This collaborative work between photographer Richard Misrach and landscape architect Kate Orff demonstrates the potential to dramatically expand the creative possibilities of the photobook. Orff's beautiful maps, diagrams, charts and drawings unpack the layers of meaning that can be read from Misrach's photographs, which function as a pivot point for a multilayered exploration of issues of energy consumption and ideals of sustainability.
Though the entries in this collection of short essays are inconsistent, Photographs Not Taken provided exactly what I'm looking for in a photo book: it helped put me (a photo curator and historian) into the mind and perspective of the photographer; it inspired me to think about photography in a new way; it challenged my assumptions about the medium; and many of the words stuck with me, long after I had put the book down. The cover design — graphic, evocative, and simple — was a stroke of genius, and makes this book the most instantly recognizable of 2012.
This quiet and beautiful book offers a simultaneously powerful and subtle experience. Expertly sequenced, the images move back and forth between grainy, atmospheric, tonal images and more crisp and concrete views suggesting the experience of coming in and out of sleep, with dream and waking images woven together. Pictures of people are some of the book's best; the intensity of the psychological state of Harbutt's individuals comes ripping out of the picture, despite obscured eyes, lack of detail or the distance between photographer and subject. The plate pages are clean, with no titles, captions or dates to interrupt the flow from one image to the next. A timeline section, which incorporates pictures, snapshots, ID cards, stamps, documents and book covers, provides insight into the artist's career.
Chris McCaw's work has the two things a successful body of photography should have: conceptual rigor and exquisite objects that are a joy and pleasure to behold. His book Sunburn succeeds because it communicates both. Most impressive is the quality of the reproductions, which convey the subtle coloration of the prints, the tactile quality of the burned surfaces, and the wide range of appearance between the many prints McCaw has made. The velvety dust jacket with an image reproduced so faithfully it looks like you will be able to feel the singed gelatin silver paper and the die-cut frontispiece make this a book that any serious collector will have to own.
This exquisitely beautiful book benefits from a carefully considered sequence, fine reproductions, and a selection from forty years of the artist's career. Paul Kane's poetry acts as a parallel to the visual artworks — expanding the experience without being didactic.
This catalogue from the Palm Springs Art Museum's exhibition of the same name is a diverse compendium of swimming pool pictures that includes homoerotic nudes, celebrity publicity shots, architectural studies and popular culture magazine images. The book holds the wide-ranging images together with a series of thoughtful, scholarly and equally diverse essays that grapple with the appearance of the swimming pool in photographs between 1945 and 1982. Both visually and intellectually engaging, this unexpected exploration satisfies an interest you might not have known you had.
This book weaves the complex story of the more than 5000 photographs and illustrations of the early 20th century Social Museum at Harvard University. A series of essays explains the function and context of the photographs, which were meant to encourage the study of social and industrial progress, through the lens of Progressive era values. The massive book is beautifully designed, with clean and bold pages, colorful section dividers and many luscious reproductions including photographic images, as well as some shown with their printed and handwritten mounts or adhesive label captions.
Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti's photographs are so down-to-earth, elegant and poised that any collection of his work is a refreshing treat. This book includes forty years of his work (including many panoramas) from around the world.
In this book Berman focuses on the primal and powerful forests of the Gila National Forest in western New Mexico, creating portraits of individual trees as well as revealing the texture of the forest. A spare design and artful pacing of the images makes the volume of photographs one that can be enjoyed on many return viewings. A separate volume includes a group of essays from diverse voices.
If you missed the 2002 hardcopy version of Byron Wolfe's book Everyday (Chronicle Books) or are looking for the perfect gift for the person who never sets down their iPad, this electronic version of Wolfe’s diaristic photobook is ideal. The ebook makes two considerable improvements over the original: all the images appear the same size in this version, so no picture is given short shrift of being smaller than the others and, perhaps more importantly, Wolfe's handwritten titles appear right under the images, as he presents them in his fine prints. The time spent with this intimate and lyrical book bring you on a touching personal photographic journey you won't soon forget.
Rebecca Senf is the Norton Family Curator of Photography, a joint appointment at the Center for Creative Photography and the Phoenix Art Museum. She curates three exhibitions a year for the Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography in Phoenix and her past exhibitions include Debating Modern Photography: the Triumph of Group f/64; Richard Avedon: Photographer of Influence; Human Nature: the Photographs of Barbara Bosworth; Edward Weston: Mexico; Odyssey: the Photographs of Linda Connor; Face to Face: 150 Years of Photographic Portraiture; Exposing Time: Capturing Change Through Photography and the large Steele Gallery exhibition, Ansel Adams: Discoveries of January to June, 2010. In October of 2012 her book Reconstructing the View: The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe was released by University of California Press.