Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part 1: The Best of the Photo Books, Plus!

We’re gonna start a little easier this year.
There has not been a ton of groundbreaking gear this year, but that’s probably a good thing: less to consider.
Sure, drones are the biggest new purchase, although I still am curious what everyone is doing with that footage. Like an extreme wide angle lens, considered judicious use goes along way.
Let’s step back from the gear for a moment, and look at what those tools can do:
Today, I’d like to recommend some of the best books I’ve seen this year for gifting.It should give a range for those on your list. Or your own wish list!

My vote for book of the year, and an incredible value is the Dave Heath book, Multitude, Solitude.
With incredible high quality printing, thoughtful and insightful writing this huge retrospective of a masters like and work will give anyone hours of, well I’m not sure if I’d call it pleasure, but satisfaction.
As a contemporary of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and the shifted look at the street from that era, Dave Heath brings a different look, with a strong emotional depth, of the people he met, observed, connected with. There is a darkness coupled with some rich happiness in this volume, and you could spend the whole of your winter vacation pouring through this.
About $55.

In another portrait filled volume, Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiogaphy, a photographer that has been on many LA photographers radar for years, Aline Smithson, has finally published a long awaited cumulative book of her portraits.
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There is a beautiful and playful sense of her connection with her subjects, and I found a hard time picking out my favorite images. the further along I went in the volume, the more kept getting added to the list. Her artistry, and design sense is strong, and this is a book you would want to share with everyone. There is an upbeat lightness with an inherent depth, which is the true mark of a master. A look inside portraiture as self awareness.
Coming in at $45, or you can direct from the artist and get it signed!

One another side of the coin, is one of my favorite magazines, Toilet Paper, which can be had as a combined volume of issues, or single issues.
World reknown artist Maurizio Cattelan, and Pierpaolo Ferrari, have created this imaginative and bizarre zine, with no words, only pictures. Sound good?
Check a cover out:
Maybe NSFW but could be just for any nudity. It is openly displayed in book, plate, table form, in MOMA.
You probably have someone on your list that would love this.
From $12 for single issues to around $60 for a combined volume.

Love some rock and roll, and you can’t go wrong with the king of the genre, Danny Clinch and his thick and rich volume of photographs of the musicians you already love. His entre into the personal world of the off stage life, becomes your entre in this book.
I’d like to point you to one of my favorite, although small run, of his pubs.
The polaroid prints volume is extremely special as Danny shares scanned polaroid/instant photographs from photo sessions with his friends. Like Springsteen.
At $25, this is an incredible find and the music lover and photographer on your list will be smiling when the wrapping paper comes off. And if you buy from him, you’ll get a signed copy. Might as well see if you have to gift someone with one of his amazing photos as well. Good prices, and high quality.

We lost one of the most amazing photographer we have ever seen when Mary Ellen Mark passed away this year.
She left some gifts for us in two major publications: Tiny, Revisited and the Aperture publication “Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment: The Photography Workshop Series” on MEM teaching her method and discussing what photography truly means to her.
Also included in the book, are images from her students, and perhaps in the reading you can get a glimpse of what she shared.
I ended up reading it in an afternoon and have gone back a few times already.

Of course there are the classics:

Every library should have a copy of the Family Of Man , and this is the 60th Anniversary for the exhibition, still the most well attended photo exhibit EVER! yep, ever.

Curated by Edward Steichen, this book represents over 250 photographers work from around the world, depicting the human condition in many cultures. Seems we are pretty much the same.
And now for the first time in years, it is available as a hardbound copy.

Honestly, this book made me want to be a photographer when I was 8 and found a tattered reprint of it in the family bookcase.
Because of that book, I do what I do today. When I realized that a still image could move me like that, it’s all I wanted to do.
And at $25, you can’t miss.
I always keep multiple volumes on had to gift people with. I will never forget getting a call abot a family who I gave the book to, but really didn’t look through it till months later. The wife and her daughter had been going over the pages and were moved to tears. It is now their gifting go-to.
Get it, give, cherish it.

And if you have no room for more books, and wonder what to give the photographer who has everything?
This is a digital archive of all of the issues of Aperture, going back to the first issue in 1952.
With a yearly subscription of $59, you are giving access to the archive AND an online subscription fro all current and coming issues for the life of the subscription. Here is a fuller review of the archive.
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I will tell you about one of my favorite books that live on my coffee table at all times.
And that are books my daughter has given me about the time we’ve spent together.
I cherish these.
You know how to make these, right?
Shutterfly, Apple, whomever?
affordable , personal, and right for the season.

We’re coming back with more…….

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Current Exhibitions

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  • May 12th-Sept 7th
  • 11 West 53rd St
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