2012 Holiday Gift Guide: Pt. 2 – Socks & Slacks?

Sure, the holiday seems to be the best time for gifts, and we all love opening the box, wondering what treasure could be inside, shaking it beforehand, gauging the weight, hoping for the new DSLR, happy with the new camera bag.

But sometimes it’s just socks and slacks. Yeah, you can use them, and they are the right size. Where’s the pizazz?

Sometimes books fall right into that category. The shape of the package belies the contents. We’ve tried the trick of a book in a bigger box, but the weight distribution is a dead giveaway.

We posit that the gift of a great photobook,is as good as any gadget, gear, or tool.
Better perhaps, as the effect could be deeper. And the influence longer.

So for the holidays this year we recco these books to put under the tree, or by the bush.

As always, The Family Of Man
rules as the best photo gift book. Ever.
Over 256 photographers from all over the world document the human condition in global cultures.
First exhibited in 1955, this is still the most visited photo show ever.

It’s been out a few years but this book Chuck Close: A Couple of Ways of Doing Something still resonates with beautiful daguerreotypes reproduced in a rich duotone. The portraits are of artists that inhabit Chuck Close’s life, with each page a photo with the poetry of Bob Holman on the opposite page. About $36.00

The world of Daido Moriyama had a major rebirth this past year in the US, with the revered Japanese street photographer, being included in seminal collections, while the master himself has taken to the road and is signing his work all over.
You can get a book here
, or perhaps a signed copy from Aperture or ICP.
Now a signed copy of a book is always a great gift.

Want to know how they did that? This book,50 Photo Icons
gets to a good general market from the folks at Taschen. “Each chapter of this special edition focuses on a single image which is described and analyzed in detail, in aesthetic, historical, and artistic contexts. The book begins with the very first permanent images (Nicéphore Niépce’s 1827 eight-hour-exposure rooftop picture and Louis Daguerre’s famous 1839 street scene) and takes the reader up through the present day, via the avant-garde photography of the 1920s and works such as Dorothea Lange’s Migrant Mother (1936), Robert Doisneau’s Kiss in Front of City Hall (1950), and Martin Parr’s ‘New European photography.'”

We do love Taschen, and their love for photo books. True, they usually have a slight lean to the risque, pre-warning before you hit their site. They have , however made some incredible volumes by the likes of Neil Leifer, Linda McCartney, Helmut Newton, and books dedicated to the filmic arts.

What we’re saying is they’ve a great cross-section of books, for every reader.

How about Walker Evans: American Photographs: Seventy-Fifth Anniversary Edition ? If you want to go classic street photography, you or your giftee will pour over this book for hours. A Museum of Modern Art publication, the print quality is superb.

One of our favorite photo magazines of all time, Aperture, has 2 great items to give this year.Aperture Magazine Anthology: The Minor White Years, 1952-1976, classic years, and a way to see some of the masters before this whole digital world came to pass.

Speaking of digital; we will admit that while longtime subscribers of the magazine, they seemed to stack up pretty high after a few year.
We’ve to the iPad edition. it’s true. Getting a digital download of our fave mag, lets us check it out on the road. We like that.
Not saying WE want that for our gift, just saying it’s a good one to give.
Very light as well.

So, there you have it. Not quite socks and slacks?
Hope not. We love photobooks.

By the way, if you come to NYC, visit the International Center Of Photography, hot the book store and ask for #Sarah. She is one of the most knowledgeable, straight forward, honest, no BS people I’ve ever met in the world of photo books.

She will guide you,as she does us, to some of the most eye-opening, provocative, brilliant, cutting edge, photo books you will ever see.
And join ICP.org for an extra 10% off on anything in the store.
Seriously, you should.

We know we missed books. the stacks in our office proves that. We’ll keep adding if you like.

Next part picks up again with tools and toys.

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