The Best Photobook Lists for 2016 are coming in thick and fast (this is my favourite one to date). With the surge in self-publishing, small editions and expensive artist's books, they are more fragmented than ever - which is a good thing, why not.
I'll be posting mine up on the blog before Christmas, but before then, I've got some extra categories.
First up is the Best Cheap Book/Best Book for Christmas. It's Useful Advice for Photographers, it costs 12 of your euros, it's by Ivars Gravlejs and it's a great gift of anyone looking to learn photography.
(and the original title, Useful Advices for Photographers is much better. It's more fitting).
This is from the intro to the book.
But without careful studying and many years of practice a good picture is possible to make only by accident.
Once you decide to photograph, think carefully about what you want to picture, do not forget about the composition and lighting, do not get upset, relax and concentrate on the subject.
How do you photograph a sausage for example? Do you know? Well, Gravlejs will tell you through a series of pairs of images - one right and one wrong.
And once you've mastered the basics, you can flip the rights and wrongs about and move onto your mastery of more conceptual photography. Or, if you've been making some of these mistakes already (in the archive, with your infra-red film, with your layering, with your vernacular) and don't quite realise it, then Gravlejs is letting you know where you've been going wrong.
Or you can play a game and match all those artists who are definitely getting it wrong to one or more of the 80 categories that Gravlejs has come up with.
The book comes in a handy plastic pouch with a lanyard so you can hang it round your neck. A great gift for everybody who likes photography, or doesn't like it even.
Buy the book here.