Photo Books

Photo Books of 2016: A Roundup

December 1, 2016


Looking for Alice

Presenting the third and final part of our annual review of books that caught the eyes of PDN editors this year. In this section, we highlight all of the photo books covered in 2016:

Choreograph by James Welling: Drawing with Space and Light
James Welling layers images of dancers with architectural and landscape photographs to create “psychedelic” studies of movement and space.

Looking for Alice: Sian Davey’s Personal Look at Raising a Child With Down Syndrome
Sian Davey’s book, Looking for Alice, wrestles with the complexities of motherhood and family through an examination of the photographer’s relationship with her youngest child, Alice, who has Down Syndrome.

Seascapes: A Collection of Long Exposures Produced During Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Long Career
Using long exposures and consistent horizons, Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Seascapes are meditative studies of light on water made around the world.

Luigi Ghirri: The Complete Essays Combines The Artist’s Photos and Writings
A new book collects essays written by the Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri, who describes his cerebral and curious approach to making and thinking about art.

The Prospect of Immortality: Murray Ballard’s Look at Contemporary Cryonics
The British photographer’s new book investigates the world of cryonics, in which people choose to be frozen after death with the hope that they can be revived in the future.

© Nick Brandt

Inherit The Dust: A New Perspective on the Destruction of Habitat in East Africa
Nick Brandt photographs his massive animal prints installed in areas damaged by human use, emphasizing the connection between the animal kingdom and our own

Maude Schuyler Clay’s Mississippi History Offers a Portrait of Life Growing Up in the South
Maude Schuyler Clay’s third book depicts friends, neighbors and strangers in her home state in lush, glowing light, photographed over a span of 25 years.

© Jan Banning

Jan Banning Compares Criminal Justice Systems in Law & Order
By juxtaposing images from prisons in four countries, the photographer’s book confounds easy assumptions about criminal justice.

Black-and-White Portraits Mix with Enigmatic Texts in Got to Go
Rosalind Fox Solomon’s new book of intimate portraits combines images with short texts, suggesting a family drama in photos made around the world

Michael Christopher Brown’s Journey into the Libyan Civil War
Michael Christopher Brown’s book Libyan Sugar tells the bloody, brutal, confusing story of the Libyan Revolution in a personal way.

Invisible Man: Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison Tour Harlem
Gordon Parks and Ralph Ellison’s collaboration is the subject of a new book and show that aims to present their work as they originally intended

Alejandro Chaskielberg: All That Remains in Otsuchi, Japan
In his new book, Otsuchi: Future Memories, the photographer combines his nighttime long-exposures with found family photos to explore the past, present and future of a Japanese fishing community struggling to rebuild after the 2011 tsunami.

© Glenna Gordon

Diagram of the Heart: An Intimate Look The Culture of Love Literature in Nigeria
In her new book, photographer Glenna Gordon investigates the surprising subculture of Muslim romance novelists in northern Nigeria.

© Paulette Tavormina

Seizing Beauty: Still Lifes as Warm and Dramatic as Old Master Paintings
Inspired by 17th century still life paintings, Paulette Tavormina showcases her meticulous attention to detail as she transforms flowers and fruits into images as rich as Old Masters paintings.

Service: A Collection of Portraits of Military Members and Their Families, by Platon
In his new book, Platon—known for his portraits of high-profile celebrities and world leaders—applies his signature stark style to active service members, military veterans and their families, creating a bold tribute their sacrifices.

