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Books

Photo Essays


Before They Pass Away

Before They Pass Away Lowest new price: $94.80
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This historic volume showcases tribal cultures around the world. With globalization, these societies are to be prized for their distinctive lifestyles, art and traditions. They live in close harmony with nature, now a rarity in our modern era. Jimmy Nelson not only presents us with stunning images of customs and artifacts, but also offers insightful portraits of people who are the guardians of a culture that they--and we--hope will be passed on to future generations in all its glory. Nelson's large-plate field camera captures every intricate detail and fine nuance for posterity. What's more, this splendid pageantry is set against a vivid backdrop of some of the world's most pristine landscapes. English/German/French edition.

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Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows

Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows Lowest new price: $37.92
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Author: Richard Cahan

Presenting her breathtaking photographs alongside revealing interviews with those who knew her best, this volume is the first attempt to put Vivian Maier's work in context and create a moving portrait of her as an artist. Though she created more than 120,000 negatives during her lifetime, only a few were ever seen by others. Shortly after her death in 2009, the first group of her unseen photographs--gritty with humanity and filled with empathy and beauty--were shown online. What followed was a firestorm of attention, catapulting Maier from previous obscurity to being labeled as one of the masters of street photography. Her work has appeared in numerous museum exhibits and a feature-length documentary on her life and art has already been planned. Features more than 300 duotone photos printed on 105# paper with flood varnish.

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Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age

Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age Lowest new price: $36.67
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Author: Graydon Carter
Brand: RALPH LAUREN

Vanity Fair 100 Years showcases a century of personality and power, art and commerce, crisis and culture—both highbrow and low. From its inception in 1913, through the Jazz Age and the Depression, to its reincarnation in the boom-boom Reagan years, to the image-saturated Information Age, Vanity Fair has presented the modern era as it has unfolded, using wit, imagination, peerless literary narrative, and bold, groundbreaking imagery from the greatest photographers, artists, and illustrators of the day. This sumptuous book takes a decade-by-decade look at the world as seen by the magazine, stopping to describe the incomparable editor Frank Crowninshield and the birth of the Jazz Age Vanity Fair, the magazine’s controversial rebirth in 1983, and the history of the glamorous Vanity Fair Oscar Party.
With its exhaustive sweep, visual impact, and time-capsule format, Vanity Fair 100 Years is the book everyone will want in 2013. Praise for Vanity Fair 100 Years:

“The book is a stunning artifact that begets staring, less for the words and publishing industry than as an exercise in visual storytelling reflected through the prism of society and celebrity. The best photographers, the best designers, the best illustrators all came together over Vanity Fair’s contents, and the book unfolds in page after page of stunningly rendered images, some iconic and some that never even ran.” —New York Times Book Review

 

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Casa Susanna

Casa Susanna Lowest new price: $16.28
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Some time ago, while at a New York flea market, inveterate collectors Michael Hurst and Robert Swope discovered a large body of snapshots: album after aged album of well-preserved images, taken roughly between the mid-50s and mid-60s, depicting a group of cross-dressers united around a place called Casa Susanna, a rather large and charmingly banal Victorian-style house in small-town New Jersey. The inhabitants, visitors, guests, and hosts used it as a weekend headquarters for a regular “girl’s life.” Someone—probably “Susanna” or the matriarch—nailed a wonder board on a tree proclaiming it “Casa Susanna,” and thus a Queendom was born.

Through these wonderfully intimate shots—perhaps never intended to see the light of day outside the sanctum of the “house”—Susanna and her gorgeous friends styled era-specific fashion shows and dress-up Christmas and tea parties. As gloriously primped as these documentary snaps are, it is in the more private and intimate life at Casa Susanna, where the girls sweep the front porch, cook, knit, play Scrabble, relax at the nearby lake and, of course, dress for the occasion, that the stunning insight to a very private club becomes nothing less than brilliant and awe inspiring in its pre-glam, pre-drag-pose ordinariness and nascent preening and posturing in new identities. It is not glamour for the stage but for each other, like other women who dress up to spend time with friends, flaunting their own sense of style. There is an evident pleasure of being here, at Casa Susanna, that is a liberation, a simplification of the conflicts inherent in a double life.

