NaBloPoMo: Photography Books

Over the past few years I have taken a liking to buying photography books.

They are not just normal books, they are big, heavy and smell delicious. They are filled with inspiration and I just love owning them.

My most recent purchase is a big orange hardback titled 50 Photo Icons: The Story Behind The Pictures.

Front of book features Alfred Eisenstaedt, 'A Stolen Kiss'

Front of book features Alfred Eisenstaedt, ‘A Stolen Kiss’

The book presents us with in-depth descriptions behind some of the most well known photographs. It concentrates on the most important pictures that have been taken throughout history.

As I have been taught, during my degree, photographs have an interesting way of shaping and sometimes developing the way in which we see the world.

Each chapter focused on a different image, most of which I had seen before, but the book allowed me to view some of the photographs in a different light, due to the description and analyses that accompanied each image. The author uses aesthetic, historical and artistic contexts as a way of delving deeper to reveal the true power behind the image at the time it was taken.

Naturally, the book begins with the very first permanent photographs by Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre. In 1827 Niepce produced an eight-hour-exposure of a rooftop and in 1839 Daguerre became famous for his street scene.

Nicephore Niepce, 'View from the Study Window' (1827)

Nicephore Niepce, ‘View from the Study Window’ (1827)

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, 'Boulveard du Temple' (1838)

Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre, ‘Boulveard du Temple’ (1838)

The book then continues its journey throughout history, stopping at very significant landmarks such as the avant-garde photography in the 1920s, Robert Capa’s ‘The Fallen Solider’ (1936), Alfred Eisenstaedt, ‘A Stolen Kiss’ (1945),  to more recent images by Martin Parr.

Robert Capa, Falling Solider' (1936)

Robert Capa, Falling Solider’ (1936)

Martin Parr, 'A Temple in the Viewfinder' (1991)

Martin Parr, ‘A Temple in the Viewfinder’ (1991)

I absolutely love this book and I cannot wait to have my own house so that I can proudly display all my photography books on a shelf in my lounge or study (at the moment they are stuffed on top of my bookcase because they are too big to fit on the shelves).

I am currently saving for my next purchase, ‘the eye of eisendstaedt’ which features the work of Alfred Eisenstaedt.

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