It's back to my bookshelf today to give you a taster of a few more of my favourite photography books :) You can catch up on the previous instalment here.
25 Years collects just that: 25 years of Mary Ellen Mark's work. Her documentary photographs are successful not only because of their beauty but also because it is clear that Mark strikes up real relationships with her subjects. She has caught up with many of the people she photographed over the years, so that we meet them again and again at different stages in their lives. Her subject matter ranges widely. Homeless children and families, white supremacists, a school for the blind, the closed ward of a hospital, an Indian circus, Mother Theresa's home for the dying..
The Family Album of Lucybelle Crater is Ralph Eugene Meatyard's final work. He began the series after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. These playful masked portraits are a good bye to Meatyard's family and friends, a coming to terms with his own impending death. It is an intimate portrait and yet, with their identities hidden behind masks and under the alias of "Lucybelle Crater" this also becomes the archetype of family life: This could be you. It could be me.
The title and captions were inspired by Flannery O'Connor's short-story The Life You Save May Be Your Own and in sequence the series turns into a poem.
Published after Meatyard's death, Lucybelle has been much misrepresented and misunderstood. You just cannot do it justice when viewed out of sequence or with captions omitted. So if you are interested, be sure to pick up the James Rhem edition, which is the only one I know of that does this powerful work justice.
Nicholas Nixon collects some of the works of the photographer of the same name.
Nixon's masterful group portraits really stick out for me, beautiful images of his own family (amongst other a series of yearly portraits of his wife and her sisters taken over two decades) add a light hearted touch. But there are also images depicting the fragility of old age and terminal illness. Nixon is no man of words (or not, in any case, of captions), his emotive images do all the talking.
Americans We collects a selection of photographs from a number of series by photo journalist Eugene Richards.
This man must have such a way with people, for he captures intimate images even of those he has only just met. The captions that accompany his images add an extra dimension, allowing the viewer just a little bit closer into what we are seeing. I enlarged the captions a little in photoshop so you get a little taste of his words too :)
I am itching to get a hold of some of his more recent work :)
That's it for today.
More of my book shelf another day :)