARGER THAN LIFE,  which shows portraits and snapshots of celebrities; IN MY OWN FASHION, which features the world of luxury brands and fashion magazines; and finally, PORTRAITS OF THE ROYAL FAMILY, which unveils some surprisingly informal and personal snapshots of the British monarchy.
An excellent introduction by Jennifer Allen gives us added insight into Testino’s world and craft.
Incidentally, the Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts is currently hosting two exhibitions of Testino’s work: In your Face is a retrospective of his work and influence in fashion photography whereas British Royal Portraits is exclusively dedicated to the British Royal family.
For further insight on this major photographer, read the accompanying Guardian article , watch the New York Times video of an interview with Testino and borrow the DVD of “The September Issue” from our DVD collection. A fascinating account of the world of fashion.

International Garden Photographer of the Year (Kew Gardens)International Garden Photographer of the Year

There are as many ways of looking at gardens as there are eyes in the world and this book gives us a wonderful collection of ways of seeing all aspects of gardens, from details of plants, flowers, fruits, vegetables and even animals that inhabit those man made spaces, to sweeping landscapes in all seasons and every continent. Here is a lyrical portrait of our relationship with nature and our attempt at shaping and enhancing it.
The International Garden Photographer of the Year competition was established in 2008. This book showcases some of the best images produced in the last 5 years.

syndetics-lcsyndetics-lc20th Century Photography Museum Ludwig Cologne & The George Eastman House Collection – A History of Photography

Here are 2 new companion titles from the prolific and democratic Taschen house. They are both intent on presenting a history of photography based on two specific and important collections: the Museum Ludwig Cologne on one hand which holds 860 works by hundreds of some of the most famous 20th century photographers and the George Eastman House based in Rochester, New York, the first museum dedicated to photography in the United States founded in 1949 by George Eastman of the Eastman Kodak Company. Compact yet full of essential facts and quality reproductions, these will certainly become reliable sources for anyone interested in the history of photography.

syndetics-lcShooting in Sh*tty Light, The top ten worst photography lighting situations and how to conquer them

Summer, family reunions and weddings are looming and cameras in cupboards, on shelves and in custom designed bags all over the country are getting agitated in anticipation. This is the time when many of us will be catching up with friends and relatives, taking those yearly portraits, trying their hands at new equipment, lenses etc.
This book is a mine of information for every challenging situation where the light is too strong, too low or just plain wrong. Divided into 10 chapters covering 10 typical lighting problems, the author goes through the issue in simple terms, explaining and highlighting any useful jargon and illustrating the process, from analysing  the situation, taking an awful initial photo (as it would come out if you let your camera decide for you), to adjusting and finding the best solution possible. Very useful!

syndetics-lcGIMP for Absolute Beginners

GIMP is a powerful open source graphics application with most of the features of its proprietary counterpart, Photoshop. This book provides a general introduction to GIMP for beginners, but it also contains topics that general GIMP users will find beneficial. You’ll learn how to navigate the GIMP’s modular interface, how to use the layering system and tools, and how to both modify photos and create original web art. You’ll also learn how to extend the GIMP with tools like the GIMP Animation Package. What you’ll learn Learn how to navigate the Gimp Interface Edit photos and retouch images Getting familiar with tool workarounds Customize and configure the GIMP Interface Increase your design prowess Have fun with more complex graphics projects Who this book is for Hobbyists, occasional designers, enthusiastic photographers, graphical design amateurs, and beginning illustrators. (Library catalogue)

War and peace: humanity as a stage

syndetics-lcWorld Press Photo 12
Every year since 1955 an international jury has convened under the auspices of the World Press Photo Foundation to choose the finest press photographs of the year.
Universally recognized as the definitive competition for photographic reporting, it has been described by Michael Rand — for many years Art Director of The Sunday Times Magazine — as ‘the international photographic contest’.

This exceptional book contains the most haunting and inspiring photographs from 2011 — more than 160 pictures submitted by photojournalists, picture agencies, newspapers and magazines throughout the world.
Selected from more than 101,000 images taken by over 5,200 photographers representing 124 countries, these prize-winning photos capture the most powerful, moving and sometimes disturbing events of 2011. (From Publisher)

syndetics-lcThe Sartorialist, Closer
Photography book or fashion book? Great street portraits of people with style.. In the Sartorialist: Closer, Scott Schuman gives us a new instalment on human style as diverse and unique as the cities he visits with his camera, capturing the essence of global styles the world over, from Seoul to London, New York to Tokyo. His blog designed to feature the people he captured on the street just because they looked great,  has become an international phenomenon and his work is now part of collections such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography and showcased in many different fashion magazines.

