Infinite wonder – New photography books

Our beautiful planet features heavily in our picks of the recent books this month, both terestrially in amazing photos of New Zealand geological events, and, spectacularly, from space — see the world the way a Nasa astronaut sees it in astronaut Scott Kelly’s photos from his year on the International Space Station. Plus, still photos from David Attenborough’s Our Planet series, and tips for Instagram and iPhone photographers. Have a browse.

Flying high : the photography of Lloyd Homer / Nathan, Simon
“‘Disaster man’ Lloyd Homer photographed events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides around New Zealand for over 35 years. This book features a selection of spectacular colour aerial photohraphs, including high-altitude panoramas, from the GNS Science image library as well as many unique aerial photographs of New Zealand’s national parks and wilderness areas.” (Catalogue)

Infinite wonder : an astronaut’s photographs from a year in space / Kelly, Scott
“The first photo book by the Nasa astronaut Scott Kelly, who spent a record-breaking year in space. This is an awe-inspiring collection of the photos Scott took himself while on board the International Space Station, many of which have never been seen before. Through the photos Kelly took during his time in space, we can learn to see the world in a new way. This book will show you what it’s really like to be a Nasa astronaut.” (Catalogue)

Overdrive cover Our Planet, Alastair Fothergill (ebook)
“With a foreword by Sir David Attenborough, breathtakingly beautiful still photography, and compelling text expanding on the remarkable TV stories, this companion book presents a whole new view of the place we call home. Featuring some of the world’s rarest creatures and previously unseen parts of the Earth — from deep oceans to remote forests to ice caps — Our Planet takes nature-lovers deep into the science of our natural world. This book captures in one concise narrative a fundamental message: what we do in the next twenty years will determine the future of not just the natural world but humanity itself.” (Overdrive description)

How to photograph absolutely everything / Ang, Tom
“This practical guide will teach you how to take the best possible photo in any situation imaginable with clear step-by-step guidance from expert photographer, Tom Ang. From still-life to sports photography, cityscapes and landscapes, and tackling children’s parties to capturing the magic of seasonal celebrations, How to Photograph Absolutely Everything is the essential guide to improving your digital photography skills and getting the most out of your camera.” (Catalogue)

Hashtag authentic : finding creativity and building a community on Instagram and beyond / Tasker, Sara
“Sara Tasker, Instagram-guru and social media influencer, shares her secrets for turning an interest in Instagram into a thriving business. Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform, with 400 million monthly active users worldwide, half of them under 25. While some of these people use the app as a personal tool, many also use it to build their creative business endeavours, from food and drink to fashion and lifestyle. Sara Tasker has tapped into this as an Instagram coach, an iPhoneographer and social media influencer. Her chronicle of authentic everyday life and her mindful Me and Orla blog has developed into a business in which she allows access to free insta-tips, alongside some hugely popular paid for e-courses for independent creatives.” (Catalogue)

The enthusiast’s guide to iPhone photography : 63 photographic principles you need to know / Duggan, Seán
The Enthusiast’s Guide to iPhone Photography: 63 Photographic Principles You Need to Know teaches you what you need to know in order to shoot great images with your iPhone. Sean Duggan covers the iPhone’s basic and advanced camera controls, the apps you need most for shooting and processing your images, and the principles you need to know in order to capture and share great, creative, beautiful images with your mobile device. ” (Catalogue)

Humanity of the Moment – Photography Recent Picks

Hip Hop At The End of the World book cover

“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” — Robert Frank

Explore the humanity of these moments; from the ‘Beat Generation’ to Victorian giants of photographic exploration, go from Ground Zero NYC to life in Venice with Peggy Guggenheim and witness the evolution of Hip Hop through the lens of Brother Ernie. Turn the pages and open a window to another time and place with these latest picks from our new photography books.

Hip-hop at the end of the world : the photography of Ernie Paniccioli / Paniccioli, Ernie
“With more than 250 images of artists including Ice Cube, The Notorious B.I.G., N.W.A, Lauren Hill & TLC, many that have never before been published, this book is set to become the new hip-hop photography bible. With exclusive, behind-the-scenes access, preeminent photographer Brother Ernie captures the last four decades of the evolution of hip-hop, the styles that grew from it, and the artists who shaped it.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Joel Meyerowitz : where I find myself : a lifetime retrospective / Meyerowitz, Joel
“Organized in inverse chronological order and spanning his whole career to date. This book covers all of Meyerowitz’s great projects: his work inspired by Morandi, the exclusive coverage of Ground Zero, his trips in the footsteps of Robert Frank and of course his iconic street photography. Joel Meyerovitz is incredibly eloquent and candid about how photography works or doesn’t, and this is an inspiration for all interested in photography.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Destinations
“For the first time, Gourmet Traveller has compiled a collection of its most dazzling travel photography. Visit some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places through the lenses of the world’s finest photographers. Traverses the globe making stops along the banks of the Yangzi River, on the streets of Cuba and at the grand turquoise minarets of Uzbekistan. Immerse yourself in the architecture, the food and the culture of the places you’ve been to and the ones you long to visit.” (Catalogue)

I see a city : Todd Webb’s New York / Webb, Todd
“A rich portrait of the everyday life and architecture of New York, Webb’s work is clear, direct, focused, layered with light and shadow, and captures the soul of these places shaped by the friction and frisson of humanity. Published on the occasion of the exhibition Todd Webb’s New York at the Museum of the City of New York, this book restores the reputation and legacy of a forgotten American artist.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim / Moses, Stefan
“In Encounters with Peggy Guggenheim, renowned photographer Stefan Moses reveals his collection of photographs of Peggy, taken between 1969 and 1974, many of which have never been seen before. Striking, eccentric, and dramatic, Moses photographed Peggy in her favorite places around Venice, as well as in her private palazzo at Canal Grande. An inspiration for art-, photography- and fashion-lovers alike, take a behind-the-scenes look at of one of the world’s most eccentric and inspirational women.” (Catalogue)

