As suggested by Italian journalist Mario Calabresi in his extraordinary book Eyes Wide Open, however, the best storytellers are those who allow themselves to be submerged within often painful events, to forgo absolute objectivity in favor of something rarer: a precarious marriage of impartiality and intimate involvement. In interviews with ten photographers who have not only documented but in many ways shaped the course of history—Steve McCurry, Josef Koudelka, Don McCullin, Elliott Erwitt, Paul Fusco, Alex Webb, Gabriele Basilico, Abbas, Paolo Pellegrin, and Sebastiao Salgado
In an age where everyone is publishing books, the requests for reviews are almost unmanageable. I have dozens of books sent to me every month. I simply cannot review them all, nor am I inclined to do so. However, every once in a while I come across a book worth noticing. Here are three such books.
Mark Hogancamp leads a double life. In Marwencol, Hogancamp is a WWII fighter pilot, an owner of a successful bar and married to a beautiful woman named Anna. He also happens to be only 12 inches high and made of plastic. In Kingston, New York—the real world—Hogancamp lives alone in a crowded trailer, devoting much of his time to building, photographing and documenting the lives of those in Marwencol—a fictitious world of Hogancamp’s creation.
Jet Lag, deals with the ultimate in disconnection—from spouse, family, nation, time, and earth itself. In these succinct black-and-white images of globalized disconnect, reality is less touchstone than distraction: The important space is “between.” Planes and hotel beds and flickering screens provide the only continuity; jet lag is a way of life. Since the birth of a daughter and a son, Chang has traveled less frequently, but his phone is still too often on airplane mode.
Editions lamaindonne presents the work of Ljubiša Danilovic in this book entitled Le Desert Russe (The Russian Desert). As the author explains, “By 2050, Russia will have lost a third of its current population. The largest country in the world will then have just a hundred million citizens.
From personal monographs to historic surveys, these are the brightest new gems for your collection
Bruno Ceschel of Self Publish, Be Happy shares his best tips
“Many photographers started questioning what was the duty, what was the mission for them to reflect the society which changed radically in the ‘60s,” says Yasufumi Nakamori, associate curator of photography at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, who produced the exhibition For a New World to Come: Experiments in Japanese Art and Photography, 1968-1979, the first major show devoted to the radical transition in Japanese visual culture.
We asked Brad to share his book publishing experiences with the PhotoShelter community. Having experienced the process of compiling, editing, producing, and marketing photography books (now four times) affords Brad some amazing insights. We asked Brad to dig into everything from choosing a publisher to contract terms and design intentions – his responses are candid and very helpful.
With titles like Celly Brain, Koinstars, Face Time and California Nights, Hamburger Eyes continues to be one of the most prolific publishers of black and white photography zines out.
It’s hard to read anything about Harry Gruyaert without at least one mention of the word color. The Belgian’s somewhat radical embrace of the medium in the 1970s has certainly helped define his career thus far: Black-and-white photos were the last things on viewers’ minds while walking through Gruyaert’s recently closed show at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris or while turning the pages of a retrospective of his work around the world, Harry Gruyaert.
Compared to its larger Central African neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo has not been widely documented. Alex Majoli and Paolo Pellegrin provide plenty of visual records in their book, Congo, which Aperture published in May, but they don’t seek to illuminate much, at least in terms of names, places, and historical context. Their photographs, a mix of captivating city scenes and tropical landscapes, are uncaptioned and untitled. An interview with Majoli over email yielded little more in the way of concrete information. Their goal, he said, was to leave viewers with only “what is necessary” to draw their own conclusions—namely, images—and nothing more.
On a fateful 2006 trip to a Beijing flea market, the photographers Martin Parr and Ruben Lundgren were fascinated by the Chinese photobooks they discovered. Soon, they became obsessed. Mr. Lundgren, who relocated there and became fluent in Mandarin, helped Mr. Parr make sense of the many volumes they began to systematically collect. By 2009, Mr. Lundgren’s Beijing apartment overflowed with books.
There are 50 portraits in Bruce Gilden’s new book, Face, published by Dewi Lewis, and it’s a safe bet you’ll probably remember all of them.
Photobooks on young womanhood, the chaotic landscape of Las Vegas, coffee-farming in South America, and more in American Photo’s roundup of the season’s best
When I was on the ground, I constantly questioned the usefulness of my presence. I photographed people dying, to show them to those who let them die.
In a new book, “From Darkroom to Daylight,” Harvey Wang interviews fellow-photographers and other renowned photo-world professionals about their experiences navigating technological changes in the medium. Some, such as Sally Mann, have continued to rely on early photographic processes; others, such as Stephen Wilkes, have eagerly embraced the possibilities of digital. Below are excerpts from Wang’s conversations with those and other artists, accompanied by images that embody each of their photographic practices. The aim in initiating these dialogues, Wang writes in the book’s introduction, is to find out “if other photographers’ worlds were turned upside down when they stopped mixing chemicals and isolating themselves in the dark.”
This is the kind of book that is very hard not to like. In fact, if you hate it, I’ll have to accuse you of lacking any sense of humor whatsoever. Which means you’re no fun, so I’d rather you spent your Friday reading time elsewhere.
Magnum photographers Paolo Pellegrin and Alex Majoli present a collaborative document of the Congo and its people. Bringing together the best of each photographer’s personal styles as well as experimental forays into abstraction and collage, this volume captures what Alain Mabanckou describes as a full range of the landscape, “from urban scenes to great forests and back, reflecting the way it is in most African societies today.” With no captions or individual photo credits, the densely printed images—presented on full-bleed pages, as gatefolds, or as double-spread gatefolds—become wholly immersive.
Whether he’s photographing Hollywood actors or armed militia men, Eli Reed’s work can be characterized by a distinct sense of humanity and empathy. His book, A Long Walk Home, which was published by University of Texas Press in May, is an expansive testament to this quality through more than 250 black-and-white images from several continents and more than five decades covering a wide spectrum of subjects.