Michael Lundgren’s Photographic Fable About Time, Nature, Growth and Decay
Lundgren’s new book, Matter, is an “elegiac fable” about our man-altered earth, the passage of time and what photography can convey.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Aapo Huhta, Block
Block is a photo essay, amassed as a set of visions, offering hints for storylines in a murky, dystopic scene of the city witnessed by a stranger. Huhta’s vision alludes to a mute perspective toward contemporary city life and the people’s role in it. Simultaneously, Huhta plays the role of a protagonist in a big city with new people and peculiar surroundings.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Andy Warhol: Polaroids 1958-1987
Artist Andy Warhol amassed a huge collection of Polaroid instant pictures from the late 1950s until his death in 1987, snapping pictures of friends, lovers, patrons, the famous, the obscure, the scenic, the fashionable and himself. Created in collaboration with the Andy Warhol Foundation, this book features many photos never seen before. They document Warhol’s era as Instagram captures our own, offering a unique record of the life, world and vision.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Bill Jacobson, Place
Bill Jacobson’s Place (Series) showcases the acclaimed photographer’s newest body of work, for which he won a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship. These photographs speak to our perceptual interactions with the physical world that surrounds us. They are based on the idea that we live in a world of infinite images, while denying boundaries between interior and exterior, known and unknown, color swatch and landscape.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Bruce Gilden, Hey Mister, Throw Me Some Beads!
This collection of photographs spans seven trips that Gilden took to Mardi Gras in New Orleans from 1974 to 1982. Gilden, known for his iconic New York City street photographs, captures the energy of the Carnival crowds on Bourbon Street with the same raw intensity and poignancy.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Bruce Ceschel, Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto
An economic and cultural revolution has shaken the photo-book world in the last five years: self-publishing. An army of photographers operating as publishers have had an instrumental role in today’s photo-book renaissance. This book offers a do-it-yourself manual and a survey of key examples of self-published success stories, as well as a self-publishing manifesto and list of resources.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Dima Gavrysh, Inshallah
Inshallah (“God willing” in Arabic) explores the Soviet and American occupations of Afghanistan, and draws on Gavrysh’s childhood fantasies that romanticized the military and intertwine with his past and present personal conflicts. Gavrysh, who is Ukrainian, has lived in two countries that have fought wars in Afghanistan. He says: “Mesmerized by the complexity of the Afghan chaos, I strive to better comprehend my personal relationship to these wars: two empires, two mentalities, same battlefield, 12 years apart.”

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Doug DuBois, My Last Day at Seventeen
DuBois’s  second monograph was photographed over the course of five years in the insular coastal neighborhood of Cobh, Ireland. The images in My Last Day at Seventeen exist in a delicate balance between documentary and fiction, capturing a world of not-quite-adults struggling publicly and privately through the last days of their childhood. This volume provides an incisive examination of the uncertainties of growing up in Ireland today, while highlighting the unique relationship sustained between artist and subject.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Eli Reed, Eli Reed: A Long Walk Home
With more than 250 images that span the range of his subjects and his evolution as a photographer, this is the first career retrospective of Eli Reed, one of America’s leading contemporary photojournalists and the first African-American member of Magnum Photos.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: George Steinmetz, New York Air: The View From Above
Steinmetz captures 21st-century New York City from up in the air, photographing the new Manhattan skyline, in addition to contemporary architecture, historic buildings and intriguing sites across the five boroughs. New landmarks make an appearance, such as the High Line and September 11 Memorial, as well as city traditions that include the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, the New York City marathon and the U.S. Open.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Gillian Laub, Southern Rites
Southern Rites is a 12-year visual study of a community’s struggle to confront longstanding issues of race and equality. After Laub’s 2009 photo essay about a Georgia high school’s racially segregated prom ignited national outrage, the community of Montgomery County integrated and elected its first African-American sheriff. But one year later, the murder of a young black man—who had been portrayed in Laub’s earlier series—reopened old wounds. Through portraits and first-hand testimony, Laub reveals the horror and humanity of these complex, intertwined narratives.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Hiroji Kubota, Hiroji Kubota Photographer
Hiroji Kubota Photographer is the first comprehensive survey of veteran Magnum photographer Hiroji Kubota’s work, spanning more than 50 years of his travels throughout Burma, China, North and South Korea and the U.S. Rooted in his experience in Japan at the end of World War II, Kubota’s work is characterized by a desire to find beauty and honor in human experience.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: James Mollison, Playground
In Playground, Mollison explores how we all learn to negotiate relationships through play. Through composite photographs from rich and poor schools in more than 13 countries, Mollison provides readers of all ages with access to issues of global diversity and inequality.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Jamey Stillings, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar
In The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar, Stillings presents a three-and-a-half-year aerial exploration of what has become the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System in the Mojave Desert of California.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Mark Cohen, Frame: A Retrospective
Frame is the first retrospective of street photographer Mark Cohen’s career. It presents more than 250 published and unpublished images, sequenced by Cohen himself, and includes work from England, Ireland, Italy, Mexico and Spain, as well as the United States. The book showcases both the black-and-white photography for which Cohen is best known and his occasional forays into color.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Mary Ellen Mark, Tiny: Streetwise Revisited
A follow-up to Mark’s acclaimed 1988 monograph Streetwise—which documented a group of homeless and troubled youth on the streets of Seattle—Tiny: Streetwise Revisited is an expanded iteration of the project, showcasing a 30-year body of work on Tiny, the 13-year-old prostitute who appeared in Streetwise. Texts and captions are drawn from conversations between Tiny and Mary Ellen Mark, as well as with Mark’s husband, filmmaker Martin Bell, who made the landmark film of the same name.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Matt Henry, Short Stories
Henry’s artistic and academic practices focus on the politics of the U.S. during the 1960s and 1970s. The works take the form of fictional narrative scenes staged across built sets and dressed locations in the U.S. and U.K., where Henry employs his own prop and costume styling, storyboarding and set design.