syndetics-lcPhotography, the Whole Story
A new history of photography presented in a compact yet exhaustive volume, this title is divied chronologically into 5 main periods from the experimental years in the early 1820’s to the very latest trends in global photography. Each chapter features a double spread timeline that serves as a visual table of content. Trends, genres and iconic photographers are described, discussed and attractively illustrated, focusing on specific details of featured photographs within their design, historical and cultural context. The Navigator, Focal Points and Photographer Profile make it a lively guided tour of the subject of photography through the ages.

syndetics-lcTheatre of War – Cecil Beaton
“At the beginning of the Second World War the Ministry of Information, through the advice of Kenneth Clark, commissioned Cecil Beaton to photograph the Home Front. Beaton set to work recording the destruction of the Wren churches in the City and the heroism of Londoners under attack. He conducted a survey of Bomber and Fighter Commands for the RAF, which was published with Beaton’s own astute commentary. Beaton was an effective propagandist, but his voice, like his photographs, was touchingly elegant. Whatever his subject, Beaton was always a stylist. Beaton’s wartime work for the Ministry amounted to seven thousand photographs, which are now housed with their negatives at the Imperial War Museums. They form a great document both of the landscape of war and of the passing of the Empire. He travelled through the Western Desert and on to Iraq, Palestine, Transjordan and Syria. In 1943 he left for India where he photographed the final days of the Raj in New Delhi and Calcutta before joining the Burma campaign. He ended the war deep in Chinese territory where he witnessed the Nationalist resistance to the Japanese. Beaton’s inherent sense of theatre extended from palatial drawing rooms to the jungle and the desert. Whatever the circumstances he never departed from his radical aesthetic. Theatre of War is published in conjunction with the Imperial War Museums on the occasion of a major exhibition”–publisher’s website.

syndetics-lcHenri Cartier-Bresson, A Biography
The 20th century was that of the image, and the legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, born in 1908, was the eye of the century. He focused on the fascination of Africa in the 1920s, the tragic fate of the Spanish Republicans, the Liberation of Paris, the weariness of Gandhi a few hours before his assassination, the victory of the Chinese communists, and much more besides. Cartier-Bresson was always on the spot, the great opportunist, seizing life’s historic events as they happened. An intensely private individual, Cartier-Bresson nonetheless took Pierre Assouline into his confidence over a number of years, discussing such subjects as his youthful devotion to surrealism, his lifelong passion for drawing, his experience of war and the prison camps, his friends and the women in his life. He even opened up his invaluable archives. This sensitive biography is the result of the meeting of two minds, revealed in much the same way and with the same truth as one of Cartier-Bresson’s outstanding, inimitable photographs. (from Amazon.co.uk)

syndetics-lcLife – A Journey through time
A remarkable photographic exploration of life on earth. In the year 2000, world-renowned wildlife photographer Frans Lanting set out on a personal journey to photograph the evolution of life on earth. He made pilgrimages to true time capsules like a remote lagoon in Western Australia, spent time in research collections photographing forms of microscopic life, and even found ways to create visual parallels between the growth of organs in the human body and the patterns seen on the surface of the earth. The resulting volume is a glorious picture book of planet Earth depicting the amazing biodiversity that surrounds us all. Lanting’s true gift lies beyond his technical mastery: it is his eye for geometry in the beautiful chaos of nature that allows him to show us the world as it has never been seen before. From crabs to jellyfish, diatoms to vast geological formations, jungles to flowers, monkeys to human embryos, LIFE is a testament to the magical beauty of life in all its forms and is one of Lanting’s most remarkable achievements. (Library catalogue)

syndetics-lcParis, Portrait of a city
The vivid history of the capital of love and photography. A city built on two millennia of history, Paris is entering the third century of its love story with photography. It was on the banks of the Seine that Niépce and Daguerre officially gave birth to this new art that has flourished ever since, developing a distinctive language and becoming a vital tool of knowledge. Paris, Portrait of a City leads us through what Goethe described as a “universal city where every step upon a bridge or a square recalls a great past, where a fragment of history is unrolled at the corner of every street”. The history of Paris is recounted in photographs ranging from Daguerre’s early incunabula to the most recent images – an almost complete record of over a century and a half of transformations and a vast panorama spanning more than 600 pages and 500 photographs. This book brings together the past and the present, the monumental and the everyday, objects and people. Images captured by the most illustrious photographers – Daguerre, Marville, Atget, Lartigue, Brassaï, Kertész, Ronis, Doisneau, Cartier-Bresson and many more – but also by many unknown photographers, attempt to bottle just a little of that “Parisian air”, something of that particular poetry given out by the stones and inhabitants of a constantly changing city that has inspired untold numbers of writers and artists over the ages. (Library catalogue)

Current Photographic Exhibition in Wellington

syndetics-lcBehind Closed Doors
Commissioned to complement the exhibition “Behind closed doors: New Zealand art from private collections in Wellington”  shown at the Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi of Victoria University in Wellington in 2011, and currently at the {Suite} Gallery (3-27 October 2012), this book is a portrait of Wellington as a city of art collectors and lovers. The representation of art in the context of homes rather than the institutional walls of museums or galleries offers an interesting point of view. Neil Pardington, already a familiar photographer in the world of collections and museums, discretely uncovers the private spaces inhabited by art collected according to personal agenda and sensibilities. His black and white photographs are accompanied by extensive text by Lara Strongman, setting the context of each collection and its owners. One notable collection is that of Milly Paris, the largest private art collection in New Zealand, recently in the news as it went under the hammer. Listen to a National Radio interview with Milly Paris.

