5 of the best photography books

In celebration of World Photography Day, here are some of the finest pho-tomes ever bound...

The Americans – Robert Frank

Few single books have made such an impact as this, Robert Frank's reportage of the American people in the 1950s. It inspired countless others to turn their cameras on the life around them and a whole new generation of photographers was born.

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William Eggleston's Guide

This collection of shots helped people take colour photography seriously. It formed the Museum of Modern Art's first exhibition of colour photos by a single photographer when it went on display in 1976.

Henri Cartier-Bresson: the man, the image & the world

An incredibly well edited tome featuring a vast number of HCB's legendary photos. If you only ever buy one photography book, make it this one.

Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph

Never truly appreciated until after her death at age 48, Diane Arbus was a portrait photographer not afraid of controversial subjects. It's easy to dismiss her as a 'photographer of freaks', but there's no denying the impact of her shots.

Dream Street: W Eugene Smith's Pittsburgh Project

If W Eugene Smith was a little unhinged before he started trying to encapsulate 1950s Pittsburgh in a photo project, three years and thousands of shots later he was a broken man – and never quite happy with any edit of the work. Nevertheless, this recent edit is a masterpiece.

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Further viewing

Magnum Magnum

Rankin Portraits

American Music – Annie Leibovitz

The Portfolios of Ansel Adams

Larry Burrows: Vietnam

Don McCullin

This is War!: Robert Capa at Work

Further reading

Unreasonable Behaviour – Don McCullin

Ansel Adams: An Autobiography

Blood and Champagne: The Life and Times of Robert Capa – Alex Kershaw

Annie Leibovitz At Work

Page After Page – Tim Page


World Photography Day!

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5 of the best photography books