The Beat scene / Glinn, Burt
“Featuring a remarkable collection of largely unseen photographs of the ‘Beat Generation’ by renowned Magnum photographer Burt Glinn, these photographs manage to capture the raw energy of a generation in a way that has never been seen before in print. Shot between 1957 and 1960 in New York and San Francisco, the images feature nearly everyone involved in the scene, including Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, poets like Gregory Corso and William Morris, and many more.” (Adapted Syndetics Review)

Double take : the world’s most iconic photographs meticulously re-created in miniature / Cortis, Jojakim
Double Take presents forty astonishingly accurate reconstructions of iconic photographs–ranging from the earliest known to the world’s most expensive. These images have been painstakingly re-created in miniature by two photographers, Jojakim Cortis and Adrian Sonderegger.” (Adapted Syndetics Summary)

Victorian giants : the birth of art photography : Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, Clementina Hawarden, Oscar Rejlander / Prodger, Philip
“Bringing together the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832-98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-79), Oscar Rejlander (1813-75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65), these four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era. Featuring striking portraits of sitters such as Charles Darwin, Alice Liddell, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Thomas Carlyle and Lord Tennyson.” (Adapted Syndetics Review)

Feast your eyes on our latest Photography books

Feast Your Eyes

Don’t you just love all the pretty colours? Allow our most recent photography books to highlight the beauty of the colours all around us. Look back on iconic images re-imagined with colour, or look closer at the beauty of your fruit and vegetables. Look through the lens and delve into lives of people on the street, in the past, in the deep south, or the arctic circle. Take a look at these exquisite photography books and see something you have never seen before.

Book Jacket for: Feast your eyesFeast your eyes / Wright, Brittany
“Inspired by the effortless beauty of her ingredients; fresh fruits, vegetables, and more, Wright created the Instagram hashtag #foodgradients to showcase the splendor of nature’s edible rainbows. Each exquisite, neatly ordered photograph is a pleasure to get lost in. With a sleek, minimalist design, Feast Your Eyes is a celebration of the earth’s bounty, a breath of fresh air, and an inspiration for everyone looking for joy in the simple things.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Retrographic : history's most exciting images transformed into living colourRetrographic : history’s most exciting images transformed into living colour / Carroll, Michael D
“The the careful selection of striking images and dedicated colourization research, Retrographic  will take you on a visual tour of the distant past. Many of these moments are already burned into our collective memory through the power of photography as shared by people across the 190-year long age of the Image. And now, these visual time capsules are collected together for the first time and presented with living colour. (Book Jacket)

Book Jacket for: The street philosophy of Garry WinograndThe street philosophy of Garry Winogrand / Dyer, Geoff
“Modeled on John Szarkowski’s classic book Atget, The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand is a masterfully curated selection of one hundred photographs from the Winogrand archive at the Center for Creative Photography, with each image accompanied by an original essay. This inimitable combination of photographer and writer, images and text, itself offers what Dyer claims for Winogrand’s photography–an education in seeing.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Wander love : lessons, tips and inspiration from a solo travellerWander love : lessons, tips and inspiration from a solo traveller / Daquinag, Aubrey
“Author Aubrey Daquinag is a travel blogger and photographer, most often found posting her adventures on her blog ‘The Love Assembly’ from all corners of the globe. Featuring her incredible photography that shows you a world where travel meets style, Wander Love is the perfect mix of style, substance and travel adventures to inspire your own.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Real estate photography for everybodyReal estate photography for everybody / Castle, Ron
“In this book, Ron Castle introduces you to the skills you need to succeed in real estate photography. You’ll gain insight into some basics of the business, and you’ll learn what kind of equipment you’ll need to do the job. You’ll also learn  what not to photograph, how to produce strong compositions, and find suggestions for an efficient and effective post-processing workflow.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Berenice Abbott : a life in photographyBerenice Abbott : a life in photography / Van Haaften, Julia
“Abbott’s 60-year career established her not only as a master of American photography but also as a teacher, writer, archivist, and inventor. A teenage rebel from Ohio, Abbott escaped to Paris before returning to New York as the Roaring Twenties ended. Turning later to science, culminating in work important to America’s 1950s “space race”. This biography secures Abbott’s place in the histories of photography and modern art while framing her accomplishments as a female artist and entrepreneur.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: I am InuitI am Inuit / Adams, Brian
“For around four million people, the Arctic region is neither a curiosity, nor is it untouched wilderness: It is home. Since 2015, photographer Brian Adams has been traveling through Alaska, capturing the Inuit and their individual stories. This project has the aim of promoting understanding, dismantling stereotypes as well as misperceptions and connecting the world with Alaskan Inuits, and the Arctic, through common humanity.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Sally Mann : a thousand crossingsSally Mann : a thousand crossings
“Using her deep love of her homeland (Virginia) and her knowledge of its historically fraught heritage, she asks powerful, provocative questions about history, identity, race, and religion-that reverberate across geographic and national boundaries. Organized into family, landscape, battlefields, legacy, and mortality-and including many works not previously exhibited or published, this is a sweeping overview of Mann’s artistic achievement of the past four decades.” (Catalogue)

Book Jacket for: 1968 : a revolutionary year in photographs1968 : a revolutionary year in photographs
“1968 has gone down in history as the year of social and political movements, of global protests against the existing social model. Tens of thousands marched the streets, calling for an end to war and oppression. There were space missions and epochal murders, while Hippie culture and the Beat Generation ran wild and the wave of pacifism conquered the theater. This book presents images which best represent 1968 in every context. The talent of the best photographers of the time, retraces and recounts this fateful year, so full of major events.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Book Jacket for: Flora magnifica : the art of flowers in four seasonsFlora magnifica : the art of flowers in four seasons / Azuma, Makoto
“This sumptuous book is the product of a longstanding collaboration between renowned flower artist Makoto Azuma and botanical photographer Shunsuke Shiinoki. The result is a series of dense, luxuriant images, rich in colour and texture, in which nature and artifice are skilfully mingled. The four chapters are themed according to the cycle of the seasons: the freshness of spring, the exuberance of summer, the fading grandeur of autumn and the deepening shadows of winter.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

An evening with astrophotographer Mark Gee

Have you ever sat under the stars, gazed at the night sky and wished you could capture it? Seen photos of the milky way, looked down at your camera and wondered how on earth they did it?

