Nowhere does the old rub up against the new in such a stark juxtaposition as on the Asian continent. In The Raw and the Cooked the contrast is evident on nearly every page. These cityscapes represent transition, and change never looked so interesting.
This 30-year retrospective of South African photographer Cedric Nunn's career presents his news photos of apartheid South Africa, his tender, black-and-white images of his mixed-race family, and provocative texts that inspire a consideration of what kind of photography can effect social and political change.
A year after photographer and writer Rebecca Norris Webb began a personal project photographing the vast landscape in her home state, South Dakota, her brother died suddenly of heart failure. A friend suggested she channel her grief into the project and transform it into an elegy for her lost sibling. The photographs and text she wrote are collected in this poetic and highly personal book that is at once peaceful and unsettling.
Matar's book is a testament to the complex — and often conflicting — emotions that mark the lives of teenagers. Seeing these girls in their havens reminds us not only of what it was like to be a teen, but to have empathy for those currently experiencing the uncertainty of young adulthood.
Ron Jude's Lick Creek Line emphasizes the subjective nature of morality and questions the representative ability of documentary photography. Jude delivers a layered narrative by sequencing photographs in ways that plumb the gray area between traditional documentary photography and fiction.
The catalogue for Rineke Dijkstra's exhibitions at The Guggenheim and SFMOMA is beautifully produced, and the interviews with some of Dijkstra's past portrait subjects add a great dimension to the book. This was one of the most celebrated exhibitions of the year, and this catalogue will allow it to live on.
The result of Davide Monteleone's years-long project photographing the Caucuses, Red Thistle expresses through photographs how a conflict continues to affect a population after it has ended, a type of storytelling Monteleone considers "the new frontier of documentary photography."
In this delightful two-volume, slip-cased limited-edition retrospective of his career, Joel Meyerowitz tells stories behind many of his images, while narrating the larger story of his education as a photographer, and his coming of age in one of photography's richest eras.
One word that summarizes David Alan Harvey's new book is "contemporary." Both the photos — showing life in the city of Rio de Janiero — and the non-narrative design of the book feel very much of this moment in photography, reflective of several trends and ideas at once.
In this compelling collection of virtual street photography, Doug Rickard has selected and manipulated a series of images from Google Street View that paint a picture both bleak and beautiful of 21st century America.
PDN Editors represent Photo District News (PDN), an award-winning monthly magazine covering the professional photography industry. To read PDN's Notable Books of 2012 feature, which includes reviews of these and a number of other 2012 titles, visit PDNOnline here.