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It is a meeting place, where I wish to share my reading experience with you, no matter whether you are a professional photographer or just a serious photography hobbist.

It Begins Here

In the book review section, you can also click on the book cover image, it will bring you to, where you can get addtional information and other's feedback about the book.

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Magnum Photographers

Books on Polaroid Special Recommendations

RedBull illume
by RedBull
ISBN 3854394349

Honestly speaking, I have certain preconcrption before reading this book. It is very easy to associate it to the term 'action photograhy', which is kind of ordinary action photography. I am pleased to see this book challenging the staus quo. The full power of action and adventure photography is completely explored.

The combination of xxx and the x-ray film i sfull of humour (page xx). The snow boarding (page xx)


Now Lomography is preparing the city guide for Hong Kong. Probably it can gradually build up a world city collection.

Lomography City Guide Vienna
by Lomography
ISBN 3854394349

It is the first of its kind, giuide book from Lomography, with shooters' mind in the design. Tremendous amount of lively images, as visual document about the city, Vienna. Plus a lot of information about 'spots of interest', shops, restuarants, cafe, cultural places, museums, maps, railway network, etc.

Every spot in the book comes with a specific link to Lomography website, so that you can follow and access the original posted article from Lomography members, post comment, etc. An integration of printed publication and online experience in internet era.

An alternative choice, other than very formal tourist guide book.

Now Lomography is preparing the city guide for Hong Kong. Probably it can gradually build up a world city collection.

Love From Waist Level
by Lomography
ISBN 9783902217172

The square shape hardcover book - Love From Waist Level, is a homage to the legendary TLR made in Soviet in the past.

Starting from a brief history of photographic equipment manufacturer, name changed from GMOZ to LOMO, birth of TLR 'Komsomolets' (name of Soviet Union's Communist Youth Organization) and then 'Lubitel' (means 'amateur' in Russian), featuring an interview with the giant Soviet camera collector, Alain Berry. All these added up to a new dimension in understanding Lubitel, and Soviet cameras. Equally important, there are hundreds of images of all kinds, captured by Lubitle, showing us how lively this camera can be.

With this book, and release of retro version 'Lubitel+', which is a long life and living camera even now, it reminds us the new world of analogue photography during this rapid changing digital era.

Touchless Automatic Wonder
by Lewis Koch
ASIN/ISBN 0981562043

I feel a bit frustrated in writing a review for the book, Touchless Automatic Wonder - Found Text Photographs From The Real World, by Lewis Koch. It is because text media is believed to be one of the most 'accurate' media in humankind. Say, for a piece of music or a movie, as the last resort, we will go back to read a review that is written as text, hoping to find the ultimate answer out of that media. On text, Lewis succeeded in the process to deconstruct, and then reconstruct, and rediscover new value and meaning via images, and simply let it speak for itself. Now I am doing the opposite thing.

Because of its 'accurate' nature, we are sometimes still treating text media like myth. To some extent, we limit our sense. Follow the flow, you will feel enjoyable and fruitful in reading the images thoughout the book.

One evening, holding the book on hand, and I puzzled. I saw the title, and I saw the cover photo, that is a huge finger sign hanging, the ground covered with snow, and some shops or houses in the background. My heart was beating, and I smiled because I felt like I was peeking into the memory of Lewis. A very inspiring reading experience. An amazing book.

Spring Visits
by Don Unrau
ASIN/ISBN 9780979649004

Spring Visits, the title of this book follows the first return visit to the same country in 1992, by the photographer, Don Unrau, after his prior duty as a soldier during Vietnam War completed.

Capture under the camera, they are images of simple daily life, lively, nothing dramatic, emotion is diluted, but absorbed, although there are still traces and remnants from the war.

I am especially attracted on the images of the book cover and the back. The Bomb crater, looks like a scar on the land of the country, nourished with water, as seen through the window from a moving train. Travelling inside the train, the local passenger in the front, his eyes showing the confidence, liveliness, and with a glimpse into the future. No doubt, time is moving forward.