If that sounds like you, then come along to the Central Library and hear Wellington based astrophotographer Mark Gee talk about his photographic journey and share his story of how he came to be the self-taught award winning photographer he is today!

A post shared by Mark Gee (@theartofnight) on Swing by the library after work on Wednesday April 4th at 6pm to meet the man himself and hear about the Art of Night, and learn how you can get started, how to use social media as a marketing tool, and how you can continue to develop as a photographer.

Mark will be talking for about 30 minutes so there will be plenty of question time as well!

Looking for more resources for your own photography?

Check out the free online course available through Lynda.com, with courses on everything from Photography 101, to Exploring Composition, How to Create a Portfolio, using Photoshop, and even Aerial Photography with Drones and a how to on Landscape Photography: Iceland!

All you need to login in your Library card number and your last name.

You can also take a look at our Photography Recent Picks Blog or check out our new collection on Overdrive: Get Creative With Design & Photography

10 Books to Help You Reach Your Photography Goals in 2018!

This new year you could become the photographer you’ve always dreamed you could be! Whether you want to be “instafamous” for your epic travel photos, launch that online business or just take better photos of your food. Reach for the stars, literally, have a go at astro-photography, or fine tune your existing skills with exposure, whatever your focus, these 10 books will help you scratch “become an awesome photographer” off your New Year’s resolutions list!

Syndetics book coverFashion & lifestyle photography : succeed in the commercial world and become a stand-out photographer / Dixie Dixon.
“Based on the talks Dixie Dixon, a Nikon Brand Ambassador, has given to crowds at major US trade shows, she reveals how to succeed in this exciting marketplace. From finding your vision, to building your dream team, this book will provide you with the essential gear and know-how to capture the looks of the media world that leap off the page or screen.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLonely Planet’s guide to travel photography / Richard I’Anson.
“Written by internationally renowned travel photographer Richard I’Anson, he shares his wealth of experience and knowledge about travel photography in photorecentthis jargon-free guide to taking better photographs. Thoroughly updated and refreshed with advice, information and instructions on how to take amazing travel photographs using the latest digital cameras. It also includes tips on how to get great results from smartphones, DSLR cameras, drones and GoPro action cameras.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFood photography : a beginner’s guide to creating appetizing images / Corinna Gisseman.
“Whether you want to create great food images for your blog or break into the world of commercial food photography, Food Photography is the perfect place to start your journey. Corinna Gissemann, a professional food photographer, walks you through everything you need to know, starting with a primer on equipment and exposure, followed by a detailed explanation of the extremely important roles that light, composition, and styling play in food photography.” ( Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe five-minute fix : 200 tips for improving your photography and growing your business / Dale Benfield.
“Unlike many books for “beginners,” Dale takes photographers from the beginning stages and continues nurturing them into starting a business and becoming a professional. His approach of providing a lot of bite-sized chunks of information on photography techniques, business, and marketing in one book is truly unique. For the photographer who wants both business and photography knowledge, this single book takes the place of two!” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverComplete photography : the all-new guide to getting the best possible photos from any camera / Chris Gatcum.
“Whether you’re a complete beginner, a casual snapper or a seasoned photographer, there is a lot to be learned from this extensive photography guide. Take the guesswork out of your photography and understand not just what to do with your camera, but how and why this affects the photos you take. Whether you own an SLR, film camera or a compact digital camera, learn how to take the best photos possible.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of astrophotography / Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester.
“Join astronomer and columnist Ian Morison as he provides the essential foundations of how to produce beautiful astronomical images. From images of the Moon and planets, to the constellations, star clusters and nebulae, journey through a series of worked examples and short project walk-throughs, detailing the equipment needed, starting with a DSLR, camera and tripod, and increasing in complexity as the book progresses.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe smartphone photography guide : shoot, edit, experiment, share / Peter Cope.
“Smartphones have put powerful cameras, literally, in our pockets and encouraged us to document our lives in ever-increasing detail. But do we realize their full potential? Instructive, inspirational and updated with all the latest on VR, selfies, and the best apps, become the best photographer you can be! Suitable for all general smartphone users, compatible with iOS, Android, and Windows phones.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPhotography exposure / David Präkel.
“Offering a detailed guide to using exposure for expressive purposes, this is an invaluable reference tool to all students and practitioners of photography.The second edition includes new images, as well as all new case studies and practical assignments – using examples from a range of international artists. The book has also been updated and restructured to take into account the technical innovations since it first published in 2009.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOne face, fifty ways : the portrait photography ideas book / Imogen Dyer & Mark Wilkinson.
“Whichever side of the camera you like to be on, this book will show you how – with some simple camera techniques and inexpensive items of wardrobe – you can revolutionize your portfolio. You won’t need to spend a fortune on props, studios or equipment; learn how to create an exciting, varied portfolio of fresh portrait photography.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe practical illustrated encyclopedia of digital photography : step-by-step guide to taking great photographs / Steve Luck.
“Expert advice from starting out to advanced computer techniques, with practice assignments and 1000 photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

What the soul feels: 10 new Photography books

They say, that photography, like art, it is less what the eye sees and more what the soul feels, and we couldn’t agree more. So whether your soul feels the mists of the mountains, the droplets of water from a dog shaking his coat, vintage cameras, cityscapes, fashion, selfies or satellite imagery, we’ve got you covered! Check out these 10 new photography books from our collection.

