Books!

baldmountainbaldmountain Spur of the moment...Registered Users Posts: 192 Major grins
edited June 11, 2010 in Street and Documentary
I'm a reader. I'd love to hear what people's favorite PJ and/or Street books are...

Oh and I wouldn't mind hearing what texts Prof. Colen teaches from. :D


geoff
geoff

Comments

  • bdcolenbdcolen CaptureReality Registered Users Posts: 3,804 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2009
    I'm a reader. I'd love to hear what people's favorite PJ and/or Street books are...

    Oh and I wouldn't mind hearing what texts Prof. Colen teaches from. :D


    geoff


    Who's this "Prof Colen"?
    Anyway, this is copied from my MIT course syllabus - First, the required books
    ....
    Doing Documentary Work – Robert Coles – the compilation of a series of lectures the Harvard psychiatrist and documentarian gave at the New York Public Library. The lectures explore the ethical, intellectual, and technical challenges facing anyone who would do documentary work. While photography per se is only a peripheral part of this work, the principles and ideas discussed by Coles apply as much to documentary photography as they do to any other type of documentary fieldwork. Available in paperback.
    (Students write an essay about this one.)

    On Photography – Susan Sontag. You may well hate this book. Sontag is often pedantic, often boring, often wrong. On the other hand, when she is right, she is so right that she cannot be ignored. This is a seminal work about photography, and if you are going to photograph, you must be (painfully) familiar with it.
    (Students write an essay about this one.)

    Fundamentals of Photography: The Essential Handbook for Both Digital and Film Cameras – Tom Ang – A truly excellent “how-to” book that will serve as your technical text. If you haven’t had a basic photography course, this book will fill in virtually all the classroom gaps – it can’t make up for your lack of shooting experience. If you do have experience and technical knowledge, it will provide an excellent refresher.

    Photo Idea Index – Jim Krause – As the cover blurb boasts, “not your typical ‘how to’ book.” This really is a book crammed full of ideas intended to expand your way of seeing, and shooting, from how to capture action, to thoughts about visual hierarchy and using space in your photos.

    Magnum Stories
    – This is a massive collection – available for $50.37 from Amazon – of work by 61 past and present members of Magnum, the world’s premiere photo agency/collective. Magnum was founded after World War II by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger, and Chim, on the principle that photojournalists should have some control over their work and the ways in which it was used. From that day to this the list of Magnum photographers has always included most of the world’s leading documentary photographers and photojournalists. This book is made up of interviews with Magnum photographers, in which they talk about how they handled a particular story or project, and includes key photos from the project.
    (Each student selects one photographer from this book and gives a 10-12 minute presentation on the photographer and his or her work.)

    HIGHLY recommended, but not required:


    The Photo Book
    – This overview in photos of the history of photography is a must-own, particularly as it’s available in a $9.95 miniature version.

    The Day-to-Day Life of Albert Hastings – Kaylynn Deveney and Albert Hastings. If this book doesn’t inspire you – sell your camera. It is a little jewel, a successful marriage of art photography and pure documentary photography, and demonstrates how the simplest of ideas can produce a sublime project.

    Digging – Michael Hintlian. The Big Dig as you have never seen it or thought of it. As I wrote in an Amazon review – “At its most basic, Digging is to the workers of Boston's Big Dig, the endless construction project that has remade the face of downtown Boston, what Lewis Hine's work from the early 1930s is to the workers who built the Empire State Building: a memorial in photographs to the pure muscle power that makes real the dreams of engineers. Hintlian set out more than four years ago to preserve for the ages the contribution of the workers whose daily toil would otherwise be forgotten when the last concrete was poured and the Big Dig was finally finished."

    Any and all the books of Eugene Richards
    , arguably the greatest living American documentary photographer. These books include Dorchester Days; The Fat Baby; The Knife and Gun Club; Cocaine True, Cocaine Blue; and Americans We.


    The Americans, by Robert Frank. The seminal work by a Swiss photographer who took a road trip across the U.S. in the late 1950s. The Americans is often credited with being the first look at the country through a lens darkly, but that’s a bit of an exaggeration, and overlooks much of the work of W. Eugene Smith. However, The Americans is a collection of brilliant work by a photographer with fascinating vision.


    W. Eugene Smith’s Pittsburgh Project, available in hard cover and paper. Selections from the seminal work by the inventor of the modern photo story – if you are not inspired by this, sell your camera.

    “Requiem : By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina,”
    by Horst Faas and Tim Page, out of print by worth digging for. This is a truly magnificent collection of combat photographs by, as the title makes clear, photographers who did not survive the combat they were covering. Here you’ll find work by some of the known greats, including Robert Cappa and Larry Burrows, as well as by some of the unknown greats, including, especially, Henri Huet.

