Recently I’ve started to get a little more serious about getting decent photobooks. I have purchased the following in the last year:
I am very glad that I have picked up this sizable collection in one year, and especially so because the books have almost all now become rare and have been marked-up 50-500% over what I paid. I also paid for the vast majority of these books by selling camera gear, which is another cause for celebration. Some of you may know that I have an obsession with collecting cameras. At one point, I had nearly 60 cameras in my tiny apartment. The thing about camera collection is, you really don’t need one. It can never make you a better photographer. In fact, it gets in the way of shooting, In the past year, I have shot almost exclusively with my Leica’s, not even once touching my Olympus PEN FT, and OM-1m, and seldom breaking out any of my larger format cameras. What I’ve found is that the little time I have is better spent shooting or appreciating images, than looking at gear (though I am still yearning for an M9!). And the best way to do this is to swap my gear for photo or art books. That way, even if I don’t take a single picture in the future, I will have a collection of high quality images, that can add to my family’s cultural life.
I just recalled that this isn’t exactly new to me. I used to read a blog by David Duchemin, where his slogan was “Gear is good, vision is better”. Looking back, some 5 years and many photographic heroes later, I have come to appreciate this much better. And how does one acquire vision, if not by seeing? The only regrets I have are missing out on Ballet (Leutwyler) and America: Icons and Ingenuity (Dan Winters).
As I look through these books, I will also post some short reviews. Looking forward to that.