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Thread: Photography + Books = Goodness

  1. #1
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Photography + Books = Goodness

    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.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    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.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

  4. #4
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    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.

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

  5. #5
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    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/phot...-investigation

    Check out this cool video of the book:
    Last edited by Paul L; 10-02-2013 at 05:49 PM.
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

  6. #6
    Administrator Ian Jane's Avatar
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    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.
    Rock! Shock! Pop!

  7. #7
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jane View Post
    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
    'You know, I'd almost forgotten what your eyes looked like. Still the same. Pissholes in the snow'

    http://www.paul-a-j-lewis.com (my photography website)
    'All explaining in movies can be thrown out, I think': Elmore Leonard

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