Lomo LC-A Book
by Lomography
ISBN 9783902217165

'A picture is worth a thousand words.' It is not an easy argument in applying such measurement on this publication from Lomography - Lomo LC-A Book. Loaded with tons of lomo-wall alike images, I am not surprised if the number of images inside this book should exceed thousand. But it is not the important point, what makes this publication different from past Lomography's publication - Don't Think, Just Shoot.

I can see the ambition of Lomography.

Quite intensive content is spent to uncover the history of how Lomo LC-A camera was designed and manufactured, and the long and winding history of Lomo Plc, how evolving into what it is nowadays. It traces back to history, originated from as early as days in 1900. It witnessed the steps of change of world history and Soviet Union to Russia as well. War and post war period, communism, change of politics, change of technology, moving the manufacturing to China, and a longer list.

Mikhail Grigorievich Kholomyansky, the father of Lomo LC-A, the engineer constructed the camera with his team in one and a half year. An interview of Aleksandr Mikhailovovich Aronov, the general director of Lomo Plc, have been with the company for more than 30 years, helps us to see the past, present and future of this company. Together with many other names appearing inside the book, I believe they could never imagine such a basic camera made in the past can last long, and into 21st century and still keep evolving.

Besides, there is a chapter of 'A Very Short History of Analogue Compact Camera', you will see many familiar names, like Kodak Brownie, Kodak Retina, Leica M3, Olympus Pen, Nikon F series, Polaroid, Rollei 35, etc.

I do not treat this as merely a camera book with collection of photo sample gallery. There is heavy content of many long articles, that will be a valuable reference for understanding more about this magic camera, and history of analogue camera.

How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb
by Peter Kuran
ASIN/ISBN 1889054119

I do not have a chance to have a conversation with the designer of the book cover. However, I am quite sure majority of people will be attracted by the book cover, even though which does not show up any impacting photo image. Atomic bomb, it is a none in a lifetime (not once in a lifetime) subject a photographer can imagine. The content and images were secret and highly confidential, until newly disclassfied, thus making publication of this book possible.

A very different expectation from that of reading an ordinary how-to-guide, because it is not supposed to tell you how to shot, and then you can follow, and go out to shot this right away. In this context, I will see this as documentary of a series of shooting projects of scientific and miltary research of atomic bombs throughout 40's-60's by means of images and text. It covers a lot of technical details telling you the cameras, film, special setting, in order to overcome the difficulties to complete the shooting.

Most images are in black/white, and some are in colour. It is very shallow if I comment that many images are amazing (It is never the original consideration in photographing for such research purpose). But actually many are so visually impacting. It is still a paradox between the how-to and not-how-to, as indicated in the introduction chapter - 'This book is based upon the experience of those Cinematographers who have learned the secrets of good atomic bomb photography. Hopefully there will be no future need to make actual use of the information collected in this book.'

There are endless dialogues among different points of history and our reality. In closing, I recall another book in my bookshelf, covering Atomic Bomb in Japan in WWII - Days to Remember, an account of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, "On the Miyuki bridge, 2.2 kilometers southest from the hypocenter. A little after 11am on August 6, some three hours after the bomb exploded over Hiroshima. Black smoke and raging flames shoot up from the heart of the city. Escaping the raging flames, the people crowed about, their seared skin hanging in strips. A police-man treats burns with oil-soaked rags. Mr Matsushige Yoshito, who took the picture said, "I could scarecely focus my camera, as my tears kept getting on the finder"

Post Production - Black & White
by Steve Macleod
ASIN/ISBN 2940373051

This book gives a nice covering of post-production in black and white photography. It presents the idea of each concept behind emerging from film photography and traditional darkroom technique, and then way to achieve the same result in digital photography. It starts from different types of cameras, film & processing, digital file formats, setup of traditional & digital darkroom, then various kinds of post-production techniques, and supplemented by web presentation and printed profolio. Many sample images are nice, and quotes from masters are inspiring.

