This is A little run down of the photography books I’ve acquired, most of which I got by attending photographer’s talks and book launches which means I get to pick up rare photography books and don’t have to pay postage. Some of the books are readily available on amazon while others will be a little harder to get hold of. I have included links to where you can purchase the books but my little tip go for the none Amazon books as they are the rarer and more likely to sellout in the short term.
If this leaves you hungry for more check out my other photo book recommendations in these blog posts: Three recently acquired photographic publications by Jim Mortram, MiniClick and Tom Groves and Three recently acquired photo books by Maciej Dakowicz, Martin Parr and Sam Hiscox
The Landscape of Murder by Antonio Zazueta Olmos
On hearing the idea for this project I thought it was brilliant, I was fortunate enough to meet Antonio in a pub in London after a Photo Forum talk. For two years he photographed the site of every murder with in the M25 (the London orbital road). The result is a visual record of murder in the UK’s capital. The photos are taken a few days after the murders have taken place when the police have left the scene, this means some of the images are just ordinary street scenes with nothing untoward while others depict grieving relatives and friends. To set him self apart from the paparazzi, Antonio always shot on a tripod and always asked for the permission of relatives to photograph the spot if they were nearby.
The Landscape of Murder on Amazon UK to Amazon US
The Non-Conformists by Martin Parr & Susie Parr
Most people know Martin Parr’s work from his use of high saturation film from the 80s. The work in the Non-Conformists are all black and white photos that document the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge in the 70s. The photos in the book are accompanied by Susie Parr’s writing about the people and life in Hebden Bridge. Non-Conformists is a comprehensive record of a way of life that is now changed beyond all recognition. When the material for the book was put together Hebden Bridge was a working mill town, now its main industry is tourism. Photographs in the book are currently on show at the Media Space at the Science Museum in London along with Tony Ray-Jones work until March 14th, I wrote about that exhibition in this blog post, it’s well worth a trip to London.
Find The Non-Conformists on Amazon UK to Amazon US
Volume 1 of Gauapa-mente by Ewen Spencer
Gauapa-mente contains photos from Ewen’s mid Summer trip to Naples, where he photographed the city and its beaches to document the Italian Youth culture. This zine is limited to an edition of 300 and there are still copies for sale. If you are into youth culture and fashion this is definitely for you, a steal for £5. Also by Ewen Spencer and on my Christmas list is his new book: UKG which documents the early days of the UK garage scene which is also available in limited edition gold.
Volume 1 of Gauapa-mente on Ewen Spencer’s website
You can also get hold of his new book UKG on his site here
If you feeling particularly gangster you could get the limited edition gold version of UKG
Living With Epilepsy by J A Mortram
Living With Epilepsy is a intermit 24 month portrait of Simon who lives with epilepsy, he suffers from generalized seizures which means he will just drop without warning at any time. His “drop attacks” quite often result in head injuries. This is a small part of Jim’s wider project “Small Town Inertia”. This publication is über rare and sold out its limited print run of 150 in a few hours. His next title “Diary entries” with Cafe Royal books goes on sale on the 19th of December, set your Alarms early if you want to get in on the action of this great documentary photographer’s work.
Living With Epilepsy sold out in under day
Jim’s next book from the Small Town Inertia ‘Diary entries’ will go on sale on the 19th December from Cafe Royal Books
After the Mines by Jason Larkin
I acquired a copy of this newspaper after Jason’s MiniClick talk, I don’t believe it’s available for purchase online. The newspaper was originally sold in South African galleries and distributed for free in certain communities in Johannesburg. It’s a slimmed down version of his book ‘Tales from the City of Gold’. The newspaper and the book documents the vast mine waste dumps that dominate the South African’s capitals landscape. Mine dumps are huge toxic man made hills sometimes containing billions of tons of material. Even though they are an environmental hazard people live on and around them. The book / newspaper explores the social and environmental impact of Johannesburg’s mining past.
