One of the best things any photographer can do to learn about photography is (in my opinion) to view the work of their peers. With the internet it's now possible to find and see thousands of amazing new images everyday. There is however something so much more engaging about seeing great photography in print, especially large print. The acme being a large print beautifully framed and presented in a perfect location. But right behind the massive print in grandeur has to be the large portfolio book, of which I am a fan. Books are much more affordable than the one big print and have lots of space for displaying many great photographs.
A few days ago I visited a small town on the edge of the English & Welsh border called Hay On Wye which has around 20 secondhand book shops and has become a must visit place for bibliophiles. Some of the book shops are dedicated to one genre such as crime or poetry but there are a few more general book shops with photography sections. I could have filled the boot of my car with all the fabulous books I found, but I managed to select and bring home just the eight in the photo below.
So much amazing work and inspiration. if I had to save one of them to keep on my desert island it would be Richard Avedons - Woman in the Mirror. His work is outstanding and truly beautiful.
I have many happy hours to look forward to perusing these eight and the other photography books I already have. I'm just about at the 200 mark, which I used to feel was an obsessive number. Until that is I heard one of my favourite contemporary photographers Martin Parr explain that he has over 12,000 in his collection. Only 11,800 to go!