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5 must have B&W photography books

Photography books are good companions for photographers. At a time when we are flooded with digital pictures, I often take a break to read a photography book. I love to touch paper, breathe ink and take time to immerse myself in a photographic work especially if the book was well printed.

There are a lot of beautiful books in the field of fine art photography. Here is a personal selection of 5 books, all in black and white. They are in my short list.

“The americans” – Robert Frank
“Summer Nights, Walking” – Robert Adams
“Variations” – Harry Callahan
“Like Work” – Edward Weston
“Deep South” – Sally mann

“The Americans” – Photographs by Robert Frank
First edition published in 1958 by Robert Delpire.

Everything has already been said about the masterpiece of Robert Frank.
Published for the first time in 1958 by Robert Delpire, the aura of this book is still intact today.
Robert Frank takes us with him on a road trip through america in the fifties.
This book is sometimes wild as a solo jazz, sometimes quiet and haunting like an old blues.
Robert Frank, is somehow the “anti Cartier-Bresson”. He delivered many photographers from the search for the decisive moment. We could say that he is almost the father of subjectivity in photography.



“Summer Nights, Walking” – Photographs by Robert Adams
Copublished by Yale University Art Gallery and Aperture Foundation

This book is a little gem.
Robert Adams revisits the classic collection of nocturnal landscapes that he began making in the mid-1970s near his former home in Longmont, Colorado. Originally published by Aperture in 1985 as Summer Nights, this new edition has been carefully re-edited and re-sequenced by the photographer, who has added thirty-nine previously unpublished images. The book is re-designed by revered book designer Katy Homans and printed as dry-trap tritone on uncoated paper by Meridian Printing. It is truly an “objet d’art” for the avid book collector.



“Variations” – Photographs by Harry Callahan
Published by Steidl

Came to photography a little bit by chance, Harry Callahan has devoted himself tirelessly to three subjects, sometimes mixed: the city, the countryside and his wife, Eleanor.
His work was at the same time poetic and rigorous. Harry Callahan (1912-1999) played with the graphics, the light and shadow, contrast, without never get boring.
This book was published in the occasion of the exhibition Harry Callahan, Variations at la Fondation HCB, in Paris, in 2010.



“Life Work” – Photographs by Edward Weston
Published by Lodima Press

Published on the occasion of a major traveling exhibition, this book is a 110 photograph survey of this great american artist. The volume contains photographs from all phases of Weston’s long and varied career, from his first nude in 1909 to his final landscape made near his home at Point Lobos, California, in 1948. Previously unpublished masterpieces are interspersed with well-known signatures images.
Never before have Weston’s photographs been reproduced with such fidelity to his originals.



“Deep south” – Photographs by Sally Mann
Published by Bulfinch

Deep South is a much anticipated collection of Sally’s Mann exquisite, ethereal landscape photographs, taken in the years since she rose to international fame with her groundbreaking book “Immediate Family”.
The photographs, many produced with the nineteenth-century collodion process and a variety of toning techniques, capture what Mann calls the “radical light of the American South.”


If you wish to tell us what your favorite B&W photo books are, please leave a comment !:-)