Saturday, May 16, 2009

Summer Reading


Used Photographers, Oakland, July 2007.

The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer.

Witty, irreverent and entertaining musings on photography by a non-photographer. Dyer's system of organizing a hundred years of photographic history is more idiosyncratic than academic, and many times more revealing. He maps the relationships of pictures -- and photographers -- like playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. A must read.

Saul Leiter and Saul Leiter: Early Color. A most welcome reissue by Steidl of the pioneering work and lyrical street photography of an underappreciated genius.


Image Makers, Image Takers by Anne-Celine Jaeger.

Instructive interviews with
some of the best photographers, editors and curators working today in the fields of art, documentary, fashion, and advertising. Includes William Eggleston, Boris Mikhalov, Stephen Shore, Mary Ellen Mark, Martin Paar, Sebastiao Salgado, Mario Sorrenti, Tina Barney, Rineke Djiskstra, Alec Soth, Naomi Harris, and many others. Great companion on the beach or the commuter train.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson And Walker Evans: Documentary And Anti-Graphic Photographs by Daniel Girardin, etc.

In April 1935, long before they sealed their reputations, these three giants of photography gathered in a show curated by Julian Levy. This book is a record of that groundbreaking exhibition.

The Image to Come: How Cinema Inspires Photographers by Diane Dufour, et al.

Ten Magnum photographers use their pictures to illustrate how cinema has inspired their work. For Harry Gruyaert, it's Antonioni; Kieslowski for Mark Power;
Rossellini for Abbas; Wim Wenders for Alec Soth; Alain Resnais for Gilles Peress; Tarkovsky for Gueorgui Pinkhassov; Film Noir for Bruce Gilden; Shanghai Cinema of the 1930s for Patrick Zachmann. The photographers' pictures are presented along with the cinematic images that inspired them. A sumptuous visual feast.

Annie Leibovitz at Work is bound to demolish preconceptions about the world's most successful photographer. Leibovitz organizes her large body of work in a very personal way, and entertains with behind-the-scenes anecdotes about her famous pictures and celebrity subjects. Reflections on family, the early years with Rolling Stone Magazine, and sporadic documentary work add new facets to this high profile photographer. A modest companion piece to the epic A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005.

Photography Speaks: 150 on Their Art edited by Brooks Johnson.

150 photographers from Albert Southworth to Brassai to Gabriel Orozco, 153 years span the book's first image and the last, and each photographer gives a bite size nugget of introspection on his art. Reading one artist a day will give you five months' worth of inspiration.

Babel: A Film by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
edited by Maria Eladia Hagerman.

Four great photographers with widely divergent styles -- Mary Ellen Mark, Graciela Iturbide, Miguel Rio Branco, and Patrick Bard -- chronicled the production of this movie in Morocco, Tijuana and Tokyo, creating a bold and lyrical depiction of cultural diversity that is as big an achievement as the film itself.

Art Photography Now by Susan Bright. A survey of the most influential photographers of 2005-2006 in the fields of portraiture, landscape, narrative, object, fashion, documentary, and cityscape.

Happy reading!

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