Photo Books


Notable Books of 2017: Part III

December 1, 2017

© Dayanita Singh

Dayanita Singh’s Museum Bhavan is a set of books that encourage readers to create their own exhibitions of her work.

Part I and Part II of our annual look at some of the best photo books of the year were comprised of new reviews written for the December 2017 issue of PDN. But those lists didn’t include the many books PDN editors and contributors had already written about this year. Below is a list of some of the books we featured previously in 2017 both in print and online, with links to those original stories.

Anonymous Women by Patty Carroll
In Patty Carroll’s images, female forms are hidden in layers of patterned fabric, exploring the intersections of feminism, consumerism and decoration.

Archiving Eden by Dornith Doherty
Dornith Doherty’s new book documents the global effort to collect and store seeds from the world’s crops, as a guard against vanishing biodiversity.

Blind Spot by Teju Cole
Writer and photographer Teju Cole pairs his enigmatic images, made around the world, with texts that explore the connections between invisible forces.

Buzzing at the Sill by Peter Van Agtmael
In open-ended images made across the U.S., Peter van Agtmael explores connections between violence and injustice in the present and the past.

California by John Chiara
The book collects two decades of Chiara’s unique, large-scale images that explore how photography influences memory.

Carry Me Ohio (The Invisible Yoke vol. 1) by Matt Eich
Matt Eich’s portrait of life in western Ohio focuses on family and nature, as residents struggle to recover from the end of mining in the area.

Cerro Gordo by David Black
David Black’s series “Cerro Gordo” explores the overlapping myths that converge on Los Angeles, from Hollywood and cowboys to earthquakes and freeways.

Deep Springs by Sam Contis
Sam Contis’s book documents a tiny all-male college where students are required to put in time on the campus ranch along with their academic studies.

Delhi: Communities of Belonging by Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh
Sunil Gupta and Charan Singh survey LGBTQ men and women in India’s capital, depicting diverse lives in a place where being gay can still be against the law.

Dzhangal by Gideon Mendel
In Dzhangal, Gideon Mendel records everyday objects left behind in the Calais “Jungle,” offering an alternative portrait of the residents of the refugee camp.

Firecrackers: Female Photographers Now by Fiona Rogers, Max Houghton
This new book profiles 33 women working in photography around the world, highlighting the diversity their vision and approach.

The Flying Carpet by Cesare Fabbri
The images in Cesare Fabbri’s book find mystery and surprise in the familiar texture of everyday life in his native Italy.

Freeze Frame: Second Cut by Douglas Kirkland
A retrospective book includes 60 years of Douglas Kirkland’s glamorous celebrity portraits, along with his stories of making them during a freer Hollywood era.

Le Gendarme Sur La Colline by Alessandra Sanguinetti
Alessandra Sanguinetti explores everyday life through the lens of fairy tale, performance and immigration, in a subtle look at shifting French identity.

Generation Wealth by Lauren Greenfield
Lauren Greenfield explores global aspirations for wealth, documenting its many expressions by Russian oligarchs, China’s new rich and privileged Americans.

Gravity Is Stronger Here by Phyllis Dooney and Jardine Libaire
In a new book, photographer Phyllis Dooney explores a Mississippi town through the lens of an exuberant gay teenager and her Evangelical family.

Halo by Rinko Kawauchi
Rinko Kawauchi makes a spiritual argument for beauty, finding visual equivalents in glittering raindrops, flocks of birds and clouds of sparks.

Human Nature by Lucas Foglia
With his new book and multi-city exhibit, Lucas Foglia delivers a nuanced and wide-ranging portrayal of humanity’s connection to the natural world.

I Fought the Law by Olivia Locher
In her new book, Olivia Locher illustrates weird and obscure laws in each of the 50 states, whether real or mythical.

I Know Not These My Hands by Cooper & Gorfer Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer’s colorful, elaborate portraits consider the influences of personal history and cultural identity on Argentinian women.

In that Land of Perfect Day by Brandon Thibodeaux
Thibodeaux’s relationship with a family in the Mississippi Delta opened doors for an eight-year project about a community’s faith and self-reliance.

Invisible People of Belarus by Jadwiga Brontē
Jadwiga Brontē documents the residents of Belarus’s internats, institutions that house disabled children and adults, out of sight of the rest of society.

Kentucky Renaissance: The Lexington Camera Club and Its Community, 1954–1974 edited by Brian Sholis
Ralph Eugene Meatyard was at the center of the Lexington Camera Club, a group of Kentucky photographers who met in the optician’s office where Meatyard worked.

The Kids by Gabriela Herman
Raised by a gay parent herself, Gabriela Herman published her book of portraits and stories from children raised by LGBTQ parents to give voice to her peers.