New Photography Books: Beauty, Ugliness, Oddness, Disjunction

This month’s selection of new photography books begins with a reflection on how human hands shape our environment through transformation, cross-pollination and reverse cultural and natural colonisation. Our picks also examine the Antipodean landscape and small town and how they’ve been transformed (with varying results) by successive generations – creating a unique, if not quintessential, aesthetic of ‘place’.

Plus, we explore the world of until recently undiscovered genius of colour photography, Saul Leiter; discover a contrasting black and white photography instalment on London; and finish with the latest in practical photography manuals.

syndetics-lcSmalltown
In this rich and austere collaboration, photographer Martin Mischkulnig has joined writer Tim Winton to produce a meditation on the peculiar collision of beauty and ugliness that characterises our far-flung towns.
Without pulling any punches, this is an affectionate, exasperated take on ‘fugliness and the smalltown shambolic’ where both photographer and writer crate a stark beauty, despite the sad conviction that ‘there is nothing so bleak and forbidding in country Australia as the places humans have built there’.
By showing us the bizarre and funny and sometimes stubborn hope of people who live in desolate circumstances, they invite us to wonder about what we build and how it affects our communities.  What does it say about us that we build places ‘just’ to live or work in?  Is beauty a luxury we don’t believe we can afford?  Is hardiness enough to sustain people, or does it finally limit the imagination? (Publisher)

syndetics-lcOld New World
In this series of 62 photographs, Mary Macpherson explores the complex visual fabric of small town New Zealand, reflecting on its characteristics, identity and symbolism in the national psyche. In an interview by Gregory O’Brien that features as an introduction, Macpherson states: “I think that all countries have qualities- whether of their light, colour palette, spatial relationships, structures, etc – that show through in image-making. After seven years of travelling and looking at New Zealand my adjectives for it are “litlle, quick and vivid”.  Whether the viewer shares those adjectives is for each of us to ponder.

syndetics-lcBehind Closed Doors
Commissioned to complement the exhibition “Behind closed doors: New Zealand art from private collections in Wellington”  shown at the Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi of Victoria University in Wellington in 2011, and currently at the {Suite} Gallery (3-27 October 2012), this book is a portrait of Wellington as a city of art collectors and lovers. The representation of art in the context of homes rather than the institutional walls of museums or galleries offers an interesting point of view. Neil Pardington, already a familiar photographer in the world of collections and museums, discretely uncovers the private spaces inhabited by art collected according to personal agenda. His black and white photographs are accompanied by extensive text by Lara Strongman, setting the context of each collection and its owners. One notable collection is that of Milly Paris, the largest private art collection in New Zealand, recently in the news as it went under the hammer. Listen to a National Radio interview with Milly Paris.

syndetics-lcTorbay tī kōuka: a New Zealand tree in the English Riviera
Wayne Barrar is no stranger to the exploration of the intersection between culture and nature, having dedicated most of his photographic career to this complex and sensitive subject.
In this new books, he looks at the strange phenomenon he observed while spending time in England of the reversal of the “normal direction of ecological colonialism” in the case of the pervasive presence of the iconic New Zealand cabbage tree (tī kōuka) that has come to represent the English Riviera to such an extent that it has been renamed the Torbay Palms. Paris-Berlin-Bretagne-Singapore_278Paradoxically, the very characteristics of the cabbage tree as a hardy, exotic looking plant has made it particular popular as an ornemental tree as far as Britain (or France for that matter, as witnessed in the photograph on the right taken on a trip to Britanny where I made the same observation and felt a need to document it) when its status in its native environment is eroding fast.  Two essays accompany the photographs, offering an artistic view on the one hand and a conservation view on the other. Barrar’s restrained, balanced and subtle image-making style respects the subject matter and lets the oddity of the situation speak for itself. This books  is a very interesting  reflection on the significance of a natural and cultural symbol.

syndetics-lcManly affections : the photographs of Robert Gant, 1885-1915
“Robert Gant was an English immigrant, an amateur photographer and a lover of men. Manly Affections takes us into Gant’s lost world of small town New Zealand. What happened when an artistic ‘new chum’ and his camera met the rugby and cricket playing locals? Manly Affections explores men’s intimate lives in 230 images. A visual history of place, gender and sexuality, this book poses new questions about settler masculinity. As sitters for the camera in the small towns of Masterton and Greytown, Gant’s companions crossed the lines between friendship, emotion, pleasure and eroticism”–Publisher statement.