Syndetics book coverPawtraits / Ken Drake.
Pawtraits is a stunning photographic collection capturing man’s best friends at their most adorable, playful, mischievous and downright lovable selves. Each shot is an artwork, a beautiful, personal ‘tail’ of the love between a dog and their human, captured in Zoo Studio’s signature style.  Animal lovers & photographic art connoisseurs alike will fall in love with this book. A portion of the sales of Pawtraits will be donated to the RSPCA.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPhotographs from the edge : a master photographer’s insights on capturing an extraordinary world / Art Wolfe with Rob Sheppard
“Legendary nature photographer Art Wolfe presents an intimate, behind-the-scenes guide to the experiences, decisions, and methods that helped him capture images from some of the most exciting locations across the globe. From endangered species to cultural celebrations to natural wonders, Wolfe brings each subject to life through his stunning photography and the stories he shares in this one-of-a-kind photo safari.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverI love my selfie / essay by Ilan Stavans ; auto-portraits by ADÁL.
“What explains our current obsession with selfies? In I Love My Selfie noted cultural critic Ilan Stavans explores the selfie’s historical and cultural roots by discussing everything from Greek mythology and Shakespeare to Andy Warhol, James Franco, and Pope Francis. He sees selfies as tools people use to disguise or present themselves as spontaneous and casual. Provocative and engaging, this book will change the way readers think about this unavoidable phenomenon of twenty-first-century life.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMagnum photobook : the Catalogue Raisonné / texts by Fred Ritchin & Carole Naggar.
“Including unpublished behind-the scenes material, together with ephemera from the photographers’ archives about the making of their books. With an introduction by Fred Ritchin and texts by Carole Naggar, this book explores the evolution of the photobook, as well as the important role that Magnum has played in the history of documentary photography.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAging gracefully : portraits of people over 100 / Karsten Thormaehlen.
“A beautiful and fascinating exploration of what it is like to be over 100 years old, Aging Gracefully invites readers to look into the face of a century of life experience with portraits of centenarians captured by the compassionate, minimalist lens of photographer Karsten Thormaehlen. The striking photographs are accompanied by short bios of the centenarians, featuring quotes and wisdom on love, food, humor, and living with grace.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn reading / Steve McCurry ; foreword by Paul Theroux.
“Young or old, rich or poor, people everywhere read. This homage to the beauty and seductiveness of reading brings together a collection of photographs taken by Steve McCurry over four decades of travel and is introduced by award-winning writer, Paul Theroux. McCurry’s mesmerizing images of the universal human act of reading are an acknowledgement and tribute to the overwhelming power of the written word.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEarth from space / by Yann Arthus-Bertrand ; translated from the French by Nicholas Elliott ; GoodPlanet Foundation.
“With more than 150 breathtaking satellite photographs, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, an aerial photographer and environmental activist, discusses the impact of deforestation, urban sprawl, ocean pollution, and more. Earth from Space ‘s compelling selection of satellite images raises important questions about our future, while showcasing the planet’s beauty, leaving no doubt that it is something crucial to protect.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverErik Madigan Heck : old future / texts by Justine Picardie and Susan Bright.
“In contemporary fashion photography, Erik Madigan Heck is something of an anomaly – a very successful anomaly who steers his own path. His work is elegant and unashamedly beautiful, exploring the intersections of fashion, painting and classical portraiture. Working with natural light and combining in-camera effects with digital post-production, he produces evocative and seductive images that are both timeless and futuristic.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRetro photo : an obsession : a personal selection of vintage cameras and the photographs they take / David Ellwand.
“From the pinhole to the Pentax, Retro Photo: An Obsession is a visual journey through the history of photography, highlighting some of the iconic cameras of the analog era. At once an accessible guide to vintage cameras, a highly personal take on photographic history, and a celebration of classic design, here is a book that takes the fear out of old-style photography and puts the fun back in.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew York serenade / Ciro Frank Schiappa, photographs ; Michele Primi, texts.
New York Serenade is homage to the city of New York. The project consists of fifty pictures that share stories we believe are relevant to describe the continuous changing of the historical sites, the urban landscape, and the different forms of art that the city itself produced over the years. Our aim is to write a story about history, art, music, and New York City, and create a journey through this tradition, around historical places that are holding memories of the past while the future is written somewhere else.” (Adapted Syndetics summary)

The humanity of the moment: Recent Photography books

Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is. — Anonymous

Art has the power to humanise the world, and we think some of the descriptors of this month’s photography books show how photography especially exhibits this power: “quiet but powerful”, “a beautiful and fascinating exploration”, and so many more. This month: read about how a new generation of young women artists are using photography and the internet to explore issues of self-image and female identity and the impact this is having on contemporary art, learn how to produce beautiful astronomical images, see portraits that capture the thoughtful and innocent side of London’s teenagers, and fall in love with 52 wise, healthy, and joyful 100-year-olds.

Syndetics book coverGirl on girl : art and photography in the age of the female gaze / Charlotte Jansen.
“A new generation of female artists is emerging who have grown up in a culture saturated with social media and selfies. This book looks at how young women are using photography and the internet to explore issues of self-image and female identity, and the impact this is having on contemporary art. Forty artists are featured, all of whose principal subject matter is either themselves or other women. Each is accompanied by a short profile based on personal interviews with the author, giving a fascinating insight into this exciting shift in female creativity.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of astrophotography / Ian Morison, Jodrell Bank, University of Manchester.
“In The Art of Astrophotography, astronomer and Popular Astronomy columnist Ian Morison provides the essential foundations of how to produce beautiful astronomical images. Every type of astroimaging is covered, from images of the Moon and planets, to the constellations, star clusters and nebulae within our Milky Way Galaxy and the faint light of distant galaxies. He achieves this through a series of worked examples and short project walk-throughs, detailing the equipment needed – starting with just a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera and tripod, and increasing in complexity as the book progresses.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover…isms : understanding photography / Emma Lewis.
“Isms: Understanding Photography packs an enormous amount of detail into a handy, attractive guide tracing the evolution of photography through a series of interconnected trends, groups, themes and movements – from the invention of the photographic process to the post-internet age. Organised chronologically, this is a uniquely international, comprehensive guide to photography with concise, readable and jargon-free but scholarly insight into major photographers, movements and themes of the past 170 years.In an age where photography is of more resonance and interest than ever before, Isms: Understanding Photography offers an in-depth and clear exposition of photography for the interested general reader or student.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon youth / Julian Mährlein.
“This is a quiet but powerful project capturing the thoughtful and innocent side of London’s teenagers. Too often, inner city kids are portrayed in a negative light or through the lens of fashion photography. Mahrlein’s portraits remind us of the humanity and individuality of a generation that is often overlooked or vilified.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe photo ark : one man’s quest to document the world’s animals / Joel Sartore ; foreword by Harrison Ford ; introduction by Douglas H. Chadwick.
“The lush and unique photography in this book represents National Geographic’s Photo Ark, a major initiative and lifelong project by photographer Joel Sartore to make portraits of the world’s animals–especially those that are endangered. His powerful message, conveyed with humor, compassion, and art: to know these animals is to save them. Sartore is circling the globe, visiting zoos and wildlife rescue centers to create studio portraits of 12,000 species, with an emphasis on those facing extinction. With a goal of photographing every animal in captivizty in the world, he has photographed more than 6,000 already and now, thanks to a multi-year partnership with National Geographic, he may reach his goal.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAging gracefully : portraits of people over 100 / Karsten Thormaehlen.
“Fall in love with 52 wise, healthy, and joyful 100-year-olds in this celebratory and uplifting art book. A beautiful and fascinating exploration of what it is like to be over 100 years old, Aging Gracefully invites readers to look into the face of a century of life experience with portraits of centenarians captured by the compassionate, minimalist lens of photographer Karsten Thormaehlen. The striking photographs are accompanied by short bios of the centenarians, featuring quotes and wisdom on love, food, humor, and living with grace.” (Syndetics summary)

Cuba people two : more street photography from Cuba Street Wellington, Aotearoa-New Zealand / Mary Hutchinson.
Mary Hutchinson is a Wellington based photographer who enjoys photographing urban areas. This is the book accompaniment to her 2017 Cuba People Two exhibition, at Matchbox Studios, Wellington. (Information obtained from artist’s website)

John Miller – in conversation about his historic photographs of the Māori Land March

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Photographer John Miller with one of his photographs of the Māori Land March when it arrived in Wellington on October 13 1975. John was photographed at Te Unga Waka Marae in Auckland, at the commemorations of the 40th anniversary of the March in September 2015. Credit: John Miller

Acclaimed documentary photographer John Miller (Ngāpuhi) has documented social and political dissent and cultural events for more than four decades.  John photographed the Wellington section of the 1975 Māori Land March; from Porirua to its arrival at Parliament grounds.  The photographs have become well-known following their reproduction in books, exhibitions and school resources. In this session, John will talk with Paul Diamond about his photographs of the Māori Land March, and his involvement with the march organisers, Te Roopu o te Matakite.

A Wellington City Libraries talk, organised in partnership with the National Library, as part of the Turnbull Gallery exhibition, ‘Not one more acre’: The Māori Land March 40 years on.

Supported by LIANZA Te Upoko o Te Ika a Maui regional group.

When: 12.30-1.30pm, Wednesday 21 October
Where: Ground floor, Wellington Central Library
Cost: Free

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The Māori Land March on the Wellington motorway, October 13 1975.
Credit: John Miller

Syndetics book coverHīkoi : forty years of Māori protest / Aroha Harris.
“What have Maori been protesting about? What has been achieved? This book provides an overview of the contemporary Maori protest ‘movement’, a summary of the rationale behind the actions, and a wonderful collection of photographs of the action u the protests, the marches and the toil behind the scenes. And it provides a glimpse of the fruits of that protest u the Waitangi Tribunal and the opportunity to prepare, present and negotiate Treaty settlements; Maori language made an official language; Maori-medium education; Maori health providers; iwi radio and, in 2004, Maori television.” (Syndetics summary)

Whina : a biography of Whina Cooper / Michael King.

Syndetics book coverRaupatu : the confiscation of Māori land / edited by Richard Boast and Richard S. Hill.

Not One More Acre: A Conversation with Ans Westra at the Central Library

Ans Westra Poster6smallb

This October marks the 40th anniversary of the 1975 Māori Land March – when Dame Whina Cooper lead marchers to Parliament to protest the loss of Māori lands. “Not One More Acre of Māori Land” became the catch-cry of the marchers, who left Te Hāpua in the far north on 14 September as a group numbering no more than 50, and eventually reached Wellington on 13 October as a powerful hikoi numbering at over 5000.

Iconic photographer Ans Westra captured this event and on Tuesday 6 October Wellington Central Library will be hosting a talk with this renowned and well-loved photographer, who will describe her experience of attending and photographing the historic march. From Thursday 1st October there will also be an exhibition of contact sheet prints of Ans Westra’s photographs of the arrival of the march in Wellington on 13 October 1975.

A Conversation with Ans Westra
Tuesday 6 October at 12.30pm
2nd floor, Central Library

Syndetics book coverWashday at the pa / photographs by Ans Westra ; with text by Mark Amery.
Washday at the pa, by New Zealand premier photographers Ans Westra, was first published as a photo-story booklet in 1964 by the Department of Education for use in Primary Schools, but all 38,000 copies were withdrawn following a campaign by the Maori Women’s Welfare League that it would have a ‘detrimental effect’ on Maori people – and that the living conditions portrayed within the book were atypical. A second edition of the booklet was published the same years with some images omitted. This edition is a selection of these two editions together with photographs of the washday family taken in 1988, and includes essays by arts critic, journalist and broadcaster Mark Amery detailing the controversy and background of Washday at the pa.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNga tau ki muri = Our future / Ans Westra.
“This timely and visionary new book includes 137 Westra photographs of the New Zealand landscape, with text contributions from Hone Tuwhare, Russel Norman, Brian Turner, David Eggleton and David Lange, who wrote a short piece for Ans as part of an unrealised book project in 1987. Well known for her iconic black and white documentation of Maori culture, Ans Westra is also known for her colour works, which show concern for New Zealand’s destiny, “an island exploited by various waves of settlement”. Shot with Ans’ trusty Rolleiflex camera, the sometimes damning images in Our Future have been made over the last 20 years. “The purpose of the book is to give a directive to the country, an awareness of things changed and lost within its short history. If we don’t plan for the long term and keep taking stop-gap measures, we leave very little behind. Instead of becoming like the rest of the world, this beautiful place should become a shining example of hope for survival in a newly balanced environment.” –Ans Westra.” (Syndetics summary)

Whina [videorecording] : mother of the nation.
“The autobiography of Maori land activist Dame Whina Cooper filmed two years before she died. Born in an earth-floor whare she became a teacher, gum digger, rugby coach, midwife, a tribal leader, president of Maori Women’s Welfare League and controversial leader of the Maori Land March. Who organized her first public protest at the age of 18.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverHīkoi : forty years of Māori protest / Aroha Harris.
“What have Maori been protesting about? What has been achieved? This book provides an overview of the contemporary Maori protest ‘movement’, a summary of the rationale behind the actions, and a wonderful collection of photographs of the action u the protests, the marches and the toil behind the scenes. And it provides a glimpse of the fruits of that protest u the Waitangi Tribunal and the opportunity to prepare, present and negotiate Treaty settlements; Maori language made an official language; Maori-medium education; Maori health providers; iwi radio and, in 2004, Maori television.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandboek : Ans Westra photographs / [exhibition curator and coordinator, Luit Bieringa ; texts, Cushla Parekowhai [et. al]].

Ans Westra [videorecording] : private journeys/public signposts / director, Luit Bieringa ; producer, Jan Bieringa.
New Zealand photographer, Ans Westra, talks about her career.

Pure Glamour: New fashion and beauty books for February

I hope you’re all feeling glamorous!! Because our selection of new fashion and beauty books this month is nothing if not glamorous; we have a whole book dedicated to shoes (swoon), as well as big, beautiful books documenting Christian Dior, Paul Smith and the essence of French style. We also have your guide to gentlemen’s fashion, and an illustrated history of luxury fashion brands. We have Collette Dinnigan’s new book, and also an anthology of rock and roll fashion photographs that aren’t to be missed.

Syndetics book coverFor the love of shoes / edited by Patrice Farameh.
“Women have long realized that cool shoes do not only complement the outfit, they are the whole point. From Cinderella to Carrie, we have all fallen head over heels for the right pair-and to hell with cost or comfort! This book explores the outer realms of avant-garde shoe design. Unfettered by commercialism, these pioneering designers give full rein to their artistic visions. These zany pieces contain an array of extraordinary forms and materials. With influences ranging from Las Vegas pizzazz and arcane tribal relics to contemporary architecture, it may be difficult to distinguish between fun footwear and conceptual sculpture.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverJohn Varvatos : rock in fashion / John Varvatos with Holly George-Warren.
“In John Varvatos, the legendary designer reveals his perspective on how rock & roll music and style have influenced his own designs and fashion worldwide. Varvatos’s personally curated collection of more than 250 images are some of the most provocative ever shot by top rock photographers from the late 1960s to today, from the Rolling Stones to the Kings of Leon. Also included are select images from Varvatos’s own advertising campaigns. Every chapter also contains numerous quotes from the musicians themselves, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Iggy Pop, Jack White, Pete Townshend, Robert Plant, Steven Tyler, and Patti Smith. An extraordinary anthology of some of the finest images in rock & roll and the most influential rock looks in fashion and popular culture.” (Provided by publisher)

Syndetics book coverDior glamour : photographs from 1952 to 1962 / Mark Shaw ; foreword by Lee Radziwill ; text by Natasha Fraser-Cavassoni.
“A collection of the lavish and iconic gowns of Christian Dior, from the 1950s and 1960s, captured by the legendary photographer Mark Shaw. Iconic photographer Mark Shaw documented the ultra-exclusive Parisian fashion world, focusing on Paris’s long-standing top couturier Christian Dior. This lavish volume embodies the glamour of that time, from rare moments of Christian Dior during fittings to editorial-style photographs of models, socialites, and actresses posing in Dior’s ballgowns, day suits, and haute couture collections. With an eye for intimacy and opulence, this book features more than 200 color and black-and-white photographs, many never published before, having only recently been found in a secret vault by his estate.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverHello, my name is Paul Smith : fashion and other stories / by Paul Smith, Deyan Sudjic and Donna Loveday ; edited by Alan Aboud.
“This handsome volume celebrates over forty years of the playful and trendsetting English fashion brand and retailer Paul Smith. Always in fashion, Paul Smith perfected a classic style that exudes a sense of English tradition combined with humor, playfulness, and mischief. This marriage of sophistication and the unexpected has given birth to a style and identity that forty years and many collections later remains charming, personable, and effortlessly hip. Using hand-drawn designs, archival photographs, gorgeous original photography, and engaging essays, this colorful catalog weaves together a compelling visual tale of Paul Smith s prestigious projects and creative processes from behind-the-scenes to on the streets that built this multifaceted empire of cool.” (Adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverObsessive creative / Collette Dinnigan.
“In this much-anticipated book, renowned fashion designer and icon Collette Dinnigan provides an intimate insight into her life and work. In this sumptuous volume jam-packed with hundreds of photographs of the clothes on and off the runway, sketches, watercolors, and images from the designers personal albums.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverLuxury fashion : a global history of heritage brands / Caroline Cox ; foreword by Cameron Silver.
“Luxury brands are not about banal retro styling or taking refuge in past glories; they are brands with a heritage that still chimes with contemporary culture. Luxury Fashion is a unique tribute to the world’s most hallowed fashion brands. Glossy and highly informative, it provides in-depth feature portraits of fifty of the finest luxury fashion brands (renowned heritage labels and hidden gems) as well as an essential directory of a further 150 brands, which includes details of key items and where to find them. Each featured brand is beautifully illustrated, with historical and contemporary images, evoking the story of how artisans from all over the world have created objects of desire that have endured because of their superb quality, superior craftsmanship and timeless design appeal.” (Adapted from amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverThe art of being a woman : my mother, Schiaparelli, and me / Patricia Volk.
“Patricia Volk’s glittering memoir, written with charm, panache and wit, juxtaposes the lives of two women – the iconoclastic fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli and the author’s own mother – to tell the story of how young Patricia fashioned herself into a woman. Patricia Volk’s mother Audrey was an upper-middle class New Yorker, a great beauty, a perfectionist, and a polished hostess who believed in women doing things the proper way. The iconoclastic Italian fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, on the other hand, never found a rule she didn’t want to break. For Patricia, who read Schiap’s ‘scandalous’ autobiography, Shocking Life, at a tender age, these two women offered fabulously contrasting lessons in everything from fashion, make-up, lingerie, family and entertaining, to love, sex, superstition and gambling – lessons that would stay with her for the rest of her life.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverFrench style / Bérénice Vila Baudry.
“French Style Berenice Baudry was born in Argentina and raised in France. She was a fellow of the Ecole Normale Superieure where she studied French and Spanish literature, and received her doctorate from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. After living four years in Spain, she currently resides in New York and teaches at Columbia University.” (amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverQuintessentially gentleman / head of editorial and writer, Nathalie Bradbury.
“Quintessentially Gentleman is a luxury guidebook for the sartorially savvy man. This edition explores some of the biggest fashion brands as well as the most exclusive bespoke tailors and craftsmen and readers can discover the ‘do’s and don’ts’ of lifestyle etiquette. Be it the finest cut suit, a fashion-forward branded anorak or traditional tweeds for a country weekend, Quintessentially Gentleman will reveal surprising insights into the most respected and admired names in industry.” (Publisher’s website)