Not sure my guess is right, but if traditional photography is diminishing, it maybe not easy to find one book with roots from traditional photography. It is essential to know from historical angle, and I find this book interesting, because it is not only just like a 'PhotoShop Know How Guidebook'.

Apart from the post-production techniques, it is refreshing in reading the book, which emphasizes a few times about a simple fact, but very often people may forget, i.e. Don't shot things carelessly because you think you can fine tune in PhotoShop afterwards.

On Being A Photographer : A Practical Guide
by David Hurn & Bill Jay
ASIN/ISBN 1888803061

"Then again, it is a myth that the photographer is always shooting pictures. I would guess that three-quarters of my time is spent on research, reading and thinking about the project before shooting and analyzing the contacts after shooting." - David Hurn

Don't be fooled by the name of the book. The 'practical guide' here does not focus on camera equipments, and techniques in dealing with camera equipments.

Instead, large amount of discussion is spent on clarifying the mindset, ideas and concepts of a photographer. How these can build up and facilitate a photographer to make the work done. It is not a theory, but very practical, as they are spoken out by David Hurn, one of the most renowned world class photographers from Magnum.

A very special and inspiring book, very different from mainstream of photography guide books commonly found in market. Highly recommended for photographers wishing to breakthrough, and pursue another level in photography.

"A photographer might forget his camera and live to tell the tale. But no photographer who survives has ever forgotten the lessons in this book. It is not just essential reading, it's compulsory. - Daniel Meadows, Head of Photojournalism, Center for Journalism Studies, University of Wales

"A very useful book. It discusses issues which will benefit all photographers irrespective of type, age or experience - and it does so in a clear and interesting manner. I recommend it." - Van Deren Coke, past Director, The international Museum of Photography, and author of 'The Painter and The Photographer"

"I read On Being a Photographer in one sitting. This is an invaluable book for its historical and aesthetic references as well as David's words, which go to the heart of every committed photographer - from the heart of a great photographer. It is inspiring." - Frank Hoy, Associate Professor, Visual Journalism, The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Telecommunication, Arizona State University

by 26 Toy Camera Photographers

A collaborative group of 26 photographers coming from different places of the world who never meet, but completed the joint publication project by working as an online community via It is a proof of using cheap plastic cameras to create great images. Once again, we can re-visit the basics of photography, that is the passion about images, rather than expensive equipment, accuracy and precision. It is like an homage to the invention of photography ignited more than 100 years ago. It still reminds us how a simply black box is capable of capturing images.

While some other people treat them as crappy images, they can be dreamy, poetic, and totally fantastic.

Photo from Tony appearing in the book

The following is an interview with Tony Lim, who is one of photographers contributing to the book. (E - | T - Tony)

E : When did you start to work on toy cameras ? What are the reasons that drive you to begin and continue to work on toy cameras ?

T : May 2003 when I discovered Holga and some Holga photos. There is no reason to care about equipment since then. Concentrate on idea, composition and use a totally different approach on photography.

E : Is photography part of your daily job ?

T : Yes, commercially.

E : How do you feel it different from using ordinary cameras ? What are the goods and bads in using toy cameras ? Please share with us on your perosnal experience in exploring with toy cameras.

T : Basically no different. They employ the same elements and components. The most wonderful thing is that you need not to care about the basic techniques, films and focal length when you are using the toy camera. Flow with feel and press the shutter. That's it. You might be disappointed by the toys somehow. On the other hand, you enjoy the happening.

There is no definite answer on personal experineces when you are playing around with toys. Off-finder capturing, intentional out focusing, tape your camera heavily if you don't like the light leaks, damage the camera back if you need the beautiful light leaks. As said, flow with your feel. You are living in a toy wonderland.

E : How did the idea of this publishing project come out ? What are the challenges, enjoyment, and most unforgettable experience in doing it ?

T : There are plenty of good toy photos around, many photographers tend to publish there own work. They can only enjoy their own idea and process. To publish a book with 26 elites that they have never been met before, even the book was come out, most of us still haven't met once. We discuss decisions over internet forum; complete the book design online; commit and enjoy through the networks. Share with people is the most unforgettable thing when you feel all of us are paddling towards our wonderland.

