PHOTOBOOK FAVOURITES #02

Share

We love books! We can’t get enough of their lovely tactile papery goodness, so we thought we’d share a bit of our photo book enthusiasm with you, and let you know what we’ve been enjoying lately, with some descriptions from the publishers and some thoughts from us too.

Here you go!

People of London. Peter Zelwski. Hoxton Mini Press.

THEY SAY:  

This is book 1 from a new series dedicated to the best urban photography from around the world. The books are similar to our grey-spined series but 20% bigger with cloth wrapped around the back. Even better!

Motivated by a love of London and its people, Peter Zelewski spent over five years taking photographs of strangers throughout the city. This collection of 100 powerful portraits, accompanied by intimate quotes, is a celebration of the diversity and spirit of one of the world’s most dynamic cities.

WE SAY: 

Do you ever pop out for a coffee and find yourself watching the world go by? As an avid people watcher I was delighted to thumb through the pages of People of London and get my fix from the comfort of my own arm chair, with my own cup of tea beside me. The little snippets and stories mean I don’t have to make up my own back stories anymore!

We are massive fans of everything that Hoxton Mini Press does, and you’ll probably get used to us going on about the beautiful cloth binding, the superb style, the detailed gold embossing, but strangely we’re yet to tire of it. These paper products encompass so much of what is right about the photo book, and Peter Zelewski’s photographs bring together what’s right in the city – a wonderful mix up of people, intriguing, fascinating, individual people!
People of London by Peter Zelewski
Published by Hoxton Mini Press
£17.95
Hardcover with cloth-covered back case and spine, gold foiled, 160 x 228mm, 160pp

(both images above © Peter Zelewski)

 

London Ends. Philipp Ebeling. Fishbar.
THEY SAY:

This new book is about the forgotten parts of London. Leaving behind the landmarks of the centre, London Ends takes the viewer on a journey to the places where the city ceases to be a city and becomes a series of amalgamated villages. Sleepy and yet full of life, the places where London ‘ends’ are the places that German photographer Philipp Ebeling has been drawn to with his camera for many years.

‘Coming to London from a small village in Germany, I was both overwhelmed and bewitched.’ he writes ‘I felt compelled to know every last corner of the place, to understand it as fully as I could.  For years I crisscrossed the city on my bike, finding new routes to places, exploring new neighbourhoods, getting lost and soaking up every detail. One afternoon I returned to my home in Whitechapel during a freak snowstorm. I rushed into the house to get my camera and started to photograph the local market on my doorstep. These pictures of Whitechapel in the snow started a process of documenting the city.’

Eventually the places he had visited and photographed began to look on the map like a doughnut and Ebeling set out to join the dots with one long walk around the city, avoiding the centre. Leaving his home in Hackney and heading east, he circled London, arriving back ten days and 250km later.

Taking in the Chiselhurst Caves, plane-spotters at Heathrow Airport, Brimsdown and Tottenham, Ebeling photographed places that are normally overlooked in the story of the capital. Shifting from the industrial to the idyllic, day to night, from crowds to solitude, intimate interior to boundless landscape, these photographs depict both the rhythm and contrasts of life on the peripheries of the city. Linking them together, Ebeling presents the vast and varied expanses of the landscape of Outer London.

The photographs in this book were made both on the walk and on other explorations in the city. They are accompanied by a diary of observations made on the walk itself.

WE SAY: 

This is not your everyday London. If you’re here for the usual tourist charming Palace of Westminster, Tower Bridge or Liberty’s facade, you’re in the wrong place. But, if you want to open your eyes to humour and bizarrity then look on with glee!

This is such a fabulous selection of images that it really needs to be seen. To try and describe it with words would fail it. From the pedigree cat bathing in the kitchen sink with the cheese grater close by, to the almost empty brown water filled swimming pool surrounded by scrap in the slim garden of a small end terrace, each of these images needs to be seen and seen again.