Find Tales from the City of Gold on Amazon UK to Amazon US
Pierdom by Simon Roberts
Simon Roberts traveled the length and breadth of the UK with a 4 x 5″ plate camera documenting the UKs piers. This is a beautiful large format photo book that has photographs of every Pier in the UK.
Find Pierdom on Amazon UK to Amazon US
Beautiful Britain: Photographs from the 1970s to the Present by Iain McKell
Iain McKell has been documenting every aspect of British life from Gypsies to Punks and super models since the 1970s. This book is a great over view of his work, I purchased this after a photo forum talk where he spoke about his ‘The New Gypsies’ book which is out of print and is listed on amazon UK for between £280 for a used copy and £3750 for a new copy. It’s listed on the US amazon for a mere $30? Hopefully there will be a reprint coming soon.
Beautiful Britain on Amazon UK to Amazon US
New Gipsys on Amazon UK to Amazon US
This is the Day: The March on Washington by Leonard Freed
‘This is the Day’ was released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the ‘March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom’ where Martin Luther King, Jr gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. Contained within the book are collection photos that range from wide images that show the scale of the event to intimate portraits of individuals who attended the march.
Find This is the Day on Amazon UK to Amazon US
Afghanistan 2012 by Giles Duley
Limited to just 1500 copies Afghanistan documents the civilian victims of the war in Afghanistan. Giles Duley himself was a victim of an IED attack in 2011 where he lost both legs and one arm. In 2012 he returned to Afghanistan to document what goes on in the hospitals and medical centres that deal with civilian victims. It goes without saying that it’s a really hard hitting portrayal of the people who are affected the war on terror, but definitely worthy of any photo book collection.
Afghanistan 2012 is available on Giles’ website
Pigs’ Disco by Stuart Griffiths
I first became aware of Stuart’s work after I saw his Belfast images in the Brighton Photo fringe in 2010. Stuart was a regimental photographer in the Paratroopers in the 80s in Northern Ireland. The book is a mix of images from patrols and the strange life of a soldier on base. The pigs disco refers to the Sunday night discos that where held on base where local girls where invited on base to socialize with the Paras. This is a hybrid photo / written account which goes into crazy detail of life of a squaddie in Northern Island.
Pigs’ Disco on Amazon UK to Amazon US
If that has left you hungry fore more you can check my last to photo books posts here and here. MiniClick are also doing a photo book advent calendar that is highlighting a different photo book each day in the run up to Christmas.
This is the least pretentious ‘Best of’ list I’ve seen this year – 3 or 4 of these I have too so will certainly check out your other recommendations…
Least pretentious? At least that means I am still a little pretentious. I used to live in Shoreditch you know 😉
Thanks so much for the mention Kev, honoured mate. X
No problem. What time do the new go on sale Monday? Need to set my Alarm!
7:30am, Kev!. Cheers!.
Some great book titles here many of which I had never heard of. Those Cafe Royal books are a beautiful thing. I recently purchased a couple of them one of which is the “Brittania Coconut Dancers” which is right up my alley. Coming from England I appreciate the quirky and spent 3 months of last summer back in England photography the bizarre?
I hope to put them in a book one day too. (We all have dreams)
Two of my favourite books are England Observed by John Gay and retrospective by Jeff Carter a Australian photographer sadly now passed away. He went around photographing Outback and rural Australia in the 1960s. He had work published in National Geographic too.
This is probably old news to you but the UK Black and White photography magazine ran an article for about 3 years? each month they would feature a certain book and eventually built up into a whole library of mostly documentary works.
Thanks for a great informative site. I am in the process of updating mine and have added some Lawn Bowl pictures of all things!
I did not know about the Black and White photography mag. I am in the lucky position that I get to go to about at least 60 photography talks a year in Brighton and London where I find out about all these book first hand. I will have to check out John Gay’s and Jeff Carter’s work thanks.