The Best Photography & Art Biographies To Read This Christmas

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Last week we published a comprehensive list of The Best Photography and Art books of 2016 and it proved very popular, so much so that some extremely vast social media sites compared it to Time’s – a compliment indeed. Today, we have published The Best Photography & Art Biographies, these we believe you will enjoy too. Sometimes, we like to look at the photographer/artist behind the imagery and this is a great way to switch off and indulge, if you have the opportunity over the Christmas break. I do hope you enjoy this.

If there are any others that you have read, that you think should be included, please add your comments below.

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The Best Photography & Art Books of 2016

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Of course we all love our mobile devices and reading books on them is second nature to creating art but sometimes, we also really like to curl up with a really good traditional book with real paper. I have selected some of the very best photography and Art books released this year. I am sure any one of these, you would love to receive. Take a look and if you feel there are some others that I have missed, please add them to the comments below.

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Art with an iPhone by Kat Sloma – Book Review and Competition!

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“This books passes muster as a great instructional tool for the novice mobile artist – A Classic”, Joanne Carter, 2016

Recently in a cafe I was hungrily perusing ‘Art with an iPhone – A Photographer’s Guide to Creating Altered Realities’ by American Fine Art Photographer, Writer and Instructor, Kat Sloma, when a woman I knew touched me on the shoulder and asked what I was reading. I considered this question as I glanced up and around at all the other customers in the cafe and noticed that most of them were engrossed with their iPhones, possibly (hopefully) apping images. ‘It’s a book about creating art with an iPhone’, I replied. She looked surprised and then asked if she could join me. This then became the perfect way to review this book. I explained that ‘Art with an iPhone’ is a great learning platform for newcomers to this wonderful artform to develop their skills, my friend became hooked and is now a great new mobile artist!

Sloma explains, That’s not photography,” the long-time photographer commented to me, “I don’t know what it is, but it’s not photography…

A few years ago, as I started to transition to my iPhone camera and apps to create images, I got that a lot. It was a bit confusing, truth be told. I knew my images did not always end up looking like what most people expected a photograph to look like, but how could it not be photography? I was still using a camera; still using all of the skills I had learned over the years to see and frame and expose images. I just took them a little further in post-processing than I used to. I didn’t try to portray reality any more.

I went through a bit of an identity crisis after hearing enough of those comments. If it’s not photography, then what is it? If I’m not a photographer, then who am I? I loved what I was doing, and I wrestled with this question for a while, coming to a simple conclusion that took me back to where I started. Yes, I am a photographer, because what I do starts with an image captured with a camera.  The starting image is crucial to my creative process. Without it, my art doesn’t exist.

I now call what I do “altered photography” because I want to signal that it’s not what people typically expect photography to look like, but I also want the people who see my work to know it started as photograph. I am proud of my art form, and the wonderful history of this fantastic medium. I believe what I (and so many others!) are doing with photographic images on mobile devices is one more step in the evolution of the photograph. We are, one image at a time, expanding the definition of photography.

But right now we are in a time of transition. Not everyone is on board with this point of view. If you ask other photographers, yourself even, “Is it photography or not?” I would expect to hear wildly different reactions”.

 

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Kim Kardashian’s Selfish Photography Book

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The Guardian editor, Jonathan Jones writes today, “the selfie queen has turned her portraits into a book. It’s a slap in the face for anyone who ever pointed a camera in hope of being the new Henri Cartier-Bresson”.

Selfish is a book of selfies. It’s a book of Kim Kardashian’s selfies. And, as the author has made plain in Instagram teasers of her in her bedroom, there will be plenty of curvacious flesh in this book. She promises a whole sequence of intimate shots in among the pictures of fashion galas and nights out“… to read more, go here.

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Mobile Photography Book ‘A Small Amount of Courage’ by Karen Divine

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Karen Divine is an internationally recognised artist with more than a dozen prestigious awards for her iPhone art. She is also an established member of the mobile photography community and last year published a beautiful book entitled ‘A Small Amount of Courage’.  Inside this elegantly bound hardback book are 64 images, loosely based on the 64 Hexagrams of the iChing. If you’re unsure of the understanding of iChing, please read the following:

"The I Ching is based on Yin and Yang, the two fundamental ordering principles in Taoist philosophy and cosmology. Typically, one formulates a question for the I Ching and then tosses three coins a total of six times.

Depending on the configuration of heads and tails for each throw, one gets a straight line (representing the Yang principle) or a broken line (representing the Yin principle). After six throws with the three coins one has what’s called a hexagram, a collection of six straight and/or broken lines stacked on top of one another. There are sixty-four possible hexagrams, and all have their own particular meaning, often with a Confucianist ethical angle to them. The hexagram one receives is believed to provide an answer to the question asked.

Other advice offered by the I Ching is much harder to understand and may refer to ancient, culturally specific Chinese symbols and proverbs. Including: “A shoal of fishes. Favor comes through the court ladies,” “Darkening of the light injures him in the left thigh. He gives aid with the strength of a horse.”

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MIRA Mobile Prize 2014 – Book Available Of The Winning Images

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After a hugely successful exhibition, of which I was very proud to have been included within the Jury, the organisers have created a book including an editorial about mobile photography authored by Manuela Matos Monterio and inclusive of the fifty shortlisted images as well as some images from the jury.

This is a Blurb book and you can preview the first 15 pages here, or place an order, in the UK it retails for £31.57, in the US it’s available for $48.56.

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