E : Are toy cameras popular in your country / city ? Can you think of any reason behind ?

T : Not popular even in other countries or cities. The majority is still the traditional cameras. Even the so called film cameras are vanishing, living under the shadow of the digital monsters. I think one of the reasons is that people are not willing to show these crappies in front of friends. 'Are you a serious photographer?'

E : What is your future plan in working on toy cameras ?

T : Explore more possiblities on photography. For me, toy is toy, the intend of the production is for toy purpose, don't tell me Leica is my toy. that is meaningless. So, if you use a toy, you should handle it like a kid. Or absolute purity. There is no right or wrong, use your imagination. My future plan is to trash my previous techniques and enjoy the toy.

Then Palestine
by Larry Towell
ASIN/ISBN 0893818348

Documentary series from Larry Towell, the winner of the 1994 World Press Photo of Year Award. It is a rich image collection from his seven trips to Gaza, the West Bank, and East Jerusalem from 1993-1997.

Through the silent images, I definitely experienced the tension of Palestinian living in the area. Conflicit of lifes maybe sometimes faded, like disorder, violence, and even death are treated as the norm, as normal as normal daily life. Very strong visual documentary.

Related Reading - Israel - A Photobiography, by Micha Bar-Am

Vic Eating Cabbage
by Jim Riegel
ASIN/ISBN 0954474600

Jim approaches nude models with personality, shooting sometimes with props and sometimes within a daily life environment. The models are not that perfect nor classy, but some even over-weighted. Especially, images in Tableaux and Couples sections, are embedded with quite complex visual statements.

His images provide an insight of re-visiting our normal perception in looking at nude portraits, as well as our own bodies. That is not like another fantasy of studio nude portraits.

Men At Sea
by Jean Gaumy
ASIN/ISBN 0810911981

Jean Gaumy mentioned in the introduction, 'It'll come on its own. I don't know how. I want to go out to sea and the desire contains this seed. It can't be about reporting. It's about something else. I don't really know what. I'll have to describe. Simply describe. Avoid deception, the heroic vein. Stick with just man.'

It is a series of journey spreading across 1984 to 1998, in pursing for photographer's self-fulfillment. Doing things purely for oneself is great, and we can see Jean's total enthusiam into the process. Travelling with ordinary fishmen, everything is like adventures on those traditional trawlers. The process can be dangerous and fruitful. Excellent capture of environment in low light condition using high speed film, where you can see the magic of night and sea. It also includes excerpt from Jean's diary, hand-drawing, and page-clippings. Very rich media combining with visual images. We can taste some subtle changes of photographer's body and mind, which is behind the scene.

A raw and original presentation of images presents a powerful record of struggle between human and nature.

Forget Titanic. Jean Gaumy's are some moving images, from heart.

Flower Portraits
by Joyce Tenneson
ASIN/ISBN 0821228536

Not only the beauty, but the dignity of flower demonstrated through its life cycle has been recorded by Joyce Tenneson. More than hundred pages of floral images presented in sepia tone. There is also a section at the end of the book, giving more background on the species of each flower appearing in the book.

The overall outcome of this image collection is something between documentary and portrait of flowers, which are treated by Joyce with respect and personal touch.

Perhaps Joyce proves that the beauty of life becomes completed, in looking into the processing of growing up, and into death at the end.

Cuba On The Verge
Edited by Terry McCoy
ASIN/ISBN 0821228021

This is a collection of works from leading Cuban and American writers and photographers. Dividing into sections of Afro-Cuban identity, spirituality, sexuality, ruins to restoration, exile, etc, it provides glimpse of the country and the lifes of the people. In particular, I admire the black and white images of the living places. It is about the space and the ingredient of people's everyday lifes.

A montage of images and text, a continuous pursuing the cultural identity of the changing country.

In The Balkans
by Nikos Economopoulos
ASIN/ISBN 0810934698

It is Nikos Economopoulos's drama, an excellent b/w scene performed by people from Balkan Peninsula, about their daily life, street, religion, at work, strike, etc.

Within the Balkan Peninsula, the borderline between countries is so blurred, where the mindset of people may be still not separable from their history. We can see uncountable traces of their history, where their struggle continues today.

In the beginning, I was attracted by the cover image, like a monster with children. The strong visuals are so dramatic, across the contenients of countries with no border.

The North American Indian
by Edward S. Curtis
ASIN/ISBN 382288183X

Edward Sheriff Curtis (1868-1952) spent more than 30 years of his lifetime, to document the last living traditions, legends and myths of North American Indian tribes in words and images. His works evolved and became a massive 20-volume encyclopedia entitled 'The North American Indian', where 500 numbered sets were printed. This book contains the best images from the original complete collection. The portraits of Indian and the past moment of their daily life were captured with their character and dignity.

It is a marvelous image collection of history. It represents the love of the dying population, and records the broken dream of native Indian.

India Through The Lens : Photography 1840-1911
by Vidya Dehejia
ASIN/ISBN 379132408X

A visual reference of museum quality for researchers, or just people interested in this country.

This book accompanies an exhibition of photography collection of India for the period 1840-1911. These images are produced more than hundred years ago, during the early ages after photography was invented. Indian and foreigner found photography as magic, when using their camera to capture the surrounding environment to image. It covers powerful images about landscapes, people, architecture, etc from India.

by Walker Evans
ASIN/ISBN 0892363762

Another beautiful collection from Walker Evans, showing his greatest photos of billboards, movie posters, newspaper headlines, theater marquees, graffiti, street signs, hand-painted shop frotns, covering 1920-1975. You will discover variety of ways to interpret the different layers of meanings from his photos with striking impression. It provides an excellent documentary about American culture. Walker Evans also collected and exhibited signs, sometimes next to his photographs, which brought interesting dialogue among his works.

From letters to graphics, from graphics to signs, sometimes people is becoming helpless under the mass media. Highly recommended for graphics / black and white fans.

by Hiromix
ASIN/ISBN 3882435755

This book should become a snapshot classics, which may explain how and why the terminology 'Lomography' is invented, and why Japanese high school girls are so indulged in using point & shot cameras to capture their daily life. The images of Hiromix's self-portrait and her friends are so unpretented. Shoting everyday subject and moving images of cityscape in a casual, and sometimes poetic way. Your experience is like browsing a photo diary of a brave and honest Japanese girl. You should be inspired to see how young people experience and see everyday life and subject around them. At least, we can appreciate photography, apart from puting them into a museum.

Yosemite And The High Sierra
by Ansel Adams
ASIN/ISBN 0821221345

Ansel Adams devoted his life by working as a landscape photographer in America's National Park. It is a photography collection from his seven published volumes of fasinating landscapes on Yosemite and the high sierra region. They are best examples to demonstrate his famous 'Zone System', to determine the correct exposure and development timesfor achieving an optimal gradation of grey values. It is not only a precise capture of natural environment, but almost bringing landscape images into spiritual level, which is the icon of the region. It is a record of his passion about wild America.

Diane Arbus
by Diane Arbus
ASIN/ISBN 0893816949

As Diane Aubus said, 'Nothing is ever the same as they said it was. It's what I've never seen before that recognize.' She liked to visit unknown places, taking photos for unknown people (transvestite, nudist campers, Jewish giant, twins, etc). Reading through this collection of portraits, it would be a discovery-like journeys. Her braveness to approach the subjects. and into their places, and then into their souls. Those people are sometimes not 'beautiful', but you can see the inner world of those people under their faces. The untitled series at the end of book taken with some retarded people, I found that is certainly striking. Finally she committed suicide in 1971, just like leaving an unresolved story ending in her works.

If you are into B/W photos, it is a must buy.

Israel - A Photobiography
by Micha Bar-Am
ASIN/ISBN 068484513X

Micha Bar-Am is an Israel photographer. From the notes written by Micha, we can see his enthusiasm, curiosity and effort when he started photographing in his early stage. You can also see how his country has changed and how his life has changed too, as indicated in his images. And most importantly, change is going go. There is always full of conflicts in his images and in this country, Israel. Don't read this book as a pure 'photography book'. You may be experiencing as a witness of the history of Israel and the Jewish community. To have better understanding of this country, her culture and her people, it gives good visual material.

us and them
by Helmut Newton & Alice Springs
ASIN/ISBN 3908247101

It is a portrait collection of Helmut Newton & Alice Spring, who had lived together for fifty years. It is quite attractive by looking at the content page :

Helmut Newton by Alice Springs
Alice Springs Self-Portraits
Alice Springs by Helmut Newton
Helmut Newton Self-Portraits
Helmut Newton Alice Springs Them

Under these combinations, you can see how they treat each other through the camera. Finally, how each photograhers approach the same subjects in their works. How is the difference and the similarity ?

Going through these spontaneous and studio shots, you can see the fashion and interior setting are typical 60' & 70'.

Other Pictures
by Thomas Walther
ASIN/ISBN 0944092829

The photographs are part of the Thomas Walther collection, which is assembled after endless search in flea markets, junk stores, etc. It is the accompanying catalogue of the exhibition with the same name, which has been taken place in different places around the world. I got this copy when visiting the exhibition in Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.

These found photos dated from 1910 and 1960, which were taken by anonymous individuals. Images are personal, intimate, and full of humour. Out of its context, it provides a means of collective memory of our past. Perfect match if you like second-handed stuff, junks, etc.

Dorchester Days
by Eugene Richards
ASIN/ISBN 0714840017

It is a documentary image collection about the hometown of Eugene Richards. A visual story about his family, neighbour, childhood, home, streets, etc. Hand-written passages, and images taken from subjective angle of the photographer's eye give raw, direct and touching experience in browsing through the book.

A dailogue between the place in memory and the place as at now appeared repeatedly, which reminds us the pass away of time.

The original edition is a self-published book, financed by money borrowed from his friends. Such indenpendent production is a typical example of the photographer's intention to speak for the place and the people.

A powerful photo documentary.

One Man's Eye
by Alan Siegel
ASIN/ISBN 0810967197

Instead of seeing a photographer's work, it presents the B/W plus a few colour photographs collected by the world known graphic designer, Alan Siegel (to know more about his graphic design, see Sagmeister - Make You Look). He tells the story behind his profession, and how photography evolves from hobby, to professional photography, and to collection. At the end, the importance of the images is linking to him personally and impacting him.

An interesting section is about circus, where the cover picture is remarkably full of mystery. The book is in extra-large size, which allows photos to be printed in fine resolution and size, somehow like a framed picture.

The Lost Work
by Walker Evans
ASIN/ISBN 1892041294

'The Lost Work' refers to Walker Evans's own private collection of his B/W images - 'the prints that he chose to keep in his own print boxes for posterity'. He was probably the greatest documentary artist America has ever known. It presents the faces and lives of Americans in the late 1930s and then to the mid 1970s.

From the introduction, we can see how a photographer had struggled for his lifetime for acquiring support, and eventually his works could 'enter' museum or collectors' hand during the end of his life. Behind the images, you may have a deeper insight of this photographer. From his life, it seems very contradictory between his character and his images.

The printing of this book is excellent.

by Jaroslav Poncar
ASIN/ISBN 3823854828

Jaroslav Poncar is the first European crossing Tibet completely from the East to the West. Inside this book with such extra large size, he captures the landscape of Tibet in B/W and colour in panoramic format. Something special is that the equipment used by the photographer is a Russian FT-2 panorama camera. Although this model is a little bit old (dating back to 1958-1965), you will be surprised by the sharpness and quality of the images.

Without the panoramic format, the natural landscape of Tibet cannot become more real and vivid, and create such visual impact. I am deeply impressed by the texture of the mountains, the clouds, the land, the water, etc.

Having finished my trip to Tibet in Sep2001, I find this book special. It will be a special memorial item if you have been to Tibet.

by Luc Delahaye
ASIN/ISBN 0714839973

This is a collection of documentary photographs of Russia, which was taken by Magnum photographer Luc Delahaye, during 1998-1999. The warm and contrast colour make you feel like unreal on the scenario. It provides you with an insight into the life and living environment of ordinary people in the places. Some photos somehow look like a paintings. It is not a 'great' (in size) photographic book, but the 'diary' like size makes you get closer and have intimate touch with the subject and photographer's eye.

by Joel-Peter Witkin
ASIN/ISBN 1881616207

A comprehensive collection of Joel-Peter Witkin's work, which belongs to the dark side of human. The careful composition of human body, objects and background, sometimes with cross-reference to classical paintings, invites a surreal, poetic, and miserable feeling.

If you only think that his photos are terrible, you need more time and more patience to read his images, through understanding

Extract from what Witkin said - 'When people see my work, there is no 'grey area' of response. What they experience is either love or hate. People who hate what I make hate me, too. They must think I am a demon or some kind of evil sorcerer. Those who understand what I do appreciate the determination , love, and courage it takes to find wonder and beauty in people who are considered by society to be damaged, unclean, dis-functional, or wretched. My art is the way I perceive and define life. It is sacred work, since what I make are my prayers. These work are the measure of my character, the transfiguration of love and desire, and, finally, the quality of my soul. With this work, I am judged by myself, by my contemporaries, and finally, by God. My life and work are inseparable. It is all I have. It is all I need.'

American Edge
by Steve Schapiro
ASIN/ISBN 1892041316

Visual images from Steve Schapiro, documenting the 60's of America. You can find how the photographer captured the places, the people during the turbulent decade, and how the people projected out from the inner side of the faces. Contrasting and contradicting images provides the space for you to look deeper into the surface of the images.

Sleeping With Ghosts
by Don McCullin
ASIN/ISBN 0893816590

This outstanding war photographer, as illustrated in this book, you can find his shooting subjects switching from 'mem fighting in the front' to 'women & children suffering behind'. This does not talk about art, but more than art.

It is covering a number of warfares around the globe in recent history, like, Cyprus, Israel, Congo, Biafra, Vietnam, Pakistan, Cambodia, Iraq, etc.

Some pictures should not be missed :

Page 74 - Souvenir hunters (I refer to the dead Vietnamese soldier with his belongings) / Page 42 - Turkish gunman, Limassol / Page 161 - Falange gunman serenading the corpse of a young Palestinian girl / Page 172 - Sailboat on the Gandak river near Patna

Heart Of Spain
by Robert Capa
ASIN/ISBN 0893818313

It is the finest collection of Robert Capa's photographs from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). You can feel the emotion, love and humanity of the people under these extreme situation. Some 'scenes' were dramatic. But, remember that people and soldiers were not acting, but it was part of their 'real life'.

The images are providing further dimension, in regards to the fact that the woman (named 'Gerda Taro') Robert loved was killed in the battle in July 1937. Robert firstly could not bear this drastic impact, but finally returned to his position and continued his documentary work. It was really ironic, and revealing the tragedy of war, history and reality.

WALES Land Of My Father
by David Hurn
ASIN/ISBN 0500019835

The ambiguity of the places (Wales) as well as the identity of the people (Welsh), forms an opened question from this book. Things are sometimes changing at a pace, that is difficult to be observed from the superficial level. It could happen in various aspect, economically, culturally, politically. Coal, steel, slate industry was diminishing. People were starting to lead their new way of living.

As mentioned by David Hurn in the introduction, 'My father and his forebears were all born and lived in Wales, By a quirk of timing I was born in England. Although I quickly reinstated to our South Wales family home, the specter of 'born in England' has permanently hung over me. The exploration of this dichotomy has been a driving stimulation in trying to understand my culture. I have wanted to discover my place in Wales and explore my contact with my fellow Welsh. If one examine life, then one should follow the argument wherever it leads. My tool is photography and the nature of photography is that, as you work, you continually record a world that has gone for ever yet continuously see the new unfold in front of you ...'