syndetics-lcSaul Leiter – Retrospektive
Produced as the catalog of the exhibition “Saul Leiter–Retrospective” at the Haus der Photographie Deichtorhallen Hamburg earlier this year, this book unveils the work of this until recently little known American photographer and painter. “Saul is the missing link in the history of color photography, a covert operator, an artist painting in secrecy for decades, an artist almost lost to us.” states Margit Erb. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family in Pittsburg in the 20’s, his penchant for art found little support at home and he soon left for New York to explore painting initially and then photography, which he discovered to be well suited to his personality and artistic pursuits. His photographic style has much to borrow from abstract painting, incorporating multiple layers of complex planes of diffuse, sometimes lyrical, sometimes cubistic juxtapositions. His colour palette is bold, graphic and adventurous, using colour at a time when it was still considered a trivial relation to noble black and white photography.  The result was a long career in Harper’s Bazaar, spanning the 40’s to the 70’s until the magazine folded. For all the years he spent photographing fashion, Leiter admitted to having mixed feelings about a world that he found shallow and empty. His element was the street. Even his fashion shots were mostly created on the streets of New York. His portrayal of New York is unique, colourful, graphical, showing a taste for radical compositions often masking the majority of the frame with an out of focus foreground or one vibrantly coloured element. Thanks to some persistent supporters, he  was finally brought to fame in  the 90’s with a solo exhibition Saul Leiter: In Color which attracted a lot of interest and produced good sales, but more dramatically, by a book published in 2005 after a decade spent hunting for a willing publisher, following an exhibition noticed by Gerard Steidl. Early Color’s publication saw Leiter’s fame shoot to the stars almost overnight where he truly belongs. This current publication incorporates photography and painting, illustrating the dialogue between the two medium in Leiter’s artistic practice.

syndetics-lcAnother London : international photographers capture city life 1930-1980
In the years between 1930 and 1980, some of the best-known photographers from around the world came to London and made its streets, buildings and communities their subject. For some, the British capital was to become home; for others it remained a foreign city, as enigmatic perhaps as any they had visited. Each brought their own distinctive perspective, subverting or perpetuating national stereotypes, seeking out the typical or the exotic, attempting to penetrate the fabled British reserve with their lens. Together their work creates a portrait of a great world city, changing and mutating, a restless and fascinating muse. This book demonstrates the breadth and variety of the responses London provoked from visiting photographers during the period, from portraits to reportage, from social realism to whimsy and humour, the changes in their technique and attitude demonstrating developments in photography itself.

syndetics-lcTeach yourself visually Photoshop Elements 10
“If you want practical coverage of the most important features of Photoshop Elements 10, this book is for you. Packed with step-by-step instructions illustrated with full-color screen shots, this book clearly shows you how to do tasks, rather than using lengthy explanations. Even better, the book includes an associated website with all the images in the book available for download, so you can get hands-on practice as you go. It’s an efficient, easy-to-follow way to get up to speed on the latest and best that Photoshop Elements 10 has to offer.”–Publisher description.

And finally, our first photographic eBook!

Cover image for Digital Photography FAQsDigital photography FAQs an eBook
Straightforward, clear answers to the most commonly asked digital photography questions. What’s the difference between optical zoom and digital zoom? Do more megapixels equate to better photo quality? Why is there a delay after I push the shutter release button before I can take another picture? If you’ve ever asked a question concerning digital photography and wished you had a helpful resource to provide you with clear, reliable answers, then look no further.With nearly four decades of photo experience under his belt, author Jeff Wignall responds to 365 of the most common digital photography questions with informative, practical replies.

The Olympics, London and how “Photography changes everything”

Our experience of the world is for a lot of us, mostly visual. This year, we have discovered sports with new eyes, thanks to the latest digital technology lavished on the 2012 Olympics. We have enjoyed London in summer, its lush parks and treelined avenues, filled for the occasion with a myriad of athletes and their supporters. Some of this month’s books let us revisit and expand on these impressions, reflecting on the power and place of photography in our contemporary world.
We also pay tribute to Magnum photographer Martine Franck, who died a few weeks ago.

