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Assignments

Assignments is an illustrative book of works from Press Photographers in 2005. Laid out like a newspaper, it starts with hard hitting news, moving onto politics and current affairs and finishes with sport. It seems to be an attempt to make the viewer aware of what the press have to go through to get the image. The foreword spends three pages talking about how the art of press photography is disappearing and that's why the book was created. The images are well presented, very good quality and h...

Bridges that Changed the World

Over 270 photographs on 280 pages. Each spread of the book features one bridge with a full page photo on the right and an insight into the history of the bridge on the left with small inset photos. Having photographed many bridges in my time I enjoyed looking at this,but it's not the sort of book I would buy. Many of the photos are record shots and not particularly creative. More for the architectural fans and bridge lovers than photographers.

Close to the Eyes

A book of the portraits of Xiao Hui Wang, a Chinese photography now living in Germany, who always carries her camera and has recorded many subjects over the last decade while visiting Europe, North America, Asia and Australia The book begins with an insight into how the Chinese view portraits, written by Tilman Spengler. Then we have a fascinating autobiographical piece that explains how Xiao Hui Wang developed her style, covering the ordeals of her family life, her enthralling observations and...

Das Zweite Gesicht The Other Face

This dual text book in German and English looks at photography of the human face starting out with a history of photographic techniques that includes the out of focus pictures by Julia Margaret Cameron through the avant-garde techniques from the likes of Man Ray, to the computerised generation images of today. Its a fascinating insight with lots of great examples of how we can distort the face using morphing, focusing and exposure. Not great for technique, but fine for inspiration and intrigue.

FlipSigns

FlipSigns, as the publisher says, shows how everyday street signs can be transformed into multilayered, kaleidoscopic designs. The question is why would anyone want to view 176 pages comprising little more than the 259 colour graphics. Okay, maybe the occasional graphic design student may get some ideas, but I'll be filing it under art!

Guy Tillim: Second Nature

Presented in a landscape format, this book has very little words but what it lacks in words it makes up for in images. The book documents Guy Tillim's travels by placing one, large image on each page that's surrounded by a huge amount of white space to ensure all attention falls on each individual shot. There's an eclectic mix of imagery with seascapes and shots of beaches sat alongside excellent examples of street photography. However, unless you're a particular fan of Tillim's work, i...

Icons of Photography - The 19th Century

If you like looking at old photos here's one for you. It features all the great pioneers of photography, Niepce, Talbot, Sutcliffe, Fenton etc. Printing on beautiful high quality white paper does the toned images justice and there's a short biog and photo of each of the photographers too, so it could come in handy for A level photography students. While looking through I was amazed at the sharpness of some of the images. These were taken using lenses that were single coated - no apos or aspeheri...

Living Jewels

I've seen the odd beetle scuttle by over the years, but I never realised there was such a variety of fascinating colours. Living Jewels has just opened my eyes! It's a book of close up photos of dead beetles carefully arranged so that the legs are splayed uniformly and the body is square on to camera. The photos are excellent with insects reproduced to fill the 9.5x13.5inch pages each with a lovely subtle shadow that's almost like a ringflash effect. The only thing that lets the book down are pa...

Love is a Stranger

Melanie Manchot studied photography and art at New York University and the Royal College of Art in London. In this book she claims to challenge socially and culturally constructed ideas about beauty, aging, sexuality and fantasy. This includes a series of images where she goes up to people in the street and photographs them while asking for a kiss. Their reactions appear visually in images and verbally in text. She photographs her aging mother against backgrounds such as the London Eye, and fema...

Nude Photography

Almost 150 years of nude photographs in chronological order starting out with a fuzzy, badly processed image titled Musette by Nadar dating back to 1855. The choice of pictures in this 136 page book is very subjective and some would never have left the darkroom tray had I been taken them, let alone reaching this book decades later. Having said that there are some classics including well known images from the likes of Man Ray,Jeanloup Sieff and Bill Brandt and what makes this book worth viewing i...