One interesting part of images (and even art) is its ambiguity. Suddenly, I think of my home, Hong Kong.

Acta Est
by Lise Sarfati
ASIN/ISBN 0714839108

Russia images made by Lise Sarfati in the 90'. Dislocated and strange space and time that should belong to an unknown universe. The ruins like broken structures depicted 'as is' via certain perspective, is really attractive. Places like contention camp and work camp for offenders, psychiatric institute, bathroom, the eyes of prisoners & transsexuals etc further increase the mysterous tension in your visual interpretation.

The cover photo is a masterpiece. Imagine, the room inside Moscow psychiatric institute is shown as a performance like theatre setting.

Moving Out
by Robert Frank
ASIN/ISBN 1881616266

Robert Frank is considered as one of the pioneer in photography and film art. He started his work in 50's and has been continuing his work in the past fifty years. You can find a rich collection of images he had made, which forms an flow of memory of America and other cities in the world. The raw and unusual style in treating his photography subjects is very impressive. Sequence of some images are poetic and require your open interpretation.

An early statement made by Robert Frank in 1951, 'When people look at my pictures, I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.'

If you like B/W, you would not be disappointed in buying this.

by Robert Frank
ASIN/ISBN 3931141551

This is the catalogue accompanied the exhibition Flamingo, which opened at the Hasselblad Center in conjunction with the ceremony in Goteborg, Sweden, when Robert Frank received the Hasselblad Award 1996.

You will some of the best work of Robert Frank in this book.

Buena Vista Social Club - The Companion Book to the Film
by Wim and Donata Wenders
ASIN/ISBN 3823854445

Following the film and the CD with the same name, this companion book contains collection of photographs, film stills, song lyrics, words from the musicians, and text from the director Wim Wenders. The street life of the people in Havana and the decaying architecture is also another attraction of Cuba. The sometimes wearing texture of building and interior can easily bring you back to the mood that should belong to another period of time.

by Gian Paolo Barbieri
ASIN/ISBN 3822866237

B/W (plus a few colour) images, bring you to Seychelles. You can always feel the freshness of the island. You are under the sun, and travelling through the visual contrasting perspective of people, fish, animals, flower, plant, sand and water. In the nature, everything is raw and simple. To me, I admire the cover photo, which is a surreal portrait of the evil.

Felix Teynard : Calotypes of Egypt
by Krahus, Herhkowitz, Weston
ASIN/ISBN 0962109622

It is an image collection of Egypt, taken by the French master Felix Teynard during 1851-52. The magnificent views of ancient monuments, architecture and landscape further reveals the unconsicous passage of time. These images were first published in Paris in 1958. One remarkable image is the Abu Simbel, which clearly showed the rightmost statue of Ramese still paritally buried under sand. Initially I found the picture of Abu Simbel (page 97) from 'Black & White' photography magazine, which is taken from the sand slope. I was deeply impressed and attracted by the beautiful portrait of the Ramese statue, the special angle that enforce the mystery of this ancient monument. And then I discovered this book 'Calotypes of Egypt' from a bookstore when I travelled to Cairo of Egypt.

Signs & Relics
by Sylvia Plachy
ASIN/ISBN 1580930573

By mixing B/W images under different specific topics, this book is inspiring and sometimes also induces a sense of humour. What one should not miss, is the story about the photographer's mother, as mentioned in the 'beginning' article. The connection between everyday life photos and text is creating an unexplained and touching interaction.

by Marco Brambilla
ASIN/ISBN 1861541244

Although Marco Brambilla is a film maker, he is actively involved using photography in his personal form of expression and experimentation. Without narration, the visual images depicting the interior of airport and graphic design used in air travel, documents an unfinished story of the travellers. The annoyance shown on the faces of passengers also form an interesting juxtaposition with the spacious, modern and cool architecture. The huge white bag of Marco Brambilla marked with the big letters 'MB' appears and disappears throughout the pages of this book. It looks like a ghost or nightmare. It is more than 'an unattended lugguage' can do ?

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