syndetics-lcIn the moment, the Sports Photography of Tom Jenkins.
In this period of Sports extravaganza, we have all been fed thousands of images per day, mainly on screens (be it computer, smart phones, television etc) and you may think that this book is just one too many stimulus. On the contrary, I would argue that this book is a reflective pause at a time when we may be better armed to appreciate a powerful image among a sea of mere documents. 
As Jenkins says: “I can sit next to guys with cameras at a cricket match now who’re hosing down every single ball, and they’re still not getting the picture. They are not really looking, not analysing what’s going on. It’s like going fishing and putting so much bait out that you’re bound to catch something. But that’s not how it works.” This could trigger a debate on the value of images created by robot cameras as we have seen for the first time in the coverage of the Olympics in London. One to ponder.
Furthermore, in today’s digital age, sitting quietly with a book on my lap, browsing through the object, feeling the pages turning and discovering what each spread has to offer, going back and forth from cover to cover is a rare moment of intimate enjoyment of an artist’s work. 
In a quote found on the inside jacket of the book, Jonny Wilkinson sums up the amazing power of Tom Jenkins’ photography, perfectly conveyed in this collection spanning the 20 years of this sport photography icon.
The essence of an event, the raw emotions elicited by a memorable moment are for all to admire and share in this collection of  arresting  photographs that go beyond the mere spectacle. Tom Jenkins has definitely mastered all the fascets of the art of seeing, in his chosen field of sport.
After a forthnight of sports image overload, this book offers a suspended moment of reflection. Far from being redundant, it reminds us of the place that books will always have, not the only place anymore, but a cherished, ever more special place, among the plethora of media that I feel complement  and bring the best in each other.

syndetics-lcLondon, Portrait of a City
“Apart from the sports, the 2012 Olympics’ other star has been London. What a timely arrival in our collection! Following on the footsteps of its New York publication, London gets the grand Taschen treatment. A hefty book that will sit proudly on the coffee table, enticing the viewer to stop and contemplate a few pages at a time. London’s remarkable history, architecture, landmarks, streets, style, cool, swagger, and stalwart residents are pictured in hundreds of compelling photographs sourced from a wide array of archives around the world.” – (Adapted from Amazon.com)

syndetics-lcMasterclass Arnold Newman
For more than sixty years Newman was recognized by regular publication in the most influential magazines of the day, major solo exhibitions and appearances in many of the world’s most prestigious photography collections. This landmark publication – the first monograph to be published after Newman’s death in 2006 – is packed with iconic images and includes a preface by Todd Brandow and short biographies of Newman’s sitters by Corinne Currat. More than 200 mainly black-and-white photographs, including dozens never before seen in book form, showcase the photographer’s remarkable talent. Famous sitters range from painters, writers and musicians to businessmen, bankers and leaders of industry, and include Truman Capote, Marc Chagall, 
J. F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and Andy Warhol. Individual and group portraits are represented in the book, as well as abstracts, landscapes, architectural 
details and cityscapes. Two essays by William A. Ewing shed light on Newman’s growing practice; Arthur Ollman provides an informative and entertaining look back at an old friend; and David Coleman focuses on an important national commission undertaken by the photographer. (Adapted from publisher)

syndetics-lcMartine Franck, a tribute
Only last February were we commemorating the life of Eve Arnold, Magnum’s first woman photographer. Today we look at Martine Frank’s contribution to the prestigious photo agency and to photography more generally. Martine Frank died this August at the age of 74, leaving a very wide body of work where celebrities and ordinary folk featured as prominently. She was recognised for her sensitive and compassionate eye as well as for her aesthetic rigour, cultivated from an early artistic background.  This book by  Louise Baring, unassuming by its size, perfectly suits Franck’s humble yet strickingly insightful images. It offers quality prints representing of a comprenhensive range of her photo essays, a concise yet informative biographical essay and ends with a 2 page chronology of her life. For further information on this important photographer, visit Martine Franck obituary on The Guardian and Magnum’s agency page dedicated to Franck.

Photography Changes EverythingPhotography Changes Everything

Photography Changes Everything—drawn from the online Smithsonian Photography Initiative—offers a provocative rethinking of photography’s impact on our culture and our lives. It is a reader-friendly exploration of the many ways photographs package information and values, demand and hold attention, and shape our knowledge of and experience in the world.
At this transitional moment in visual culture, Photography Changes Everything provides a unique opportunity to better understand the history, practice, and power of photography. The publication harnesses the extraordinary visual assets of the Smithsonian Institution’s museums, science centers, and archives to trigger an unprecedented and interdisciplinary dialogue about how photography does more than record the world—it shapes and changes every aspect of our experience of it.
The book features nearly one hundred engaging short texts commissioned from experts, writers, inventors, public figures, and everyday folk. Each story responds to images selected by project contributors. Together they engage readers in a timely exploration of the extent to which our lives have been transformed through our interactions with photographic imagery. (Adapted from publisher) 

syndetics-lc Light Years – Conceptual Art and the Photograph 1964-1977
This catalog of an exhibition organized by the Art Institute of Chicago explores how a diverse group of international artists, beginning in the 1960s, used photographic images and investigated the medium of photography in the conceptual art movement. Edited by Witkovsky (curator & chair, photography, Art Inst. of Chicago), six essays consider aspects of photography that intrigued the artists (including tourism and travel photography, photography as mass medium, the depiction of the human figure), and readers are invited to consider why these artists pursued the new paths they did. The numerous photographs (both in color and black and white) are a pleasure to view, and the artists’ efforts to gather and put forth their ideas, as well as their diversity of approaches, are fascinating.  (Adapted from Library Journals LLC) 

