Photography continues to be a major part of our contemporary art collecting, and here are just a few new titles to tempt you into the building (and one you can read at home):

Why it does not have to be in focus : modern photography explained by Jackie Higgins

Thames & Hudson , 2013

Thames & Hudson , 2013

If you have ever found yourself standing in front of a contemporary photograph in a gallery and thought to yourself, “I could do better than that with my camera-phone”, then this book might be just the thing. In the author’s words: “This book reveals why a photograph need not be crisply rendered or ‘correctly’ exposed, colour-balanced, framed or even composed by the photographer in order to have artistic merit. Artists are pushing the boundaries of photography in so many ways that their efforts are arguably redefining the medium.” Not convinced? Read on…..

The Beatles: six days that changed the world, February 1964: photography by Bill Eppridge

Rizzoli, 2014

Rizzoli, 2014

The Beatles……first trip to America……Life photographer Bill Eppridge…..enough said.

The Taqwacores : Muslim punk in the USA by Kim Badawi

powerHouse Books, 2009

powerHouse Books, 2009

I’m not making this up you know. It is a seriously weird and wonderful world we live in, and if I confess that I didn’t even know that Muslim Punk existed before I saw this book of photographs, would you think less of me? Taqwacore, as author Michael Muhammad Knight explains in a pretty feisty foreword, brings together the concepts of piety or god-consciousness and Punk Rock: “Is it really Islamic? Is it really Punk? I can’t speak of Tqwacore as a ‘movement’,…..all I can do is point to these pictures. Here, this is Taqwacore. This collection of human beings, my friends, these moments.” Good enough.

Women of vision : National Geographic photographers on assignment: foreword by Ann Curry

National Geographic Books, 2014

National Geographic Books, 2014

A lovely book documenting some of the great women photographers who have provided photo-essays for National Geographic over the last decade or so. Ann Curry in her foreword asks the simple question: “As you look at the images on these pages, do any seem as though they could have been taken only by a woman?” A near impossible question to answer, and at the end of the day the images themselves tell us all we need to know about the sense of compassion and empathy the various photographers have for their subjects.

Calling the shots : Aboriginal photographies (ebook): edited by Jane Lydon

Aboriginal Studies Press, 2014

Aboriginal Studies Press, 2014

This fascinating study takes a radical and timely new look at the history of photography of Aboriginal people in Australia, stepping through the experience state by state to examine the practice from the perspective of the indigenous sitters, rather than the people behind the camera. The photographic image has enormous cultural and religious significance to the descendants of these subjects: “Rather than telling us what ‘the white photographer saw’, Aboriginal photographies focuses upon the interactions between photographer and Indigenous people and the living meanings the photos have today.”

 

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