Books

A Brief Visual History of ISIS by Magnum Photos | Time

ISIS, that much feared, reviled, celebrated, media-savvy and somewhat phantasmagoric entity, “promotes itself much less through a coherent ideology than via the equivalent of an aggregated, gigantic snuff-selfie,” writes Peter Harling in A Brief Visual History in the Time of ISIS, the first issue of the photo-based publication Magnum Chronicles. According to photographer Peter van Agtmael’s introductory statement, Magnum Chronicles will be published on occasion to provide timely reflections on issues of critical importance, utilizing imagery by the agency’s photographers to create a kind of first draft of history.

The Magic of Books Where Photography Meets Essays – The New York Times

Design-wise, the most famous collaboration between a writer and a photographer did not end up looking like much of a collaboration at all. Walker Evans contributed a preface to the 1960 reissue of “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” the study of poor tenant farmers in Alabama, originally published in 1941; “Walker” crops up a number of times in James Agee’s text, but a formal separation is maintained between the tenderly austere photographs of families and their homes — printed at the beginning — and the 400 pages of Agee’s highly wrought, much-agonized-over text. This, for Gore Vidal, was no bad thing, because it left Evans’s “austere” photos untainted by what “good-hearted, soft-headed admirers of the Saint James (Agee) version” so loved about the sharecroppers’ gospel.

Brassai: The ‘Eye of Paris’ – The New York Times

That sentiment and others cited in “Brassai,” a book recently released by Spain’s Fundación Mapfre, were most likely colored by Brassaï’s retrospective regret for not returning to painting. His legacy would come from his peregrinations outside the studio.

Interview with Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself | LENSCRATCH

“Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself, published by Laurence King in March 2018 is the first major single book retrospective of one of the world’s most influential photographers, Joel Meyerowitz. This timely new book, published to coincide with the photographer’s 80th birthday, spans Meyerowitz’s whole career in reverse chronological order, including his harrowing coverage of Ground Zero and his iconic street photography work.” (From the book press release)

Documenting the Dynamic Black Community of 1940s Seattle – The New York Times

The image appears in “Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith,” an exhibition at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, a city that played only a modest role in American jazz history. Mr. Smith’s photos tell a compelling story, not just about the city’s jazz scene but also about the complexity of life in an African-American community cloistered within a largely white, and for many decades, de facto segregated city. Organized by Howard Giske, the museum’s curator of photography and a friend of Mr. Smith’s, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalog with essays by Mr. Giske and the historians Jacqueline E. A. Lawson and Quin’Nita Cobbins; the jazz critic Paul de Barros; and the photographer’s son, Al Smith Jr., known as Butch.

Sketching Cruelty and Finding Humanity Beside Syria’s ‘Waterfall of Blood’ – The New York Times

A conversation with Rania Abouzeid, author of “No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria” (W.W. Norton & Company, 2018)

Fashion Climbing, photographer Bill Cunningham’s secret memoir

This is kind of amazing. Legendary street fashion photographer Bill Cunningham died two years ago, leaving behind a massive body of work documenting the last 40 years of the fashion world. Somewhat surprisingly, he also wrote a memoir that seemingly no one knew about. He called it Fashion Climbing (pre-order on Amazon).

Matt Eich: I Love You, I’m Leaving | LENSCRATCH

I often recall this verse by Elizabeth Jennings from her poem In Memory of Anyone Unknown to Me when I view images that cause my heart to ache, that force me to empathize and consider the threads that join together our collective stories. The images in Matt Eich’s newest monograph, I Love You, I’m Leaving, published by Ceiba Editions, weave these threads into a complicated yet tender, semi-fictional portrait of a family enduring the chaos and elation of life. Every photograph is steeped in a familiar, heavy kind of tension that can be recognized by any viewer. We are invited to experience at once both pain and joy, love and frustration, closeness and distance, sharp reality and fleeting memory. Eich uses his camera to grasp at the apparitions of human experience, in his words, wrestling fragile memories into a permanent state. Everything from the cover image of a half-erased chalkboard, to the cyclical nature of the book sequence, echoes Eich’s attempts to construct something concrete from the intangible, creating at once a book object that feels both uniquely personal and profoundly universal.