 

London Ends by Philipp Ebeling
Published by Fishbar
£35.00
Hardbound, 54 colour images
96 pages, 28.5x25cm
Each book comes with a wrap around double sided poster
Edition of 1000

 

Evolution of an Image. Rick Sammon. Routledge.
THEY SAY:

Rick Sammon’s Evolution of an Image illustrates the creative photographic process from start to finish. In this book, Canon Explorer of Light Rick Sammon pulls back the curtain to prove that creating amazing photographs is a well-thought-out process that involves several stages.

Comprising 50 case studies that examine photographs taken by Rick around the world in a wide variety of shooting situations, Evolution of an Image shows the power of creative thinking, getting it right in the camera, and the careful use of image processing using Lightroom.

By including his outtakes— and the reasons that he considers them outtakes— Rick suggests the steps that every photographer should take in order to improve their images. Combining technical advice with tips on lighting, composition and using Lightroom, this book will motivate and encourage those looking to evolve as creative photographers and digital darkroom artists.

WE SAY:

In his book Evolution of an Image, Rick Sammon says “I like to make learning fast, easy and fun”. Well, he certainly achieves that here! The book (Rick’s 37th ) features 50 case studies of different photographs, and allows the reader to delve into his photographic process, with a behind-the-scenes view encompassing initial idea through to finished image. There’s tons of detail, including location, outtakes (and why they are outtakes), camera settings and technical (though largely jargon free) descriptions of processing techniques.

The pages abound with practical tips, explained in a clear and accessible way, and a huge range of styles are covered, including wildlife, people, seascapes, landscapes, scenic and action photography. It’s fascinating to see the original shot in comparison to the final, edited image, and inspiring too – especially as Rick includes so much easy-to-understand ‘how to’ information that could easily be applied to one’s own photography. Rick is clearly an extremely experienced and knowledgeable photographer, and this, coupled with his obvious enthusiasm for inspiring others, makes Evolution of an Image an absorbing and fascinating read.

 

Evolution of an Image by Rick Sammon
Published by Routledge
£21.99
Paperback, 268 pages

 

A Possession Obsession. Monica Rich Kosann. Glitterati Inc. 

THEY SAY: 

Inspired by the deeper meaning attached to treasured possessions, jewelry designer and portrait photographer Monica Rich Kosann set out to chronicle the stories of such cherished belongings. Her time with more than sixty-five intriguing personalities, celebrities, and thought leaders resulted in Possession Obsession: What We Cherish and Why, a stunning photographic collection that transcends materialism and explores the secrets and stories behind beloved personal items.

As a deeply creative spirit, Kosann attributes her interests in both design and photography to an underlying fascination with storytelling. This curiosity is apparent through both the questions Kosann poses and the intimacy of the images. A sweeping range of luminaries and icons, such as Chelsea Clinton, Usher, Judge Judy, and Isaac Mizrahi, pose with prized objects and shed light on the stories behind their public personas. The wide range of items held in esteem are equally fascinating—from rings passed down generations of women, to a life size effigy of Prince. Ultimately, the diversity of striking images and telling interviews produce a novel approach to the concept of human identity.

WE SAY:

This big, luxurious book is probably aimed more at readers of high-end lifestyle blogs than the more traditional photobook audience.

Contrary to the title, I felt the focus of the book was really on the people rather than the objects. Filled with bright and airy lifestyle portraits and interesting details, I would have liked to have seen each person’s object but in some cases they weren’t fully visible. Some of the definitions of ‘possession’ seemed a little stretched too – although it is lovely that some people spoke of their family as the most cherished element of their life, for me it would have been a stronger body of work if each subject were speaking about an object, as the title and introduction implied, and if the questions were answered a little more consistently.

It is a lavish, very tactile book with textured endpapers and a gold ribbon worthy of the high-class world it offers an insight to. There are some really beautiful portraits and Monica Kosann’s photography gives you a real sense of each person, captured at ease in their own environments. Perfect for dipping in and out of on ‘hygge’-filled afternoons.