    "It’s Complicated: The American Teenager,” by Robin Bowman. A young photographer took a Polaroid camera, created a questionnaire, and set off across the country to create portraits of teenagers and to ask them to answer her list of questions. She then created a book of portraits, with one to several paragraphs of answers from each of her subjects. The photography is workman-like, nothing that will be remembered a few decades from now, but the whole is far greater than the sum of the parts. This is a wonderful example of how to create a very significant something starting with only an intriguing idea.

    Vietnam Inc., Philip Jones Giffiths. Magnum photographer as flat-out advocate. A powerful, classic photobook. (If you ever stumble on a copy of the first edition in a hidden corner of a used book barn, grab it – there’s a signed copy for sale in NYC right now for $1000.)

    Exposure, Mary Ellen Mark. A career retrospective by an outstanding documentary photographer and teacher.

    Anything by Bruce Davidson. This includes East 100th Street, England/Scotland 1960, Circus, Time of Change, and anything else you can find.

    Close Relations,
    by Henry Horenstein. I’m not sure why I am so drawn to this book of photos by Horenstein, a long-time faculty member at RISD. The book is a collection of images Horenstein made of friends in Cambridge, and family members in Newton, when he himself was a student in the early 1970s. It’s captivating – and it has an introduction by one of the “Car Talk” guys.

    Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, the Image and the World: A Retrospective. This is the ultimate collection by the man who ‘invented’ 35 mm photography, helped found the great photo agency/collective Magnum, and who coined the term, “decisive moment.” Although Bresson is often described as a “photojournalist, he really wasn’t one. He adopted the label because his Magnum founding partner Robert Cappa told him that if he described himself as what he was, a surrealist photographer, he would never get work.

    Inferno, James Nachtweys overwhelming collection of anti-war photographs of combat and its ultimate results. A book that will weigh as heavily on your conscience as it will on your lap.

    Will that hold you for a while? :D
    [email protected]
    "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

    "The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
  • michswissmichswiss Stuffed Animal Melbourne, AustraliaRegistered Users, Retired Mod Posts: 2,235 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2009
    bdcolen wrote:
    Here goes....

    Magnum Stories
    – This is a massive collection – available for $50.37 from Amazon – of work by 61 past and present members of Magnum, the world’s premiere photo agency/collective. Magnum was founded after World War II by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger, and Chim, on the principle that photojournalists should have some control over their work and the ways in which it was used. From that day to this the list of Magnum photographers has always included most of the world’s leading documentary photographers and photojournalists. This book is made up of interviews with Magnum photographers, in which they talk about how they handled a particular story or project, and includes key photos from the project.

    HIGHLY recommended, but not required:

    I almost bought this last weekend but decided it was a bit heavy for the impending travels. I will be getting a copy, though. I also have one of the Life Photography books. I'll be perusing the remainder of your list for insight.
  • bdcolenbdcolen CaptureReality Registered Users Posts: 3,804 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2009
    bdcolen wrote:
    Who's this "Prof Colen"?
    Anyway, this is copied from my MIT course syllabus - First, the required books

    Will that hold you for a while? :D


    Almost forgot my favorite - the book that hooked me - and, sadly, you can find it on Amazon for about $5:

    "Willie," by Ken Heyman. If you want to be freaked by how much of you exists out there in cyberspace, I just found this from a 2001 on-line exchange with someone about Heyman and Willie. It explains my fascination with the book:


    "I don't believe it! Someone else out there who has not only heard of, but
    obviously seen - and maybe even owns - Willie. Willie and Ken Heyman had an
    enormous influence on me, even if I wasn't aware of it at the time. Willie
    represents to me the best of what photography can be all about - documenting
    the every day, "meaningless," moments and events which make up the fabric of
    a people, a society, or of a single human life.

    I wonder what ever happened to Willie - did he die in Vietnam with The
    Beaver?;-)

    B. D."
    [email protected]
    "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

    "The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
  • baldmountainbaldmountain Spur of the moment... Registered Users Posts: 192 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2009
    bdcolen wrote:
    Who's this "Prof Colen"?

    Just a little respect for someone willing to share their time. Thanks.

    I'm going to work my way through these but...
    bdcolen wrote:
    The Photo Book – This overview in photos of the history of photography is a must-own, particularly as it’s available in a $9.95 miniature version.

    This books scares me. I foolishly picked it up while browsing Barnes & Noble at lunch one day... I was an hour late back to work and was shaking when I put it down. The images are VERY powerful. Don't buy the miniature version. Get the full size. It isn't that much more money.
    bdcolen wrote:
    The Americans, by Robert Frank.

    I got to see this exhibit at the SF MOMA this summer. There was also a small exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum that I saw while picking my daughter up from ballet camp.

    I didn't find the images dark. More like perceptive and revealing. I also liked learning about his influences like Walker Evans.
    bdcolen wrote:
    Will that hold you for a while? :D

    Yes! Thanks!

