Social Media

Books 2023 Favorite Photobooks It is with great pleasure we bring you our annual list of photobooks chosen by professionals who are deeply involved in the photobook world. This year we asked over 30 luminaries to choose, not one, but three of their favorite photobooks from the past year.

It is with great pleasure we bring you our annual list of photobooks chosen by professionals who are deeply involved in the photobook world. This year we asked over 30 luminaries to choose, not one, but three of their favorite photobooks from the past year.

Each day, over the next week, we'll unveil 15 new selections. This year's list is even more diverse than in years past. So please check back daily! We hope you will enjoy these insightful selections!

For over 44 years photo-eye has been on the leading edge of photo bookselling, offering an eclectic selection of photobooks from around the world. We curate our selections based on what we feel are noteworthy books that you, our audience, will find interesting and exciting. Thank you for your continued support!


Book Review Arresting Beauty Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron Reviewed by Shannon Taggart "Cultural gatekeepers of the Victorian era initially deemed Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs 'inexcusable.' Critics argued her “slovenly manipulations” were so 'altogether repulsive' that even having been made by a woman couldn’t excuse them..."

Arresting Beauty by Julia Margaret Cameron.
Arresting Beauty
Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron

Thames & Hudson, London, United Kingdom, 2023. 208 pp., 125 illustrations.

Cultural gatekeepers of the Victorian era initially deemed Julia Margaret Cameron’s photographs “inexcusable.” Critics argued her “slovenly manipulations” were so “altogether repulsive” that even having been made by a woman couldn’t excuse them. Such contempt did little to shake Cameron’s confidence in her work or make her doubt her insights into the medium that were far ahead of their time. Arresting Beauty is a petite yet comprehensive book celebrating what made Cameron one of history’s most provocative photographers. 

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–1879) started photographing in 1863 at age 48, having been given a camera as a gift by her daughter. Most in this new role of 'photographer' valued the camera as an objective tool and used it to collect facts about the world, but Cameron immediately intuited photography’s dual nature as an art form. Among the first to probe its power to transform and provoke feeling, she began by questioning the camera’s most basic function. Despite having the technical prowess to create sharp images, Cameron halted her focus based on what looked most beautiful, asking: “What is focus, and who has the right to say what focus is the legitimate focus?” Her use of softness and close-ups is now considered groundbreaking. Cameron’s approach to the print was controversial as well. She was early to realize that darkroom interpretation was part of what made photographers artists. She remained indifferent to cracks or marks, possibly even welcoming them, and refused to discard damaged works. Her radical acceptance of the process anticipated future deconstructions of the photographic theater.

Cameron’s concepts were also unconventional. Assuming from the start what would take over a century to be generally accepted, she ignored the argument that photography is inferior to drawing or painting because it is a mechanical and chemical process. Cameron understood that all art is intention, the image is a thing in itself, and the human spirit can be expressed by hand or by eye. Beyond her pioneering portraits, Cameron’s other pictures were unapologetic attempts to turn life into myth. She staged scenes from the Bible, classical mythology, Renaissance painting, English literature, and famously helped her friend Alfred, Lord Tennyson breathe new life into Arthurian legend by illustrating his poetry. Cameron believed that photography could transcend reality, and she repeatedly used the same models, props, and drapery to make her point. The art establishment considered these tableaux to be in poor taste, and it took until the 1980s for them to be positively reassessed.

One of Julia Margaret Cameron's primary aims was to immortalize. She saw that, by holding images of people in time, photography offered an afterlife — a divine art that aligned with her religious faith. Cameron’s methods cut to the heart of photography’s strange magic, prefiguring Pictorialist aesthetics, Surrealist photography as imaginal tool, and snapshot artists such as Nan Goldin, who sacrifice technical perfection for intimacy. Arresting Beauty is an accessible volume drawn from the Victoria and Albert Museum’s holdings, the most extensive collection of her photographs in the world. It introduces new viewers, or invites those already familiar, to appreciate Cameron’s intent to “electrify you with delight and startle the world.”

Purchase Book

Read More Book Reviews

Shannon Taggart is a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been exhibited and featured internationally and has been recognized by Nikon, Magnum Photos and the Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Her first monograph, SÉANCE, was published by Fulgur Press in November 2019 and was named one of TIME’s best photobooks of the year.

Book Review Ghar Photographs by Anu Kumar Reviewed by Brian Arnold "The Hindi word ghar (or in its traditional Devanagari script घर), is derived from Sanskrit and means home, and can refer to both a physical dwelling and a region. This is a lovely idea, connecting the micro and macro understanding of home in one word..."

Ghar. By Anu Kumar.
Photographs by Anu Kumar
Perimeter Editions, Melbourne, 2023. 136 pp., 5½x7".

