View Full Version : Photography + Books = Goodness

Paul L
10-01-2013, 04:50 PM
Thought it would be nice to have a thread in which we could discuss photography books that we've bought or which are worth recommending.

I've been catching up on the Thames & Hudson Photofile books, which are in my experience uniformly excellent - they offer a nice sampling of the work of various photographers in a pocket-sized paperback format, with an essay that reflects on the work of the photographer in question. They're also quite affordable and don't take up too much shelf-space. (I love my large format photobooks, but they don't half eat up the space in your house!)

Today, I got hold of the Photofile volume on Gordon Parks' work, which is absolutely excellent. There's a good spattering of work from various stages in Parks' career, from his Civil Rights-era stuff to the stage and screen portraits. Books on Parks tend to be quite expensive, so I'm very happy with this particular volume.

I also received the Photofile volume on Guy Bourdin, which just reinforces my perception of Bourdin as one creepy motherfunster.

Over the past fortnight, I've also managed to snag second-hand copies of the out of print volumes on Bruce Davidson (this one is excellent!), W Eugene Smith, Joel-Peter Witkin (insert Lurch-like 'erhhhh' here) and Marc Riboud.

Barry M
10-01-2013, 06:39 PM
I'm a text guy, but I have one photo book I take out and fondle.

Ralph Eugene Meatyard's The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater


Uncharacteristically, I recently got a couple of Gabor Szilasi books. There's a lot of overlap between the great Eloquence catalogue & the earlier collection:



Pictures confuse me.

Paul L
10-02-2013, 04:47 PM
I really like Meatyard's stuff, Barry: it's sublimely creepy. I don't own any of the 'proper' Meatyard photobooks, but this compendium is in my collection.


Funnily enough, one of the students whose dissertations I'm supervising intends to include a section on Meatyard.

A couple of my most-thumbed photobooks are these two.


Bulmer's images of working-class life in the North of England really hit the nail on the head. There are some cracking images in this book, such as this one:


I also like Lee Friedlander's SELF PORTRAITS, but there's something that really draws me to this book:


Strange shots of shopfront mannequins abound here. The images are oddly unsettling. It's all about the uncanny, I guess.

Ian Jane
10-02-2013, 05:07 PM
One of my favorites is Takayuki Mishima: Guitar Wolf/ Full Ten, which is basically 150+ pages of black and white photos shot of Guitar Wolf on tour. A simple idea, but it's Guitar Wolf and they're just really photogenic and cool.


The work in this book really captures their 'essence' for lack of a cheesier term. It's a pretty amazing collection.

Paul L
10-02-2013, 05:47 PM
That looks pretty neat, Ian.

I've just dropped £40 (cue cold sweats of panic) for a book I've had my eye on for a while: Watabi Yukichi's A CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION - a photographic document depicting the investigation into a 1958 Japanese murder. It's got a cool, noirish vibe.


There's a good article about the book here: http://www.americanphotomag.com/photo-gallery/2011/12/books-year-yukichi-watabes-criminal-investigation

Check out this cool video of the book:


Ian Jane
10-02-2013, 07:40 PM
That looks pretty cool, actually.

I once had a book that was a collection of random crime scene photos. I don't remember the name of it, it was long out of print when I had it and it wasn't something I looked at a lot as I found it depressing, so I wound up selling it.

Paul L
06-09-2014, 12:15 PM
That looks pretty cool, actually.

I once had a book that was a collection of random crime scene photos. I don't remember the name of it, it was long out of print when I had it and it wasn't something I looked at a lot as I found it depressing, so I wound up selling it.

Was it this one, Ian? I've seen this one, though don't own it, and it's thoroughly upsetting in some parts.


I got some pennies from an aunt for my birthday last week, and I spent them on this cracker, originally published in 1968 but reprinted a few weeks ago:


There's a cool video of the book at the following linky: http://vimeo.com/96185637