A Possession Obsession by Monica Rich Kosann
Published by Glitterati Inc.
£35
ISBN: 978-1-943876-32-7
224 pages; 9 x 11 1/2″; hardcover;
200 4/c and b&w photographs

 

Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers. Martin Evening. Routledge.

THEY SAY:

Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers by Photoshop hall-of-famer and acclaimed digital imaging professional Martin Evening has been revamped to include detailed instruction for all of the updates to Photoshop CC on Adobe’s Creative Cloud, including significant new features, such as Select and Mask editing, Facial Liquify adjustments and Guided Upright corrections in Camera Raw. This guide covers all the tools and techniques photographers and professional image editors need to know when using Photoshop, from workflow guidance to core skills to advanced techniques for professional results. Using clear, succinct instruction and real world examples, this guide is the essential reference for Photoshop users. The accompanying website has been updated with new sample images, tutorial videos, bonus chapters, and a chapter on the changes in Photoshop 2017.

WE SAY:

This book is a delightful companion for the professional photographer or image editor, with over 700 easy to digest pages (with useful illustrations and screen shots) that take the mystery out of digital image editing. Martin Evening provides a clear introduction to the essential tools and functions in Adobe Photoshop CC, laying a strong foundation for his various step-by-step guides, teaching readers to perform both basic and complex edits. Eleven concise chapters take photographers through the fundamental functions in Adobe Photoshop CC, including Camera Raw image processing, Layers, selections and masking, Image retouching and Photoshop Automation. There’s a particularly useful chapter on Print output, helping with the process of transferring images from screen to print – with many of us now working on super-high resolution monitors (and perhaps too comfortable with simply viewing images on screen!), it can sometimes be a challenge to reproduce colours accurately in the final print.

Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers is a useful guide and a great place to find answers to your various image editing questions. I highly recommend this book as a useful guide for students, artists and photographers.

 

Adobe Photoshop CC for Photographers 2016 Edition – Version 2015.5 by Martin Evening
Published by Routledge
£37.99
Paperback, 730 pages, 2076 Color Illus.

 

Passport. Alexander Chekmenev. Dewi Lewis Publishing

THEY SAY:

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, it became necessary in the newly independent Ukraine to replace the old Soviet passports with new Ukrainian ones. There was a rush to accomplish this, with all Ukrainians being required to get a new passport within a year. In 1994-1995, in Luhansk in southeast Ukraine, social services began employing photo- graphers to take passport photos in the homes of those who were elderly or ill, and could not themselves afford to pay a photographer. Alexander Chekmenev was one of the photographers commissioned for this extraordinary task.

Witnessing how people were living out their final years made a very strong impression on him. One day he took nearly 60 portraits, mainly of elderly people. The very next day, he was shocked to discover that one of the men he had photographed had died. In one house he discovered an old woman who had a coffin prepared for herself.

She lived in one room, with the coffin in the other. He also came across a 92-year-old man who had made similar arrangements, acquiring a coffin, and waiting for his death. He had placed it in his shed and whenever he finished off a bottle of vodka, he would put the empty bottle into the coffin. When it was full, he passed the coffin on to somebody else saying that it was a sign that his time had not yet come. When they came to take his photo, the old man sat at a table with his nephew, a bottle of vodka and two full shot glasses standing in front of them.

Chekmenev also took photos of people who were mentally confused. They did not know what was going on, why they were being seated, or why he was taking pictures of them. One person, unable to move, had to be lifted from his bed. Two social workers held him in an upright position, whilst two others held the backdrop. Evidently, he too needed a new passport.