    And I'm surprised you didn't include something like: "Photojournalism, The Professionals' Approach" by Kenneth Kobre. But I'm glad because I'm more interested in the pictures than the mechanics. :D
    geoff
  • JimWJimW Major grins Registered Users Posts: 333 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2009
    Thanks for taking the time to make that list, BD. I look forward to checking it out.

    I’ll add a couple:

    Bill Brandt – Photographs 1928-1983 - (Thames and Hudson) - Born a German, but he became England’s best and most comprehensive photographer. His work is not boring. I can take a long look at these images. They wear well, and remain in the mind.

    Roy DeCarava – A Retrospective (MOMA – Galassi) – A people photographer – black & white craftsman – Harlem – Jazz – civil rights - street. Visual – emotional – blur & motion.


    After looking at Brandt’s work, the images remain. After looking at DeCarava’s work, the feeling remains.
    Jim

    I don't want the cheese, I just want to get out of the trap.


    http://www.jimwhitakerphotography.com/
  • bdcolenbdcolen CaptureReality Registered Users Posts: 3,804 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2009
    Just a little respect for someone willing to share their time. Thanks.

    I'm going to work my way through these but...



    This books scares me. I foolishly picked it up while browsing Barnes & Noble at lunch one day... I was an hour late back to work and was shaking when I put it down. The images are VERY powerful. Don't buy the miniature version. Get the full size. It isn't that much more money.



    I got to see this exhibit at the SF MOMA this summer. There was also a small exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum that I saw while picking my daughter up from ballet camp.

    I didn't find the images dark. More like perceptive and revealing. I also liked learning about his influences like Walker Evans.



    Yes! Thanks!

    And I'm surprised you didn't include something like: "Photojournalism, The Professionals' Approach" by Kenneth Kobre. But I'm glad because I'm more interested in the pictures than the mechanics. :D
    I'm not a believer in either textbooks or mechanics.rolleyes1.gif Want to learn about photography? Look at photos by good photographers. What to learn about photo journalism? Spend some time each day on the websites of the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. etc. etc. Want to learn about the mechanics? Buy camera, read the owners manual, and get the Tom Ang book to answer your additional questions. The longer I live the more really, really good photographers I find who have never taken a course and never read a text book. BUT - if you want a pretty good education in photo basics, there was a Time-Life photography series that was first published in the late 60s, or early 70s. There was a book on film, one on light, one on the camera, one on the print, etc. etc. Obviously some are now pretty obsolete, but there was a lot of good material there.
    [email protected]
    "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

    "The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
  • baldmountainbaldmountain Spur of the moment... Registered Users Posts: 192 Major grins
    edited October 6, 2009
    bdcolen wrote:
    there was a Time-Life photography series that was first published in the late 60s, or early 70s. There was a book on film, one on light, one on the camera, one on the print, etc. etc. Obviously some are now pretty obsolete, but there was a lot of good material there.

    Laughing.gif! I have The Art of Photography from the Life Library of Photography. I got it from the library and liked it so much I bought a used copy off amazon. IIRC it was less than a dollar. It skips the mechanics of taking a picture and teaches you how to see using some really great images.
    geoff
  • bdcolenbdcolen CaptureReality Registered Users Posts: 3,804 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2009
    bdcolen wrote:
    I'm not a believer in either textbooks or mechanics.rolleyes1.gif Want to learn about photography? Look at photos by good photographers. What to learn about photo journalism? Spend some time each day on the websites of the New York Times, Washington Post, etc. etc. etc. Want to learn about the mechanics? Buy camera, read the owners manual, and get the Tom Ang book to answer your additional questions. The longer I live the more really, really good photographers I find who have never taken a course and never read a text book. BUT - if you want a pretty good education in photo basics, there was a Time-Life photography series that was first published in the late 60s, or early 70s. There was a book on film, one on light, one on the camera, one on the print, etc. etc. Obviously some are now pretty obsolete, but there was a lot of good material there.

    P.S. _ I am NOT negating the value of serious technical education. Classes in lighting techniques, advanced PS, fine art printing, or workshops and classes devoted to forcing one - with guidance - to develop new ways of seeing and approaching photography, are terrific. But nothing beats looking at the work of other photographers. mwink.gif
    [email protected]
    "He not busy being born is busy dying." Bob Dylan

    "The more ambiguous the photograph is, the better it is..." Leonard Freed
  • FlyingginaFlyinggina To see and not be seen Registered Users Posts: 2,639 Major grins
    edited June 8, 2010
    Recommendations for books on Documentary Photography
    Just came across this list of books for those interested in documentary photography. Interestingly, three on the list are Eugene Richards collections.

    Virginia
    _______________________________________________
    "A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know." Diane Arbus

    Email
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,360 moderator
    edited June 11, 2010
    Flyinggina wrote: »
    Just came across this list of books for those interested in documentary photography. Interestingly, three on the list are Eugene Richards collections.

    Virginia

    Thanks for posting this, Virginia. I merged it into the recommended reading thread that appears in the forum sticky. thumb.gif
Sign In or Register to comment.