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PHOTO-EYE BEST BOOKS 2018
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Jeffrey Ladd's favorite book from 2018

Using the early color photographs by the Russian photographer Sergey Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) as a starting point, the photographer/artist Bill Sullivan weaves a culture blending narrative of the westward expansion of the United States in his new book Pure Country. Sullivan’s photographs and paintings blend seamlessly with archival newspapers from the early 1900s and Blaise Agüera y Arcas’s renderings of Prokudin-Gorskii's photographs of Russian landscapes to recast these historical documents as a new vision of American Manifest Destiny.


Jeffrey Ladd is a photographer, writer and one of the founders of Errata Editions. He is based in Koeln Germany. www.jeffreyladd.com

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Jeffrey Ladd's favorite book from 2018

Before the arrival of his grand experiment Waffenruhe, Michael Schmidt was making books that, on their surface at least, appear to stay within the established lanes of photographic tradition. The success of his first book, Berlin Kreuzberg, launched an attempt by Schmidt to recruit other municipal offices around Berlin to commission illustrated books of his photographs. The only municipality to accept was Berlin-Wedding. Berlin-Wedding is described through documentary-style urban landscapes followed by portraits of Wedding’s citizens — both at work and home. Schmidt intentionally submerges his subject in flat, even light — devoid of contrast—so his photographs “…look like sludge that was there on that November day.” This reprint is a near-exact facsimile of the original 1978 book designed by Gabriele Franziska Götz. If you don’t have the original, now’s your chance to have this great book within arm’s reach.


Jeffrey Ladd is a photographer and writer living in Cologne, Germany. His first book, The Awful German Language, is being published by Spector Books, Leipzig. www.jeffreyladd.com