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Over the next few days we'll bring to you a break down of our 2011 Best Books list, each day focusing on a group of contributors. Read the contributors comments on the Best Books page by clicking their name.

Todd Hido          Photographer / Professor
The Lost Album, The Latin American Photobook, The Unseen Eye, Believing Is Seeing, pretty girls wander
A, Redwood Saw, Richard Prince, Mark Morrisroe, Francesca Woodman

Darius Himes          Writer / Assistant Director, Fraenkel Gallery
The Photobook Review, La Belle Dame Sans Merci, Pontiac, TKY, Animals That Saw Me
Haiiro, Gomorrah Girl, A Criminal Investigation, Ama, Astronomical

John Jenkins          Founder and Publisher, DECODE BOOKS
One Day, Tooth for an Eye, Illuminance, La Creciente, The Unseen Eye
Photographs, Diane Arbus, On Thin Ice, in a Blizzard, Retrieved

Anne Kelly          Photographer / photo-eye Gallery Associate Director
The Bridge at Hoover Dam, Robert Adams, The Powder, The Unseen Eye, The Brothers
In the Face of Silence, Not Seen | Not Said, With Wes Mills, The Pier, Winter, The Heath

Anouk Kruithof          Artist / Photographer / Bookmaker
Dirk Braeckman, As Long As It Photographs, It Must Be A Camera, The Trash Humpers, Photos from Japan and My Archive, Out of My Mind… Back in 5 Minutes
People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground, It Chooses You, In Almost Every Picture 9
Also: Kruithof's "Wonderful Little Zinish Collection"
Destrukto, Causal Encounters 003: SPNDXBOI, A Color Study, A Real Misgiving, The Light in the Dark, with the Neon Arms
And not pictured: Kruithof's "virus-publications" Untitled by Anonymous and Signals Still / Ink (Book) by Penelope Umbrico

Kevin Kunishi          Photographer
Robert Adams, A, Waikiki, The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott, Portraits de Villes

Shane Lavalette          Photographer / Founder of Lay Flat / Publisher
People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground, Visitor, Nowhere But Here, Abstract Pictures, Seacoal
Subscription Series 3, Paloma al Aire, Parasomnia, A, Redheaded Peckerwood

Larissa Leclair          Writer / Curator / Founder of the Indie Photobook Library
Salt & Truth, Redheaded Peckerwood, A Falling Horizon, The Story of Four Generations, Photographic Memory
On Thin Ice, in a Blizzard, Iraq | Perspectives, History's Shadow, Visitor, Snowflake Twelfth

Melanie McWhorter          Photographer/photo-eye Bookstore Manager
Mexico Roma, Homage, Koudelka, Interrogations, Sicarios
A Living Man Declared Dead & Other Chapters, One to Nothing, The Half-Life of History, Redheaded Peckerwood

On December 16, 2011 we had a great winter opening of Michael Levin's Continuum with additional work by Laurie Tümer's Clouds.
Left to Right: Owner of photo-eye Gallery, Rixon Reed, artist Derusha, and Vicki Bohannon
Laurie Tümer joined us at the opening via Skype.

In addition to Levin's opening, the photo-eye staff had an opening as well. Here are some gallery goers viewing work by one of our staff, Antone Dolezal, photo-eye Magazine Coordinator.
Write up on the Levin show in the Santa Fe New Mexican! 

Featured article in the Pasatiempo!
If you couldn't make it to the opening, Levin's work will be on view at photo-eye Gallery through February 4th -- or you can view his work at photo-eye online here.
Over the next few days we'll bring to you a break down of our 2011 Best Books list, each day focusing on a group of contributors. Read the contributors comments on the Best Books page by clicking their name.

Gerry Badger          Photographer / Architect / Photographic critic
Self Publish Be Naughty, Under House Arrest, Crime Victims Chronicle, God Forgotten Face, pretty girls wander
Redheaded Peckerwood, Gomorrah Girl, The Hudson Valley, Fragile, Surfacing

Adam Bell          Photographer / Writer
Abendsonne, Photographs, Oculus, The Auckland Project, Redheaded Peckerwood
One to Nothing, Redwood Saw, A New Map of Italy, A, Towards a Warm Math

Susan Burnstine        Photographer / Writer
The Vanities, Iraq | Perspectives, The Mark of Abel, Salt & Truth, The Brothers
History's Shadow, Sunder, Photographs 2001-2009, The Suffering of Light

Marco Delogu        Photographer / Publisher, Punctum
A Guide to Trees for Governors and Gardners, Illuminance, Abstract Pictures, Abendsonne, A Criminal Investigation
First Pictures, In the Shadow of Things, A New Map of Italy, Presences, Shirana Shahbazi

Antone Dolezal        Photographer / Managing Editor, photo-eye Magazine
Burke + Norfolk, Salt & Truth, Redheaded Peckerwood, A, Pontiac
Abendsonne, Illuminance, Redwood Saw, The Heath, Happy Birthday to You