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New York: Portrait Of A City

New York: Portrait Of A City Lowest new price: $42.39
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Author: Reuel Golden
Brand: Taschen
Model: S-009047

This book presents the epic story of New York in photographs, photo-portraits, maps, and aerial views—nearly 600 pages of emotional, atmospheric images, from the mid-19th century to the present day. Supplementing this treasure trove of images are hundreds of quotations and references from relevant books, movies, shows and songs. The city's fluctuating fortunes are all represented, from the wild nights of the Jazz Age and the hedonistic disco era, to the grim days of the Depression and the devastation of 9/11 and its aftermath, as its broken-hearted but unbowed citizens picked up the pieces. 
Chapter One (1850-1913) focuses on New York's dramatic emergence as America's greatest metropolis. Chapter Two (1914-1945) traces the boom of the 1920s, the Great Depression, and the construction of the city's most famous landmarks: the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Rockefeller Center. Chapter Three (1946-1965) sees New York become the world's first truly international city, with the construction of the U.N. headquarters. In Chapter Four, the Big Apple loses its shine (1966-1987) during a period of economic decline, social protest and mean streets. Chapter Five (1988-2009) sees New York rise again from the lean times of the 1970s and early 80s, only to be devastated by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, which forever alter the city's landscape—and its sense of self. More than just a remarkable tribute to the metropolis and its civic, social, and photographic heritage, New York: Portrait of a City pays homage to the indomnitable spirit of those who call themselves New Yorkers: full of hope and strength, resolute in their determination to succeed among its glass and granite towers.
Features hundreds of iconic images, sourced from dozens of archives and private collections—many never before published—and the work of over 150 celebrated photographers, including: Victor Prevost, Jacob Riis, Lewis Hine, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, Weegee, Margaret Bourke-White, Saul Leiter, Esther Bubley, Arnold Newman, William Claxton, Ralph Gibson, Ryan McGinley, Mitch Epstein, Steve Schapiro, Mary Ellen Mark, Marvin Newman, Allen Ginsberg, Joel Meyerowitz, Andreas Feininger, Neil Leifer, Charles Cushman, Joseph Rodriguez, Garry Winogrand, Larry Fink, Jamal Shabazz, Allan Tannenbaum, Bruce Davidson, Helen Levitt, Eugene de Salignac, James Nachtwey, Ruth Orkin, Joel Sternfeld, Bruce Davidson, Keizo Kitajima, and many many more.

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Material World: A Global Family Portrait

Material World: A Global Family Portrait Lowest new price: $14.46
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Author: Peter Menzel

In an unprecedented effort, sixteen of the world’s foremost photographers traveled to thirty nations around the globe to live for a week with families that were statistically average for that nation. At the end of each visit, photographer and family collaborated on a remarkable portrait of the family members outside their home, surrounded by all of their possessions—a few jars and jugs for some, an explosion of electronic gadgetry for others. Vividly portraying the look and feel of the human condition everywhere on Earth, this internationally acclaimed bestseller puts a human face on the issues of population, environment, social justice, and consumption as it illuminates the crucial question facing our species today: Can all six billion of us have all the things we want?

In honor of the United Nations-sponsored International Year of the Family in 1994, award-winning photojournalist Peter Menzel brought together 16 of the world's leading photographers to create a visual portrait of life in 30 nations. Material World tackles its wide subject by zooming in, allowing one household to represent an entire nation. Photographers spent one week living with a "statistically average" family in each country, learning about their work, their attitudes toward their possessions, and their hopes for the future. Then a "big picture" shot of the family was taken outside the dwelling, surrounded by all their (many or few) material goods.

The book provides sidebars offering statistics and a brief history for each country, as well as personal notes from the photographers about their experiences. But it is the "big pictures" that tell most of the story. In one, a British family pauses before a meal of tea and crumpets under a cloudy sky. In another, wary Bosnians sit beside mattresses used as sniper barricades. A Malian family composed of a husband, his two wives, and their children rests before a few cooking and washing implements in golden afternoon light. Material World is a lesson in economics and geography, reminding us of the world's inequities, but also of humanity's common threads. An engrossing, enlightening book. --Maria Dolan

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National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs

National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs Lowest new price: $16.91
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Author: Annie Griffiths
Brand: Focal Point

National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs takes readers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in National Geographic's famed Image Collection. Award-winning photographer Annie Griffiths culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty. Chapters are organized around the aesthetic concepts that create beauty in a photograph: Light, Composition, Moment (Gesture and Emotion), Motion, Palette, and Wonder.

