Odds & Ends

Every Aspiring Photographer Should Own These 10 Books (Or Receive Them as a Gift)

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* Learn from some of the best photographers in history
* Portraiture, landscape, street photography and more
* Great coffee table books to keep you inspired

Photography is an ever-changing medium and although styles may vary wildly, the essence of photography remains the same – to capture a specific moment in time. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of photographer’s who have impacted the medium over the years, but here are 10 photography books with filled with the work of some of the most influential artists in history.

Any aspiring photographer or prosumer can appreciate and learn from these inspiring books in order to hone their craft.

1. The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers

Henri Cartier-Bresson was an early pioneer of street photography, and if you’ve ever heard of “The Decisive Moment,” then you know a little bit about the French-born photographer’s spontaneous shooting style. The Mind’s Eye not only contains the original text of The Decisive Moment, but also several other essays by Cartier-Bresson that have been compiled into one book.

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2. The Soul of the Camera: The Photographer’s Place in Picture-Making

David DuChemin’s latest book explores the idea that it is entirely up to the photographer’s creative vision when it comes to taking better photographs, as opposed to the equipment involved. DuChemin is a best-selling author and humanitarian assignment photographer.

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3. Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs

Quintessential landscape photographer Ansel Adams dissects 40 of his own images and gives readers an entirely new way to see each and every one of them in this engaging read.

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4. Magnum Manifesto

Magnum Manifesto goes into the archives to examine the 70 year history of Magnum Photos, the photographic cooperative that was founded in 1947 by Robert Capa, David Seymour, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and William Vandivert, Rita Vandivert and Maria Eisner.

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5. Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography

It turns out that we’ve been obsessed with food as subjects in photography and other visual mediums long before the advent of Instagram. Susan Bright covers this appetizing genre from its earliest days to the present.

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6. Exiles

Originally printed in 1988 and on its third edition, Exiles is a compilation of street photographer Josef Koudelka’s wanderings through Europe after leaving Czechoslovakia in 1968. This latest edition includes ten new images and explores the “spiritual and physical state of exile,” a topic the photographer often sought to explore through his work.

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7. Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found

American photographer Vivian Maier’s photographs weren’t published or even printed until 2007, when two collectors discovered some of her negatives by chance. Maier passed away in April of 2009 in relative obscurity, like most artists. In fact, little is know about her other than the fact that she worked as a nanny in Chicago for some forty odd years. During those years, she photographed life in Chicago, New York, LA and abroad in her spare time. This is the largest and most comprehensive collection of the mysterious street photographer’s work to date.

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8. Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016

Prolific photographer Annie Leibovitz needs very little introduction, if at all, and her latest compilation of work includes rare portraits, as well as unpublished work taken throughout the last decade. The books features a plethora of celebrity portraits, including the likes of David Beckham, Anjelica Huston, and even a pregnant Melania Trump.

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9. Election Eve

William Eggleston had previously released this book in two leather-bound volumes in 1977. That particular edition, however, was limited to just five copies, but the content is available in one volume for the first time. Election Eve was originally shot by Eggleston in October of 1976 as he traveled from Memphis to Plains, Georgia, Jimmy Carter’s hometown, leading up to the presidential election the following month.

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10. Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans

Like many other works in this list, Frank’s original book, The Americans, was first published in 1958 in France and a year later in the U.S. It served as a visual examination of the stark differences social classes in America. This particular volume is a reprint of the 50th anniversary edition that was released in 2009. Frank’s body of work is an excellent example of social documentary photography.

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