Joel Meyerowitz’s Magnum Opus “Where I Find Myself” is a Six-Decade Tour de Force – Feature Shoot

Joel Meyerowitz: Where I Find Myself (Laurence King) is a pièce de résistance, a masterful feat of publishing that sets the bar as high as it can possibly reach. The photographer’s magnum opus opens in the present day, with his most recent body of work and unfolds in reverse chronological order, leading us through a spellbinding life in photography that is simply unparalleled.

B: Q & A with Josef Chladek

Shelf after shelf, but there’s no more room to put up more shelves in the flat. So my slow down may be just a consequence of running out of space. No organization on the walls at all. Nobody would find anything here. That’s the reason I made the virtual bookshelf, to find books by spine (color/size) more easily in real life!

Conscientious Photography Magazine Conscientious Photography Magazine

Towards a Photobook Taxonomy | Conscientious Photography Magazine

There are many studies of photobooks that attempt to describe this particular medium. Many of them concern themselves with producing larger histories, whether general or location specific ones. In the seminal books by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, the study divides into historical parts, geographical ones, and then there are various chapters devoted to particular types of books, such as, for example, “protest books.” There are, in other words, various ways of looking at what photobooks are or do, and studying that can be enormously insightful for anyone interested in the medium.

Nina Berman: An Autobiography of Miss Wish | LENSCRATCH

Every once in awhile, a book lands on my desk unexpectedly, so I approach it with no preconceived notions. When I opened Nina Berman’s An Autobiography of Miss Wish, published by Kehrer, it was like a burst of energy, a fireball of amazing story telling, page after page that drew me in. And the deeper I went, the more my heart ached. This is a 26-year long collaborative project validating and marking the life of someone as evidence for an existence that dealt with the land mines and difficulties of homelessness, mental illness, and the ravages of drug use. Nina met Kimberly Stevens in London in 1990 while photographing young drug addicts and began a relationship that spanned decades and continents, a relationship that went beyond the normal photographer/subject relationship. The book is ultimately a collaborative project and a definitive document that proclaims, “I was here”.

Here Are 10 of the Most Captivating Photo Books of the Year. Just Look. – Mother Jones

This past year seems like we were treated to more photo books than ever. That is, at least in part, due to crowdfunding efforts that are helping photographers defray the exorbitant cost of publishing. The unyielding flood of photo books is evidence that photographers are still turning to the medium as the preferred venue to get their work out into the world—and, with the rise of crowdfunding, on their own terms.

Photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie Tells His True Story of Surviving 81 Days in Captivity in Syria

For as long as he can remember, Jonathan Alpeyrie was fascinated by history and had a fierce passion for adventure. He loved the worlds he could escape to when his father read adventure classics to him, like Call of the Wild and Moby Dick. “As I got older, I was constantly reading history books, especially about Roman antiquity,” he says. “My uncles and grandparents fought in all the major wars including World War I, World War II, Indochina and Algeria. I played war in the backyard and drew maps of battles.”

The Best Photo Books of 2017 – The New York Times

There are great photo books every year, and 2017 was no exception. But something about the strained times intensified my feelings about the work I saw this year. The role of art felt more urgent, both as a response to the general political disorder and as a refuge from it. I didn’t merely like or appreciate the best work I saw; I needed it. The photo books that made my list range from large scholarly catalogs to poetic little volumes. They were published in seven different countries. Some were more conceptual in approach, while others were freer and more visceral. These winners all had in common the special qualities of great photo books: the pleasure of turning pages, the precision of thoughtful book design, the tactility of paper and the glow of the afterimages in the mind long after the book is set down.

69 Magnum Photographers Reveal Their Contact Sheets in New Book – Feature Shoot

Magnum Contact Sheets (Thames & Hudson) offers a critical look at the necessity of context in our understanding of the photograph. Featuring 139 contact sheets from 69 photographers, as well as zoom-in details, selected photographs, press cards, notebooks, magazine spreads, and texts by the photographer or an expert chosen by their estate, the book deepens our understanding about the photographic and editorial processes.

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