From PDN’s Photo Annual 2016: Maude Schuyler Clay, Mississippi History
Mississippi History spans 30 years of expressive, allegorical color portraits from the Mississippi Delta of Clay’s friends, family and other Mississippians.

From PDN’s Photo Annual: Newsha Tavakolian, Blank Pages of an Iranian Photo Album
Tavakolian, an Iranian photographer, mixes artistic creation and journalism in this book, taking inspiration from the traditional Iranian family photo album to deftly chronicle middle-class life by following Iranians from several generations with her camera.

From PDN’s Photo Annual: Peter Dench, Dench Does Dallas
Photojournalist Peter Dench’s take on Dallas, Texas, and the colorful characters he met in his travels. His eye reveals an American territory far removed from the fantasies of film and television, a contrasting metroplex of baseball caps and cowboy hats, horsepower and horses.

From PDN’s Photo Annual: Richard Learoyd, Day for Night
This deluxe monograph offers the most comprehensive collection of Learoyd’s color studio images to date. Made using a room-sized camera obscura, Learoyd’s photographs show his subjects in the adjacent room, separated by a lens. Creating entirely grainless subjects by exposing the paper without the use of film negatives, he recreates and exaggerates what the human eye perceives—not without a small acknowledgment to the paintings of the Dutch Masters.

From PDN’s Photo Annual: Thomas Holton, The Lams of Ludlow Street
The Lams of Ludlow Street was born from Holton’s desire to better understand his own Chinese heritage as an Asian-American living in New York City’s Chinatown. Holton began photographing the streets and the daily rituals of the neighborhood, but the project developed into a much more intimate exploration of a single family’s life spanning a decade.

Adam Golfer Connects Past and Present To Create A House Without A Roof
The photographer’s new book combines his own images with old family photos to explore the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to come to grips with his politics and background.

Charles Lindsay’s New Book, Carbon, Envisions Life Beyond Our World
Lindsay combined organic materials, and analogue and digital processes to create images that hint at life both within and beyond the limits of human knowledge.

Carl Johnson’s New Book Examines Alaska’s Bristol Bay
Lawyer-turned-nature photographer Carl Johnson takes an in-depth look at Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, where disparate groups of people have joined forces to preserve a threatened ecosystem.

Book Review: Ed Panar’s Animals That Saw Me Volume Two
Ed Panar’s seemingly simple chronicle of his encounters with all kinds of creatures carries subtle messages about how humans and animals coexist, and about his photographic practice.

Inge Morath, Style Icon
Inge Morath wasn’t really a fashion photographer, but a new book collects the glamorous images she made in the 1950s, depicting the hard work of creating style.

Paolo Ventura’s Whimsical Adventures
Using his family as actors, Paolo Ventura’s latest book tells nostalgic, magical stories using short runs of images that pull equally from film and fairy tales.

The Making of Bruce Davidson
A new book presents the celebrated Magnum photographer’s images, contact sheets and notes along with the stories behind his images and his life.

1%: Privilege in a Time of Global Inequality
This collection features work by dozens of photographers who have examined the privileges and trappings of wealth, and the pursuit of money. Selected by Myles Little, a photo editor at TIME magazine, the collection includes from around the world by Paolo Woods, Mikhail Subotzky, Nina Berman and many more.

Daniella Zalcman on Documenting An Off-The-Grid Eco-Village
Zalcman’s personal project looks at how disparate people in England came together to form an idealistic, well-functioning community. Many of the photos have been gathered in a new book, Diggers.


Facebook Comments