Born in Eastern Ukraine, Alexander Chekmenev’s early work focused on people affected by the collapse of the Soviet Union. His is an intimate and unique insider view of the painful transition of what was once a major coal mining region. In 1997, he moved to Kiev, where he currently works as photojournalist. He has been published in magazines worldwide and has exhibited widely in Europe including shows at Side Gallery, Newcastle, and Third Floor Gallery, Cardiff. His first USA show recently opened at Blue Sky Gallery, Portland.

WE SAY: 

There’s something kind of sad but beautiful about Passport. I wonder whether any of the sitters ever had the chance to use their new passports for travel. I really doubt it. Some of the eyes are bright and excited, some less lit as if the action is going on somewhere far away from their windows on the world.

What is most fascinating, and what we can be grateful to Chekmenev for, is the bigger picture. To be able to see the periphery of the images – the homes, the people, the objects and items that give a much more full description of the individual, the clothing and the contrast between the social workers and their subjects – absolutely fascinating.

It feels like these people, had it not been for the rollout of the new Ukrainian passports, would have been unseen, them and their homes overlooked, and this incredible archive or social documentary would have gone uncollected.

 

Passport by Alexander Chekmenev

Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing
£35.00
Hardback
156 pages, 74 colour plates 225mm x 300mm
ISBN: 978-1-911306-06-1

 

MISLED: Germa Youth 1933-1945. Daniel Blau.

THEY SAY:

Daniel Blau has, for many years, produced exhibitions and catalogues with historic photographs.We are excited to launch the first edition of Misled at Paris Photo’s 20th anniversary edition on November 10th.

Misled examines and illustrates the role of the youth during the Nazi regime 1933-45.

The photographs shown in the publication are mainly German propaganda images found in American press archives (all dating 1933-1945), as well as collected over the course of many years at auction as well as through English and French photography dealers.

The Nazis created both the technical and administrative conditions for the widespread dissemination and political use of photographs. This powerful image-distribution is clearly themetised in the book through its illustrating the accompanying slugs which were originally pasted onto the actual photographic print by the American news agencies. Some of the prints have their slugs from German news or photo services. The slugs’ function is not simply to describe the image but to provide the journalist with as much precise factual information as possible in order to elucidate his angle on a story. In this case, it’s a fascinating insight into a foreign interpretation of German war propaganda. Similar to the disturbing images we see today of IS-fighters and jihadists who exploit children for warfare, Nazis introduced children at the earliest possible age to their ideological and political systems in order to make them an essential part of their political apparatus and warfare.

What does it mean to witness such atrocities? Misled discusses the relationship between image and text. Included are transcriptions of conversations Daniel Blau had with eye-witnesses. In order to show the complex relationships between photojournalism, propaganda, and the function of text, Daniel Blau’s interviews have been left unedited, which not only amplifies their youthful tone but also helps further reflect the function of (photo-)journalism.

WE SAY:

 The images cover a range of themes from daily life, to military exercise and training. Included are a range of photographs showing young boys and girls playfully training with gas masks, sporting rallies as well as music events as well as young teens in uniforms or even as prisoners of war. The book is compiled in chronological order These pictures clearly show the consequences of political and ideological exploitation faced by the Hitler Youth.

Misled clearly offers its audience a distinct and unparalleled insight into the subject matter. It attempts to uncover how these photographs targeted society then and what effects these images produce today. Much of the literature surrounding National Socialism use photographs for illustrative purposes rather than as documents in their own right. Misled offers a unique perspective through these powerful images and personal accounts.

Misled explores how history is based on many layers of subjective chronicles, how memory is simply an interpretation of occurrences. History doesn’t merely recount events, rather it is a subjective experiencewhich is continuously constructed.

 

MISLED: Germa Youth 1933-1945 by Daniel Blau
Published by Daniel Blau
€24.00
192 pages
83 illustrations, 25 x 18,5 cm
Bilingual German/English
1500 English Cover Edition
1000 German Cover Edition
English ISBN 9 783000 547362
German ISBN 9 783000 547355

 


Know a great book that you think we should feature? Let us know at [email protected]