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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NaBloPoMo: The smell of a bookshop

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I absolutely love the smell of new books so walking into a bookshop really makes me happy.

When I lived in Liverpool I used to sit in Waterstones on Bold Street with one of my friends and we would look at all the architecture books for inspiration.

At the time I was in my first year at Liverpool John Moores studying Architecture. I didn’t really enjoy it because I found it hard to get inspired about designing a building.

Whilst I sat in this bookshop my friend would be reading away next to me whilst I pretended to do the same. Instead I would just be sat there enjoying the smell and the peace and quiet.

That year at uni was very hard. I was far away from home for the first time. My halls were hellish with maggots in the kitchen and old, grubby bathrooms. I guess Waterstones was my safe haven. A place I could go to escape the hustle and bustle of university life, a place to recharge my batteries.

Now, whenever I go into a bookshop, I am reminded of my little spot of luxury, hidden away at the back of a Waterstones shop.

I also remember my time in Liverpool as one of the most life changing episodes of my life so far. I grew up a lot that year, learnt to cook, clean and survive in a big city on my own.

Thankfully I made some great friends that also helped me along the way and discovered that Liverpool really is a great place to live.

If any of you ever feel like life in a busy city is getting to you, I advice taking a time out in a gorgeous smelling bookshop!

NaBloPoMo: Bubble baths and candles

There is nothing more enjoyable than a hot bath with lots of bubbles.

I light my pink little tea lights and place them around the bathtub.

At the moment I am re-reading the first Harry Potter book as I am too poor to buy any new books. I must admit that the Harry Potter collection are always my fall back on books. Each time I read them I discover something new about the story that I hadn’t really paid attention to on my last read.

I like getting the yellowing pages wet whilst I sit in the bath and read the book.

I buy the radox muscle soak bubble bath which works a treat after a gym session. It smells fresh and you can’t help but sink into the bubbles.

On average I sit and relax for about an hour or so. I occasionally dunk my head under the water, listening to the exaggerated sounds of my body lightly hitting the sides of the bathtub. It allows me to escape and I am able to get all my thoughts in order.

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Drawing credit: Pomegranate-Pen