Kings & Queens in Their Castles by Tom Atwood
Tom Atwood photographs celebrities and everyday people in the LGBTQ community, capturing candid moments set in fascinating and revealing personal spaces.

The Lovings: An Intimate Portrait by Grey Villet
On the 50th anniversary of the landmark ruling ending bans on interracial marriage, this new book presents an intimate look at the couple at the case’s center.

Magnum Manifesto by Clément Chéroux and Clara Bouveresse
For its 70th anniversary, Magnum Photos presents a book and several exhibitions that explore the agency’s rich history of telling and shaping visual stories.

Manhattan Sunday by Richard Renaldi
Richard Renaldi’s intimate study of Manhattan nightlife includes portraits made in clubs and in the serene, early morning streets.

Medal of Honor: Portraits of Valor Beyond the Call of Duty by Peter Collier
Nick Del Calzo has photographed more than 150 recipients of the Medal of Honor, picturing them at home and among the country’s symbols of freedom.

Mother by Matthew Finn
Matthew Finn photographed his mother over the course of 30 years, making an extended, collaborative portrait of a woman as she moves from middle to old age.

Museum Bhavan by Dayanita Singh
Dayanita Singh collaborated with Steidl to create a new book whose form encourages viewers to create their own exhibitions of Singh’s work.

National Geographic, The United States of America edited by Reuel Golden
A new book collects photographs from the pages of National Geographic that highlight the magazine’s upbeat, colorful vision of the country and its people.

Nausea by Ron Jude
Ron Jude revisits the photographs of public schools that he made early in his career, exploring what photography can communicate to viewers.

Nothing’s in Vain by Emmanuelle Andrianjafy
In her book “Nothing’s in Vain” Emmanuelle Andrianjafy records Dakar, attempting to make sense of an overwhelming city by exploring it on foot.

On the Frontline by Susan Meiselas
In her new book, Susan Meiselas writes about her commitment to her subjects and their voices and to telling stories that “extend beyond the single frame.”

One Sun, One Shadow by Shane Lavalette
For One Sun, One Shadow, Shane Lavalette approached the South through its vernacular music, looking for a feeling rather than documenting musicians.

Order of Appearance by Jim Jocoy
Jim Jocoy’s book pulls from his archive documenting the early punk scene in San Francisco, a creative, rebellious world on the edge of transformation.

Otherworlds: Visions of Our Solar System by Michael Benson and Dr. Joseph Michalski
Michael Benson uses data collected throughout the solar system to build beautiful and informative images of celestial bodies.

Pittsburgh 1950 by Elliott Erwitt
A new book collects photographs by a very young Elliott Erwitt, on assignment for Roy Stryker documenting Pittsburgh with his emerging signature style.

Poolscapes by Karine Laval
A new show and book present Karine Laval’s dreamy explorations of swimming pools in Europe and the U.S., from two series made over more than a decade.

Rex by Zackary Canepari
Zackary Canepari documents the complicated life of Olympic boxer Claressa “T-Rex” Shields as she navigates poverty, family and success in Flint, Michigan.

Sights in the City and Pieces of a Man by Jamel Shabazz
The veteran New York street photographer Jamel Shabazz reflects on his new book of previously unseen street photos, and his 35-year mission “to inspire peace and harmony” through photography

Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America by Kathy Shorr
In her book, Kathy Shorr photographs survivors of gun violence, sharing the diverse voices of people with a very personal stake in the issue.

Time’s Assignation by Laura Letinsky
Letinsky’s new book of black-and-white Type 55 Polaroid “tests” reveals her artistic process and stands on its own as a work of art.

The Transverse Path (Or Nature’s Little Secret) by Mike Slack
Slack discusses the concepts, editing and sequencing of his new book.

Uneasy by Chris Buck
A new book highlights Chris Buck’s unorthodox approach to photographing celebrities. “I often try to think of what I cannot picture this person doing,” he says.

Veterans: Faces of World War II by Sasha Maslov
Sasha Maslov’s new book presents the diverse experiences of men and women in World War II, recording their recollections of the war and how it shaped them.

Walden by S.B. Walker
S.B. Walker challenges the romantic notion of Walden, the area made famous by Henry David Thoreau, and considers how people use the natural landscape.

Witness to Beauty by Sage Sohier
Sage Sohier’s new book examines her life with her mother, a former model, as they explore family dynamics colored by the rules of beauty and self-presentation.

You Get Me? by Mahtab Hussain
Mahtab Hussain’s portraits reveal how young, Muslim, British men represent themselves in defiance of racism and xenophobia.

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