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)

Photography in February – a tribute to Eve Arnold

Eve Arnold's PeopleIt seemed appropriate this month to dedicate our picks of the photography books to those the library holds on legendary photographer Eve Arnold – who died on the 5th of January this year. Eve Arnold’s People, the most recent book on the subject of her amazingly diverse and long career was published in 2009.

Born in Philadelphia in 1912, Arnold left medicine for a photographic career after receiving a Rolleicord as a present in 1946. These were the heydays of documentary photography and Arnold dived into it wholeheartedly with only 8 weeks of training. Her career really began in 1951 after the British Picture Post published a story she had shot in Harlem which no American magazine wanted to take on. In 1957 she joined the acclaimed Magnum photo agency, becoming their first female photographer. She moved to London in 1951 and used the city as her base for the rest of her life, while travelling extensively on her many assignments for publications such as Life, Esquire, Harper’s Bazaar, Geo, Epoca, Paris-Match and the Sunday Times.

A self-confessed workaholic, her work encompassed such diverse subjects as Hollywood stars (she will be most remembered for her intimate portraits of Marilyn Monroe, with whom she had a very long and productive professional relationship), but also (and as powerfully) underprivileged members of society – and even great heads of states. She travelled to China during a time when Westerners were only allowed in under strict supervision. She didn’t want to work under such conditions and relentlessly applied for a visa that would give her free rein. 10 years on, she was granted permission and in 1979 finally succeeded in making “a book about the lives of people, a book that would go beyond the ubiquitous blue suits and bicycles we had been seeing pictures of so many years”. She “wanted to penetrate their humanity, to get a sense of the sustaining character beneath the surface”. She travelled thousands of miles in the most remote parts of the country and documented “the tripod on which China had built her revolution – the peasant, the worker and the soldier”.

Compassionate, understanding, generous, courteous and soft-spoken were adjectives often used to describe this gentle woman. She took her work to heart and her work reflects it.

A new retrospective book on her whole career titled All about Eve, is about to be published by teNeues. Watch this space. It will be hot property! In the meantime – check out her most memorable shots in the Guardian and watch a slide show and interview produced by Magnum in Motion, or delve into our comprehensive collection of books dedicated to this inspiring photographer. Here are a few of the titles we hold:

Eve Arnold in Retrospect Marilyn Monroe: an appreciation Eve Arnold Film Journal Magna Brava - Magnum's Women Photographers

syndetics-lcHollywood Portraits
After having admired Eve Arnold’s stunning portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, and Clark Gable among many others, this book is the perfect transition from looking at a great photographer’s portraits to making portraits of your own, in the classic Hollywood style. It provides useful insight on how to set up, light and shoot, based on specific examples described with diagrams and step-by-step instructions.

syndetics-lcRobert Rauschenberg Photographs 1949 – 1962
“Painter, sculptor, printmaker and photographer Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) provided a crucial bridge between Abstract Expressionism and Pop art. His exposure to photography while at Black Mountain College in North Carolina was so great that for a time he was unsure whether to pursue painting or photography as a career. Instead, he chose both, and found ways to fold photography into his Combines, maintained a practice of photographing friends and family, documented the evolution of artworks and occasionally dramatized them by inserting himself into the picture frame. This volume gathers and surveys for the first time Rauschenberg’s numerous uses of photography. It includes portraits of friends such as Cy Twombly, Jasper Johns, Merce Cunningham and John Cage, studio shots, photographs used in the Combines and Silkscreen paintings, photographs of lost artworks and works in process. This allows us to re-imagine almost the entirety of the artist’s output in light of his always inventive uses of photography, while also supplying previously unseen glimpses into his social milieu of the 1950s and early 60s. Considered one of the most innovative artists of his era, he died in 2008.” (Adapted from amazon.com)

The August Photo Selection

Create Great iPhone Photos – Apps, Tips, Tricks, and Effects

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“I’ve been obsessed with photography since I was a teenager. I got an SLR when I was 15 and proceeded to spend an absurd amount of time watching the silver drift off photographic paper in my high school’s darkroom. I loved it – the amber glow of the darkroom light, the acrid odor of the fixer, the sheer magic of images apearing from nowhere.