syndetics-lcMichael Freeman’s Photo School – Digital Editing
A diminutive publication, this book is a perfect , no-nonsense companion to better photography for those who may find other photography manuals overwhelming and may not have time for a 500 page bible.
Part of a series designed as a foundation course on the fundamentals of photography, its aim is to inform and inspire. 
Manageable, bitesize chapters take you straight to the point, starting with a general explanation of the topic (e.g. Sharpening), followed by a ”Challenge” where the reader is invited to pratice the theory, concluded by a “Review” where examples of other “students” work are discussed. A natural progression through the book combines concepts previously learnt, leading to more complex exercises as the reader moves on.  

Complete Digital Photography
As the title indicates, this book is closer to the bible type. If you are looking for one title that will cover most of today’s technical aspects of digital photography, this book should definitely be high on the list. In its 7th edition, Ben Long’s now established title brings excellent, up-to-date information on all aspects of digital photography, from camera controls to image transfer, flash lighting, using metadata to improve your photography, image editing and preparing for printing. Supported by online resources, this book will help you experiment with examples discussed in the various chapters.

Glamour + Realism + Multimedia = Photography today

This month, we’ll start our photographic journey with two restrospectives; The first focuses on the most photographed person in the world, the second reflects on one photographer’s long career taking portraits of unknown, young people.

We’ll then discover a remote set of islands in the South Pacific and work that it inspired during a unique journey for nine artists, including phtographers. We’ll wrap up for this month with some books on theory and techniques for the analog and digital enthusiasts alike.

syndetics-lcMarilyn by Magnum / with an essay by Gerry Badger
The fascination with Marilyn is just as alive today as it was during her short life and this book, 50 years after her death, is a wonderful collection of beautiful portraits and candid scenes of intimate and sometimes poignant moments in the legendary Hollywood star’s life. As Inge Morath put it, “Once she was ready to be photographed, she would surpass the expectations of the lens. She had a shimmering quality like an emanation of water, and she moved lyrically.”

Rineke Dijkstra : A Retrospective
Published to coincide with the first major retrospective in North America of the work of dutch artist Rineke Djikstra by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, this impressive book compiles examples of Dijkstra’s major projects of the past 20 years, dedicated to capturing her subjects offering their most authentic selves to an empathetic eye. From the awkward adolescents on a North Sea beach that marked her early career, to young soldiers, new mothers after birth and bullfighters after a fight, Dijkstra’s work is beautifully presented, accompanied by excellent essays and text placing her body of work in historical and artistic context. The definitive reference on this important artist. This Times magazine article offers a preview of the some of the images on show.

syndetics-lcKermadec : nine artists explore the South Pacific / edited by Bronwen Golder and Gregory O’Brien
In May 2011 the Kermadec Initiative of the Pew Environment Group invited nine artists from New Zealand and Australia, together with broadcaster Marcus Lush, to join them on a journey to the remote islands of the region. The unusual group boarded on HMNZS Otago for a discovery of the natural treasures that the region represents, on a mission to record their experience through their respective media. From Raoul island to Tonga, the group sketched, painted, crafted, photographed, filmed and recorded an array of impressions, documented as a fascinating diary in this important book aimed at raising awareness of this pristine ocean realm. Samples of works by Phil Dadson, Bruce Foster, Fiona Hall, Gregory O’Brien, Jason O’Hara, John Pule, John Reynolds, Elizabeth Thomson and Robin White give a multi-faceted view of a unique marine environment. The exhibition ‘Kermadec’ will open at the City Gallery in Wellington on 3 October 2012. For more information, check out the project’s official website, or the City Gallery’s revamped website.

syndetics-lcWhat makes great photography : 80 masterpieces explained / Val Williams
This little gem of a book discusses the elusive topic of what makes a photograph great. Showcasing 80 definitive photographs spanning from the pioneers of photography to the most contemporary, from portrait to landscape, studio to field war photography, and analyses the elements that distinguish each of them from others, examining composition, colour, texture, subject matter, cultural or political context. An interesting exercise in analysis and deconstruction, in looking at a photograph and verbalising what we see and what it means to each of us.

syndetics-lcPhotography : the new basics : principles, techniques and practice / Graham Diprose and Jeff Robins
An all rounder, covering all aspects of photography techniques and principles, from digital to analog, acknowledging that traditional and alternative processes have experienced a revival in last few years. Pre- and post production are given equal importance and the main photography genres are explained, illustrated and given a historical background. Practical examples are clearly presented, interspersed with relevant examples from well know photographers. Informative and interesting. 

