Summer Reading Suggestions for Photography Buffs

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June 1, 2018 at 11:52 am  •  Posted in Book Reviews, In the Magazine, Inspiration by  •  0 Comments

The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered / photographs by Paul Zizka

The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered
photographs by Paul Zizka
forward by Dave Brosha
Rocky Mountain Books, $50, 240 pages, hard cover

Paul Zizka’s new book, The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered, is full of beautiful images of the Canadian Rockies—but, of course, this is no surprise! Over the last few years, this prolific mountain and adventure photographer has risen to prominence in the field, in no small part because of his willingness to go the extra mile to get the best shot possible. This extreme dedication to go without sleep or venture far off the beaten path means Zizka brings back images that stand out. If you’re a fan of majestic landscapes and night photography, you won’t want to miss Zizka’s The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered.

I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York / photographs by Todd Webb

I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York
photographs by Todd Webb
essays by Sean Corcoran and Daniel Okrent
edited by Betsy Evans Hunt
Thames & Hudson, $60, 176 pages, hard cover

Opening I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York was like stepping into a wardrobe that magically led to post-war New York City. Webb moved to NYC at age of 40 to pursue his photography career after having served as a Navy photographer in the South Pacific during the Second World War. Year in and year out, Webb wandered the city with his camera and tripod, perceptively capturing the everyday life of regular New Yorkers. His penchant for signs, lettering, storefronts and the elevated train on Third Avenue drew me right in, and I found myself captivated by his work, his use of shadow and light, his sense of humour, his respect for his subjects, and his way of seeing the world. I See a City: Todd Webb’s New York is an always-accessible magical portal to Todd Webb’s artistry that would make an excellent addition to any photo-book collection.

Front Towards Enemy by Louie Palu

Front Towards Enemy
by Louie Palu
Yoffy Press, $62, 60 pages, cardboard slipcase

How do we choose to see the world? Who controls what we see and don’t see? Louie Palu’s Front Toward Enemy is a deconstructed photo book that asks us to consider how we receive news and who controls the message. After much reflection on what happens to his images after he makes him, Palu decided to create this unique collection. Including 60 photographs that he took in Afghanistan from 2006 to 2010, the “kit” is comprised of an accordion-fold image set, soldier portrait cards, a newsprint publication and a staple-bound zine. Why such an atypical approach? Palu wants to invite the viewer to actively participate and engage with these images of war. By circumventing the traditional news platforms and giving the content directly to the viewer, the viewer is able to take on the role of editor and curator. There are even instructions on how to create your own pop-up exhibition!

Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography by Susan Bright

Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography
by Susan Bright
Aperture, $77, 304 pages, hard cover

Starting in the 1840s and proceeding chronologically through the decades up until our current “foodie” and “Instagramified” times, Feast for the Eyes: The Story of Food in Photography is a comprehensive history of food photography. Whether food photos were originally created as art or cookbook imagery (or both), author Susan Bright proposes that “photographs about food are rarely just about food.” Featuring work by Edward Weston, Stephen Shore, Susan Meiselas, Cindy Sherman, Martin Parr, Laura Letinsky, Heidi Swanson and many other prominent photographers, the images in this beautiful tome reveal a lot about our culture, values, aspirations, identity, humour and more. If you enjoy food photography and want to learn more about its evolution, Feast for the Eyes will certainly give you something to chew on.

Shooting From The Hip by Scott Strazzante

Shooting From The Hip
by Scott Strazzante
Press Syndication Group
$49.95, 144 pages, hard cover

In January 2012, Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Scott Strazzante put down his his pro gear and hit the sidewalks with an iPhone and the Hipstamatic app. Going out as an incognito photographer allowed him to capture people as they are when they’re unaware of being observed. His images and way of seeing the world completely won me over, and I’ve just added Scott Strazzante to my list of favourite photographers. Moody, funny, thoughtful, touching—Shooting From the Hip is an absolute pleasure to peruse. Unfortunately, his images are addictive, so be forewarned that you might end up needing more. Good thing he’s on Instagram!

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