Yet, I never had as much fun with photography as I have with my iPhone camera. Here is why:” Allan Hoffman, author of this new revelatory book, goes on to explain the great advantages of  iPhotography or, as it seems to be called, “iPhoneography”.

I have just discovered a new dimension, a new world I didn’t know existed. And I want to go there, quick. All I need now is an iPhone…

(Staff member)

Detroit Disassembled – Andrew Moore

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I first came accross Andrew Moore’s new work on Detroit in Aperture Magazine last year (Winter 2009 n197) in an article called Urban Archaelogy, and had the pleasure to discover the whole series in this new large format publication, perfectly suited to the large scale images of this urban landscape project on decaying Detroit.  As depressing and bleak as the subject may be, the resulting visual narrative is spectacular, the colours lucious. Rust, dust, moss all contribute to give a rich patina to the disused urban and industrial sets visited, transforming them into almost grandiose tableaux. Awe, sadness, irony are some of the emotions elicited. (Staff member)

The Pressure of Sunlight Falling – Fiona Pardington

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Fiona Pardington’s latest work is a series of large-scale portraits of life-casts made of Maori and Pacific peoples during Dumont d’Urville’s voyage to the Pacific in 1837-1840. Life-casts were a pre-photographic form of recording a person’s image and were often collected for ethnographic studies, phrenology and as curiosities. As works of art in a contemporary context they are poignant reminders of the humanity embodied within the casts and the photographic image. This exhibition explores the meaning of the casts, their individual history and their function in relation to portraiture and photography. (Summary from syndetics-lc)

Fiona Pardington was interviewed on National Radio on 31 July about this new work. Click here to access the Audio archive. 

And finally, not from our Photography collection, but still a book of photographs, you will find this book in the Dance section on our shelves:

A Dance – Alexander Barabanov

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Alexander Barabanov, a key figure in the Russian dance world, has sifted through many thousands of photographs of dance to accumulate an extraordinary collection of pictures, ranging from historical ballet photographs to shocking avant-garde imagery.

This work has been collected and edited to form an astonishing sequence. Rather than being assembled as an anthology, the sequence has in fact been ‘choreographed’ so the book is constructed to form a dance in ten movements. It begins with creation myths, follows erotic engagements and leads to a series of mass movements in the modern age. It includes such gems as the young Nureyev’s first performance with the Kirov and Baryshinikov’s debut as well as images with brutal reference to Abu Ghraib or the march of fascism. (Description from Amazon.co.uk)

Detroit Disassembled – new photography book to check out!

Syndetics book coverDetroit disassembled. Urban decay and the ruination of city life  is emerging as a popular theme in photography at the moment, and this can be seen in the documentation of the deterioration of  US city of Detroit.   Detroit was once a wealthy, industrialised ‘motor city’, but is now economically and socially depressed and its many abandoned buildings are providing a rich and expansive subject matter for this topic.  Check out Kevin Bauman’s ‘100 Abandoned Houses’ project for example.  (The topic was also quite famously mined by Michael Moore in his documentary about the US auto industry ‘Roger and Me’.)  There have been plenty of new photography books published on its disintegration and the library has just acquired ‘Detroit Disassembled’.  The book showcases the work of US photographer Andrew Moore and it  has to be seen to be believed – check out some of the pages on Amazon here (you can also see lots of Moore’s work on his website here).

Very interesting, attractive and detailed images- I recommend.

Taking inspiration from genius

This month’s picks from the photography book collection:

yearinphotosA Year in Photography – Magnum Archive
The aristocracy of photography featured in another awe inspiring book. A Year in Photography, despite what its title may suggest is not about one single year but about 365 different days spanning over more than 60 years. A weighty book of a square format, this is the ultimate coffee table “brick” that you can open at any page, flick through in any order and find images to spur your imagination. Visual quality on every page. The text is kept to its strict minimum: The photographer, the place, the date.

3 favourites: Alessandra Sanguinetti on 21 May 2002; Trent Park on 29 June 2006; Thomas Dworzak on 15 December 2002. What are yours?

syndetics-lcBrian Brake: Lens on the World
Published to coincide with his retrospective exhibition at Te Papa earlier this year, this is the chance to discover or re-visit Brake’s prolific career, in a quality publication, in photographs and text ordered chronologically. A must read and a great reference book.

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Maori Art
To expand on the chapter on Object Photography in the Lens on the World book, Brian Brake’s talent with light is illustrated here in his photographs of Maori artefacts taken from museum collections in the 70s. His work put the spotlight on Maori art, giving it a wider audience and paved the way for some talented photographers of taonga in practice today. A beautiful sample of his craft at work to highlight the craft of others.

syndetics-lcStreet Photography Now
We love to watch ourselves and our fellow human beings. In the context of the urban environment mostly, this book depicts human drama in all its glory and grit, through images from 46 different artists in the field of street photography. Compelling viewing structured in 5 sections introduced by insightful texts. Each section presents a dozen photographers and a succinct selection of their work.  My favourite? There are so many! But I will say that I am particularly partial to Alex Webb’s vibrant and dramatic tableaux of humans in the actions of everyday life. I found the composition of Nick Turpin’s image p206 quite brilliant too. But I could cite many more. Have a look for yourself.

And finally…. The book on techniques.

They tend to be so much less attractive and yet, how do we improve ourselves and take inspiration from all these wonderful displays of genius without some technical guidance?

syndetics-lcUnderstanding Close-up Photography is a very interesting source of useful information on this particular type of photography.
Some dramatic images are presented, technically analysed and shown in their wider context. This book is a mine of technical knowledge, examples are attractive and highly achievable. A brilliant inspiration for close-up experimentation.You will never look at a spider web in the same way again…