Self-publishing was huge in 2015, even bigger than the years before. This is probably because it’s quite affordable and accessible now. Plus the only way to really cut through the noise on social media and say, “Hey, I’m pretty proud of this work and would maybe even like to make a small amount of money from it (or at least recoup some of my costs),” is to commit something to paper. Here’s a shortlist of our favourite photo books to come out of Australia this year.
When EyeEm turned a small hack into a photography magazine, we didn’t expect what would happen next.
Photography’s rich history and creative doers continually make it clear: The best place to see great images (aside from a museum or gallery wall) is a bound book. In the holiday spirit, we’ve drawn this list from recent releases as well as our roundups in spring, summer and fall. —Jack Crager
Steve McCurry photographs of the American South featured in Paul Theroux’s book, Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads.
Throughout his storied photojournalism career, Steve McCurry has traveled extensively on most of the world’s continents, but besides the occasional trips to visit his grandparents in South Carolina as a boy, he hadn’t seen much of the American South. That changed two years ago when the writer Paul Theroux told him he was writing a book on the region and invited him to come along.
Imperial Courts, 1993–2015, the long awaited photography book by Dutch photographer Dana Lixenberg and published by Roma, features some of her finest, and most eloquent photographs, suffused with compassion, austere visual beauty, and a tender attention toward the wide scope of individuals who comprise the Imperial Courts community in Los Angeles. Short-listed for PhotoBook of the Year by the 2015 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, the copious tome is the culmination of years of diligent work.
The 2015 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards winners were announced in Paris, with Daniel Mayrit receiving the $10,000 top prize for First PhotoBook. Other winners included Diane Dufour and Xavier Barral, Thomas Mailaender and Will Steacy.
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.