The Hindi word ghar (or in its traditional Devanagari script घर), is derived from Sanskrit and means home, and can refer to both a physical dwelling and a region. This is a lovely idea, connecting the micro and macro understanding of home in one word. The notion of home feels so much more complicated to me today – with wars in raging in Gaza and Ukraine over the rights to a homeland – but always a notion deeply connected to our personal and cultural identities. The ancient Sanskrit word घर exists unchanged today in Hindi, perhaps because it is such an essential part of the human experience, constantly ebbing and flowing between nurture and trauma, providing us with our deepest sense of self but are also often sites of our greatest tragedies.

Without the gravity of the world’s wars, the notions of nurture and trauma provide an interesting entry point for the new book by Melbourne-based photographer Anu Kumar, Ghar. Published in September 2022 by Perimeter Editions, Ghar is a collection of photographs made in Kavi Negar, India, Kumar’s birthplace. The book is composed of archival portraits snatched from family albums juxtaposed with Kumar’s medium-format film pictures dating back to 2011 when she made her first journey as an adult.

There isn’t much text or explanation provided in Ghar, just a short letter dated June 18, 1997. It seems to be written by Kumar’s mother, Guddu, to her grandparents. The letter references a recent move from India to Melbourne, the daughter telling her parents about the remarkable challenges and burdens of being first-generation immigrants, leaving India to try and set up a new home and identity in Melbourne in hopes of providing greater educational and cultural opportunities for their children. I know Kumar lives in Melbourne today but have no idea at what age her family decided to relocate to Australia. Nevertheless, 14 years after the letter was written, she went back to Kavi Negar to try and see how much of herself she could see in the people and landscapes, a place for which she could only have minimal memories.

, the result of this inquiry, is really quite lovely, full of affection, beauty, longing, and humility. The pictures are quite simple, proving that once again photography is best when grounded in its most fundamental attribute of clarity. Composed concisely – the subject almost always in the middle of her square frame — but with a lyrical understanding of light and color. Each picture is grounded in just 1-2 clearly articulated colors and uses open and softly diffused light (not much shadow play to see here). The effect is moving, making the pictures feel both warm and inviting and also patient and considered. Her subjects are simple and mundane things — a recently washed bowl drying on a countertop, a woman washing her hair, streetside vendors, and people relaxing on a hot afternoon — but with a clear understanding that these are the things that define our lives; the people we share the most intimacy with are the ones we also share the most mundane parts of our days. The book is small, only 14 x 18 centimeters, printed on matte paper with a warm cloth binding, echoing the simplicity and humility found in the photographs.

After making the pictures in 2011, it took another 10 years for Kumar to make sense of them. The world grinding to a halt with the COVID pandemic forced all of us to reflect on the nature of our connections, communities, and families. Nurture and trauma were at the heart of all this, as each of us was required to retreat into our homes and find the sustenance to endure unprecedented chaos and catastrophe. This also provided Kumar the necessary backdrop to edit the pictures in Ghar, a lovely, poetic, and profound meditation on the meaning of family and place, or in a word, घर.

Purchase Book

Read More Book Reviews

Brian Arnold
is a photographer, writer, and translator based in Ithaca, NY. He has taught and exhibited his work around the world and published books, including A History of Photography in Indonesia, with Oxford University Press, Cornell University, Amsterdam University, and Afterhours Books. Brian is a two-time MacDowell Fellow and in 2014 received a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation/American Institute for Indonesian Studies.
Book Review Abzgram Photographs by Karolina Wojtas Reviewed by Meggan Gould "This book is insane! To begin with: it’s a parallelogram, with just enough of a skew from the traditional rectangular book frame to make you question your bearings..."

Abzgram. By Karolina Wojtas.
Photographs by Karolina Wojtas

Spector Books, 2023. 204 pp., 153 illustrations, 7¼x10x¾".

This book is insane! To begin with: it’s a parallelogram, with just enough of a skew from the traditional rectangular book frame to make you question your bearings. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it is unrelenting. Every square inch of page is covered. Small photographs pile up on backgrounds of lined orthographic paper, color fields intersect large photographs, diagrams, scribbles, notes and graph paper add up to nothing short of visual cacophony. I had a photography teacher who loved to talk about the inclusion of “pages de respiration” in a photobook — spaces for deliberate breath between photographs. Wojtas gives us no breathers — in we go, and in we stay.

If I breathe at all here, it might lean toward borderline hyperventilation. It takes a minute to place this unrelenting overstimulation, this frenetic tension, but once I get there it is obvious: school! Fluorescent. Caged. Bombarded on all sides. Repetitive. Underlying rigidity of structures. What is primary school, if not a seesaw from prescriptive tedium to tedium, with intermittent jolts of pleasure and provocation?

On first few flip-throughs, I am flummoxed by the sustained mayhem within this book. