I often get questions regarding where I get my inspirations from, and which books I use to write this blog. When I write, I rely on two types of books, general history books and photography books. Here are a few books I enjoyed reading:
Things As They Are: Photojournalism in Context Since 1955 — the book reprints the pages of newspapers and magazines, so that you can see photographs as the public had originally experienced them.
Kiosk: A History Of Photojournalism — for earlier history of photojournalism in context, you have nothing better than this book.
Book of 101 Books: The: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century — the same premise here as Things As They Are and Kiosk, but focus is more on photobooks published from 1907 to 1996.
Underexposed: Censored Pictures and Hidden History — this books reviews images which were banned, suppressed or conveniently forgotten by politicians, despots and celebrities.
Decades of the 20th Century by Getty — in three languages, this box-set celebrates famous, infamous and obscure moments of the last century.
Our Century in Pictures by Life — for those who don’t have time to pore through over forty years of Life archives online, this book collects the best of the magazine.
Great news photos and the stories behind them — this book delivers exactly what the title promised: extremely interesting and little known stories behind the pictures we are intensely familiar with.
Get the picture: a personal history of photojournalism — if you have time to read only one photo-related memoir, it should be this one by John G. Morris, the first director of Magnum. Many great photographers turn up in his anecdotes.
Century: A History in Photographs by Phaidon — photos inside are superb, but captions are pithy. Personally, i think this is a better book than equally-weighty tomes Magnum produces periodically.
Taschen Icon Series — there are two books directly related to photo icons, but other books on individual photographers, and topics such as pin-ups, weird photos are interesting to read and look at.
101 photos for press freedom — 25th anniversary of Reporters Without Borders is commemorated by Magnum in this book, which is also available as an iPhone app.