Blog #9 is on Photography Books. Eric Kim who I have discussed previously is very quotable. One of his best quotes is something like "Buy books (or experiences), not gear". Money spent on books for the purposes of education and self improvement, or travel for the purposes of documenting or photographing new people and places is a far better investment in one's photographic skills than the purchase of new gear. Sure, we all might want another lens here or there but ultimately, we don't need it. Arguably, the study of other great or classic photographers old or new will lead one to appreciate and understand what is so great about those great photos. The color, texture, grain, composition, and gestures that make up great photos will jump off the page.
The popular street photographer has many references that he shares for free on his site: http://erickimphotography.com/blog/books.
Amazon ships pretty much everywhere and there are hundreds of references there: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_0_11?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=photography&sprefix=photography%2Caps%2C343
Amazon as lists many references from Magnum Photography: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_3_6?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=magnum+photography&sprefix=magnum%2Cstripbooks%2C336&rh=n%3A283155%2Ck%3Amagnum+photography
Read and view the greats. I am working on my collection that I look at over and over. I have books from Alex Webb, David Gibson, Vivian Maier, Robert Frank, William Eggleston, Leica Fotografie International (Magazine), and a few others such as Tilting the Lens: Telling The Story of Sham Shui Po that was a gift from a SCAD administrator here in Hong Kong when I went there to visit. They are pricey but not as much as throwing down $2K for a new body or zoom lens.
This week, I'm reading Shoot - Photography of the Moment by Ken Miller. The cover is below. It's an absolutely fabulous volume of 205 pages of mostly color but some black and white images. There are a few from the 1970s but most are from 1990-2009 from about 20 different photographers. It's good to look at as much as you can, and more than once. View the older classics like Robert Frank who influenced just about everyone who came after him through his masterpiece The Americans.
Photography books are like candy for the eyes and creative capacity. Buy the photogapher in your life a proper photopgraphy book. You will make their year!
May the Light Be With You, Always.
Shoot - Photography of the Moment By Ken Miller