Photography Books – Not Only for Christmas

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Did Christmas sneak up on you this year and are you still empty handed today? No worries, we’ve got you covered and selected some art-filled photography books for your gift-giving needs. These books will prove themselves a source of inspiration not just during Christmas. Enjoy our selection below featuring portrait and architecture photography but also James Bond!

Architecture by Andreas Gursky

The grand photos of internationally acclaimed photographer Andreas Gursky are featured in this coffee table sized book. Taken between 1988 and 2008 the 75 reproduced images have a specific focus on architecture ranging from a cathedral of energy production in Japan to the pyramids in ancient Egypt. Andreas Gursky approaches architecture head-on, trying to render it comprehensible in order to keep track of things and maintain his grip on the world. The works are accompanied by commentary from a number of renowned German authors including Sonja Fessel, Paul Nizon and Peter Schneemann.

Composing Space: The Photographs of Hélène Binet by Hélène Binet

This Swiss French photographer has portrayed some of the world’s most innovative buildings. Composing Spaces is the first monograph of Hélène Binet and published in a limited edition by Phaidon. She uses her large-format camera to understand the work of the architect instead of creating only a photographic account of a building. Hélène Binet focuses on the smallest of details and the interplay between shadows and light, creating a powerful abstract yet emotional body of work. Her images, mostly in black-and-white allow the viewer to see these iconic buildings in a whole new way.

Birds of the West Indies by Taryn Simon

This might be the perfect book for your cousin who has seen every James Bond movie. Ian Flemming stumbled across the book Birds of the West Indies, written by ornithologist James Bond in 1936, and used the author’s name for his protagonist as he found it to be "brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine." Birds of the West Indies by the artist Taryn Simon features the women, weapons and vehicles from the films between 1962 and 2012, photographed and presented as the ornithologist James Bond would have done with his birds. With this meticulous dissection of the Bond series Taryn Simon combined the original book with the fictional figure of Bond. With this she has created an encyclopedic document of the interchangeable elements that construct the idealized powerful Western male figure that is James Bond.

Portraits by Steve McCurry

Perhaps the name Steve McCurry doesn’t immediately ring a bell but it should, as he is the photographer of one of the most iconic images of the 20th century: "Afghan Girl". The picture of the girl with the green eyes appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985. In Portraits, her face is accompanied by the remarkable images Steve McCurry has encountered on his worldwide travels. In these not posed or styled photographs of citizens of the world the photographer touches upon the true universality of the depths of human emotion.

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