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PHOTO-EYE BEST BOOKS 2018
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Owen Kobasz's favorite book from 2018

Most photographers release their work in series, but Vivian Maier’s came as a tidal wave. The sheer quantity of her work makes it difficult to digest, but this publication stands out as it features her color work for the first time. The 150 some featured pictures are effectively a highlight reel. Through them, however, emerges a beautiful survey of one of the most interesting and important photographers to surface in the last decade. In his introduction, Joel Meyerowitz appropriately concludes: “Maier was an early poet of color photography.”


Owen Kobasz edits the blog & newsletter at photo-eye. He holds a BA in the liberal arts from St. John's College and takes photos in his free time. Currently based of Santa Fe, New Mexico, you can find him on Instagram and Twitter.

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Owen Kobasz's favorite book from 2018

Sohrab Hura’s fourth book, The Coast, is comprised of flash heavy, unsettling, absurd photographs. In images, Hura uses metaphorical imagery to photograph the 'beating pulse' of the world he was living in. The subjects range from beautiful and life-affirming to dark and bloody — the later of which hint to India's nationwide rise of violence, and, even more disturbingly, its normalization.

The Coast utilizes a unique design and sequence to arrange its powerful subject matter. Each image appears twice, so that after turning the page it repeats itself in the next spread, creating an almost cinematic effect. The result is a series linked into a strong narrative that, as Nina Strand said for the Aperture-Paris Photo Awards, “works on the same level as a challenging work of fiction.”

The story itself, however, is open to interpretation. Each time I return to The Coast, I end with a different feeling, a different takeaway.


Owen Kobasz edits the blog & newsletter at photo-eye. He holds a BA in the liberal arts from St. John's College and takes photos in his free time. Currently based of Santa Fe, New Mexico, you can find him on Instagram.