Sven Ehmann        Creative Director, Gestalten
The Other View, Ballet, Darkroom, C.E.N.S.U.R.A., Photographic Memory

Swiss Photobooks from 1927 to the Present, Someone Is No Monster, Freunde von Freunden, Eyes of Paris. Paris im Fotobuch 1890-2010, A Short History of Crying

Horacio Fernandez        Historian / Curator / Educator
A Criminal Investigation, Interior, Eden Is a Magic World, Illuminance, A New Map of Italy,
White Noise, Dune, Gomorrah Girl, C.E.N.S.U.R.A., Paloma al Aire

John Gossage        Photographer / Bookmaker
A Criminal Investigation, C.E.N.S.U.R.A., Chromes, Koudelka
Illuminance, Le Luxe, Photographic Memory, pretty girls wander, Redheaded Peckerwood, Gomorrah Girl

Lauren Henkin        Photographer / Writer / Publisher
pretty girls wander, Idyll, BoulevardUnmarked SitesIlluminance
Series, The New Cars 1964, Naksan, Lyonel Feininger, Pangnirtung

 We are delighted to announce photo-eye's Best Books list for 2011!

The complete feature can be viewed here on photo-eye Magazine, or to click on a contributor's name to view their list:

With 26 contributors (just one fewer than last year), this year's Best Books list is more compact than last year, coming in at 157 titles as opposed to 200+. This year's list had a few clear stand out books, each appearing on 6 or more lists: Illuminance, by Rinko Kawauchi, Redheaded Peckerwood, by Christian Patterson, A, by Gregory Halpern, and A Criminal Investigation, by Watabe Yukichi.

While there seems to be agreement that these four books have virtuosic qualities, this year's list is not without diversity. Selections included books by photoworld giants like Robert Adams and Josef Koudelka, vernacular photography anthologies like Aperture's study of the photo album Photographic Memory, self published books like Gomorrah Girl by Valerio Spada and Visitor by Ofer Wolberger, books with innovative designs and concepts like Anouk Kruithof's Happy Birthday to You and People in Trouble Laughing Pushed to the Ground -- just to name a few. 

There are a lot of really great books in here, and over the next few weeks on the blog, we'll be looking a bit deeper into this year's list with reviews and write ups of selected books. If there's a book that you'd like to see more information on, let us know and we'll do our best to expand on it.

We hope you enjoy this yearly feature and let us know what you think! And if there are any great photobooks that slipped through the cracks leave us a message -- we'd love to see your lists in the comments!
Places, Strange and Quite, Photographs by Wim Wenders.
Published by Hatje Cantz, 2011.
Places, Strange and Quite
Reviewed by John Mathews
Wim Wenders Places, Strange and Quiet
Photographs by Wim Wenders
Hatje Cantz, 2011. Hardbound. 124 pp., 37 color illustrations, 6-1/2x8-3/4".

Places, Strange and Quiet is a visual diary of journeys taken throughout Europe, Japan and North America by the German filmmaker Wim Wenders. The locations are possibly discovered through reconnaissance for potential film locations and may act as a way of consolidating Wenders' distinctive cinematic vision. Within the book there are nine panoramic fold out panels that emphasise the cinematic undertones of the collection.

Wenders' develops an acute awareness of his environment using the fresh perspective of a stranger and manages to capture the unique and hidden quirks of areas. He derives great pleasure and stimulus from simply wandering around places and getting lost. Through these journeys he discovers a range of unexpected vistas such as vacant lots, odd recesses and abandoned railway tunnels that contain hidden paintings. He explains his reasoning within the following excerpt from the book: "When you travel a lot, and when you love to just wander around and get lost, you can end up in the most unusual spots…. I don't know, it must be some sort of built-in radar that often directs me to places that are strangely quiet, or quietly strange."

Places, Strange and Quiet, by Wim Wenders. Published by Hatje Cantz, 2011.
Places, Strange and Quiet, by Wim Wenders. Published by Hatje Cantz, 2011.
Many of the locations that Wenders chances upon are uninhabited and have a melancholy beauty to them, whilst others take a more humorous look at subjects such as tourism, cultural appropriation and the way in which urban spaces are occupied. The photographs are propelled by an intuitive and often bemused sense of curiosity that finds symmetry and beauty within everyday situations. Overall the book has a meditative sense of calm, which is extenuated by the short haiku-style texts that accompany each of the images. These poetic and anecdotal texts, which are also presented in their original German, succinctly comment on the mysterious situations that Wenders finds himself in. An uncanny view of a windowless back yard contains the perceptive comment "Sometimes the absence of a thing makes you so much more aware of it. Especially if it is something we take for granted. Like windows…" The book provides an excellent overview of Wenders' photographic works from 1983 to 2011 and offers an intriguing insight into the visual psyche of an acclaimed filmmaker.—JOHN MATHEWS

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JOHN MATHEWS is an artist and curator from Belfast, Northern Ireland.