Beyond the introduction and brief essays about each featured concept, the text is light. The photographs speak for themselves, enhanced by lyrical quotes from scholars and poets. In the chapter on Light, for example, we read these words of whimsical wisdom from songwriter Leonard Cohen: "Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the lights get in." And then the images flow, of light entering scenes via windows, clouds, and spotlights, from above, alongside, and behind, casting radiance upon young ballerinas and weathered men, into groves of autumn trees and island-dotted seas, revealing everything it touches to be beautiful beyond expectation.

To illuminate the theme of Wonder, Griffiths chose a wish from Andre Bazin: "If I had influence with the good fairy...I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life." This thought is juxtaposed with an exquisite vision in white, a frame filled with the snowy-pure dots and rays of a bird's fan tail. And on it goes, picture after tantalizing picture, alive with wondrous beauty.

When she created National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs, Annie Griffiths set two goals: to maximize visual delight, and to create a book unique in the world of publishing--one in which many of the photographs could be purchased as prints. She has succeeded on both counts. Many of these stunning images are available for order, and there can be no doubt as to the visual delight. You must open this book for yourself, and take in its radiant beauty.

From National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs
Click on the images below to open larger versions.

Pantanal, Brazil. The setting sun silhouettes gauchos as they relax at the end of the day. (p. 104, Joel Sartore) Richnava, Slovakia. Roma children look out the window of their shanty. (p. 185, James L. Stanfield) Near Wismar, Germany. Women share a laugh while harvesting sugar beets. (p. 225, Gordon Gahan) Sarand, Hungary. A bee-eater bird takes flight, while another keeps its perch. (p. 341, Joe Petersburger)
Asheville, North Carolina. Orange leaves cover a Japanese maple at the Biltmore Estate. (p. 364, Melissa Farlow) Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. A trumpeter swan glides across Yellowstone River. (p. 370-371, James P. Blair) Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Tail feathers of a little greenbul bird fan out behind closed wings. (p. 461, Joel Sartore) Bayan-Olgiy, Mongolian People's Republic. A Kazakh hunter shies slightly as his golden eagle spreads its wings. (p. 440, David Edwards)


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Across the Ravaged Land

Across the Ravaged Land Lowest new price: $39.97
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Author: Nick Brandt
Brand: RALPH LAUREN

Across the Ravaged Land is the third and final volume in Nick Brandt’s trilogy of books documenting the disappearing animals of eastern Africa. The book offers a darker vision of this world, still filled with a stunning beauty but now tragically tainted and fast disappearing at the hands of man.
In addition to a range of starkly powerful animal portraits, Brandt introduces some new themes, as humans make an appearance for the first time. He also contributes two essays summing up his photographic odyssey, which has taken more than a decade of intensive work to complete.

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Los Angeles, Portrait of a City

Los Angeles, Portrait of a City Lowest new price: $50.19
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Author: David L Ulin
Brand: Taschen
Model: S-009048

A pictorial history of the world's most enigmatic city

From the first known photograph taken in Los Angeles to its most recent sweeping vistas, this photographic tribute to the City of Angels provides a fascinating journey through the city's cultural, political, industrial, and sociological history. It traces the city's development from the 1880s' real estate boom, through the early days of Hollywood and the urban sprawl of the late 20th century, right up to the present day. With over 500 images, L.A. is shown emerging from a desert wasteland to become a vast palm-studded urban metropolis.

Events that made world news–including two Olympics, Bobby Kennedy's assassination, and the Rodney King riots–reveal a city of many dimensions. The entertainment capital of the world, Hollywood, and its celebrities are showcased along with many other notable residents, personalities, architects, artists, and musicians. The city's pop cultural movements, its music, surfing, health food fads, gangs, and hot rods are included, as are its notorious crimes and criminals. This book depicts Los Angeles in all its glory and grit, via hundreds of freshly discovered images including those of Julius Shulman, Garry Winogrand, William Claxton and many other superb photographers, culled from major historical archives, museums, private collectors, and universities. These are given context and resonance through essays by renowned California historian Kevin Starr and Los Angeles literature expert David Ulin.
 

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Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs: Standard Edition

Steve McCurry: The Iconic Photographs: Standard Edition Lowest new price: $36.42
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Brand: Brand: Phaidon Press

This spectacular book brings together the most beautiful, memorable and evocative pictures of Steve McCurry's extraordinary career.

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