syndetics-lcThe art of photography : an approach to personal expression / Bruce Barnbaum
“This respected textbook has been completely revised with a nod towards digital technology, though much of the book still focuses on traditional, mostly black and white, film photography and processing. Combining artistic philosophy with hands-on technical instruction, accomplished photographer Barnbaum generously shares his tremendous wealth of knowledge to the great benefit of amateur to professional level photographers. The book includes hundreds of the author’s beautiful photographs used as examples to illustrate instruction on composition, light, exposure, developing, printing, presentation, creativity, and philosophy. Much attention is given to the tried-and-true “zone system” of exposure and processing originally developed by Ansel Adams and Fred Archer. This book will be especially useful for photographers working with film in a world saturated with references aimed solely at the digital photographer.” – (adapted from Booknews.com summary) 

syndetics-lcAdobe Photoshop CS6 for photographers : a professional image editor’s guide to the creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC / Martin Evening
And finally, the rumour is true: CS6 is upon us! If analog black and white still gets the lion’s share in The Art of Photography, Adobe Photoshop CS6 for photographers is the definite companion for digital photographers. Whether you have bought Photoshop for the first time or you are ready to upgrade, this is the newest version and this is the book to reveal all. Complete, clear and well organised, illustrated with concrete examples that will help you put techniques to the test and let you get familiar with them. To get you started and help you go straight to the new features, check out this blog and accompanying videos

From classical to conceptual, from practical to artistic, an eclectic review of our photography shelves this month

You’ll get both instruction and inspiration out of the new photography books this month. We start off with tips for iPad users and children, before taking a look at the world through lenses.

syndetics-lcThe iPad for photographers : master the newest tool in your camera bag / Jeff Carlson.
“The iPad has proven to be a very popular gadget and many of its functionalities often stay untapped. This book will help you make the most of its amazing camera function, whether a novice to pro shooter, with simple step-by-step instructions from basic capabilities to more advanced ones such as triggering the camera shutter remotely, using the screen as a fill flash, calculating the depth of field and tracking outdoor light conditions. You’ll be amazed!” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

syndetics-lcClick click click! : photography for children / George Sullivan.
Rarely do we come across a book on photography dedicated to children and yet, with the development of digital photography and the proliferation of devices that offer camera functions, photography has never been more accessible whether via pocket cameras, cellphones or the iPad. This book is therefore a timely addition to our collection and a great resource for younger readers. The book is conventionally structured, in an accessible style,  starting with the history of photography, continuing with a review of famous photographers through the ages. The second half is dedicated to the technique of photography and the ways modern technology allows editing and integration of photographs in all sorts of platforms, printed or online.

syndetics-lcParis by night / Brassai ; foreword by Paul Morand ; [translated from the French by Stuart Gilbert].
Born in Hungary, Brassaï studied art in Budapest and Berlin before moving to Paris in 1924. Trained as a painter, he turned to photography at the suggestion of fellow Hungarian André Kertész in the early 30’s. First published in 1933, Paris by night was met with immediate critical acclaim. Brassaï became a respected chronicler of the city, capturing the lives of ordinary Parisians, working as a journalsit by day, he roamed the streets of the capital at night, producing the ethereal and often gostly images of a less familiar night world. The original edition contained 64 reproductions printed in heliogravure. The present edition uses the latest engraving technology to translate faithfully the quality of the original photographs. Presented on thick black matt paper, each print is of stunning quality and tonality.  A very different feel from Woody Allen’s depiction of Paris by night in the 20’s in Midnight in Paris, available on DVD from our extensive DVD collection.

syndetics-lcBeautiful Britain / Iain McKell ; with an essay by William Oliver.
There is an irony in the title, as well as a tenderness about a subject not always obviously beautiful. Ian McKell has been photographing all his life with the intention to create a visual diary. “I wanted to get it all. The rawness of it. I wanted to show it all and be honest,” he says. “I wasn’t pandering. I didn’t have all the baggage, I wasn’t precious about money, I was young”. In this book, photographs spanning 35 years have been collected to ” reflect my background growing up and working in Britain. They document the people, events and movements that have shaped me as a photographer.” McKell has acknowledged the influence of Diane Arbus on his work which is obvious to the viewer. Like Arbus, he places himself among his subjects rather than observing “them” from the distance of the photographer removed behind the camera. The photographs work best as a collection as they give a sense of a place, depicted in its sociological, political and human complexities. McKell is an astute observer and great portraitist. 

