Thursday, April 30, 2009

Utube Gems: The Mystery of the Wooden Egg

Monday, April 6, 2009

8 Amazing Art Photo Books

When times are tight, it's important to count your blessings. Sometimes, those blessings are art photo books. Here are 8 amazing books I've bought this year (ordered based on how much I'm enjoying them):

  1. Los Alamos by William Eggleston
  2. The Americans by Robert Frank and Jack Kerouac
  3. Richard Avedon Portraits by Maria Morris Hambourg, Mia Fineman, Richard Avedon, and Philippe de Montebello
  4. The Nature of Photographs by Stephen Shore
  5. Uncommon Places: The Complete Works by Stephen Shore
  6. Sleeping by the Mississippi by Alec Soth
  7. Ralph Eugene Meatyard (Phaidon 55's) by Judith Keller
  8. Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz

All of the photographers are all strong trend setters of the photo world. So, I find these books are like educational receipies, potions and spells to be studied but used carefully like black magic. To draw from them, but mindlessly copy and repeat at your peril.

Side note: -- I'm most tempted to try copy the style of Los beautiful.... But I've seen a few photographers lately that have finally nailed Bill's style, and while the work is good, channeling Bill so directly has something eiree about it. Your first reaction is: 'oh yeah, he's doing stuff from William Eggleston's Guide...that's pretty good...almost like bill was there'. On a second pass through, it feels kind of cheap, like quoting lines from Shakespeare and flipping the order of the stanzas and putting your name on it. I don't know...we all copy, and I'm still trying to figure out which photography mixes are badass RUNDMC jams and which are just Aerosmith with a little scratching over the top.