syndetics-lcNew York : portrait of a city = Porträt einer Stadt = portrait d’une ville / by Reuel Golden ; directed and produced by Benedikt Taschen.
“This book presents the epic story of New York in photographs, photo-portraits, maps, and aerial views—nearly 600 pages of emotional, atmospheric images, from the mid-19th century to the present day. Supplementing this treasure trove of images are hundreds of quotations and references from relevant books, movies, shows and songs. The city’s fluctuating fortunes are all represented, from the wild nights of the Jazz Age and the hedonistic disco era, to the grim days of the Depression and the devastation of 9/11 and its aftermath, as its broken-hearted but unbowed citizens picked up the pieces. 
Hundreds of iconic images are featured, sourced from dozens of archives and private collections—many never before published—and the work of over 150 celebrated photographers, including: Victor Prevost, Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Weegee, Margaret Bourke-White, Saul Leiter, Esther Bubley, Arnold Newman, William Claxton, Ralph Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Mitch Epstein, Steve Schapiro, Mary Ellen Mark, Marvin Newman, Allen Ginsberg, Joel Meyerowitz, Andreas Feininger, Neil Leifer, Charles Cushman, Joseph Rodriguez, Garry Winogrand, Larry Fink, Jamal Shabazz, Allan Tannenbaum, Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Eugene de Salignac, James Nachtwey, Ruth Orkin, Joel Sternfeld, Bruce Davidson, Keizo Kitajima, and many many more.” – (adapted from Amazon.com summary)

syndetics-lcPilgrimage / Annie Leibovitz ; introduction by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
“Pilgrimage took Annie Leibovitz to places that she could explore with no agenda. She wasn’t on assignment. She chose the subjects simply because they meant something to her. The first place was Emily Dickinson’s house in Amherst, Massachusetts, which Leibovitz visited with a small digital camera. A few months later, she went with her three young children to Niagara Falls. “That’s when I started making lists,” she says. She added the houses of Virginia Woolf and Charles Darwin in the English countryside and Sigmund Freud’s final home, in London, but most of the places on the lists were American. The work became more ambitious as Leibovitz discovered that she wanted to photograph objects as well as rooms and landscapes. She began to use more sophisticated cameras and a tripod and to travel with an assistant, but the project remained personal. Leibovitz went to Concord to photograph the site of Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond. Once she got there, she was drawn into the wider world of the Concord writers. Ralph Waldo Emerson’s home and Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott and her family lived and worked, became subjects. The Massachusetts studio of the Beaux Arts sculptor Daniel Chester French, who made the seated statue in the Lincoln Memorial, became the touchstone for trips to Gettysburg and to the archives where the glass negatives of Lincoln’s portraits have been saved. Lincoln’s portraitists–principally Alexander Gardner and the photographers in Mathew Brady’s studio–were also the men whose work at the Gettysburg battlefield established the foundation for war photography. At almost exactly the same time, in a remote, primitive studio on the Isle of Wight, Julia Margaret Cameron was developing her own ultimately influential style of portraiture. Leibovitz made two trips to the Isle of Wight and, in an homage to the other photographer on her list, Ansel Adams, she explored the trails above the Yosemite Valley, where Adams worked for fifty years. The final list of subjects is perhaps a bit eccentric. Georgia O’Keeffe and Eleanor Roosevelt but also Elvis Presley and Annie Oakley, among others. Figurative imagery gives way to the abstractions of Old Faithful and Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. Pilgrimage was a restorative project for Leibovitz, and the arc of the narrative is her own. “From the beginning, when I was watching my children stand mesmerized over Niagara Falls, it was an exercise in renewal,” she says. “It taught me to see again.”" – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

syndetics-lcLooking east : portraits / by Steve McCurry.
“This portfolio contains a selection of the best and most poignant portraits by Steve McCurry, known and loved the world over for his beautiful and enduring images of the landscapes and cultures of South and Southeast Asia. The collection includes some iconic such as the “Afghan Girl, Pakistan, 1984″  staring straight into the camera with her piercing green eyes, as well as previously unknown portraits of children, monks, pilgrims and travellers that McCurry has encountered on his journeys throughout Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Tibet. Printed on luxurious large format paper, this is a compelling collection, and a master class on classic portrait photography.” – (adapted from Publisher’s summary)

Art and photography / edited by David Campany.
“This generously illustrated book presents 190 works by 160 significant international artists, most of whom live in the United States, England, or Germany. Campany (photography, Surrey Inst. of Art & Design) surveys the variety of spaces photography has occupied in art since the mid-1960s. He uses eight themes (e.g., “Memories and Archives,” “Objective Objects,” and “Traces of Traces”) that depart from but complement those from the histories of art and photography. While he arranges his text in the format prescribed by the “Themes and Movements” series editors-with an introductory essay, key artworks, a documents section, artists’ and authors’ biographies, a bibliography, and an index-Campany does not cover the subject in a formulaic way. His compilation of excerpted texts by art critics, philosophers, professors, interviewers, photographers, and others nicely complements his essay and the featured works. Well documented (though with a few editorial oversights), Campany’s noteworthy if not seminal contribution to the history of photography reads like a well-designed museum exhibition catalog.” – (adapted from Library Journal summary)


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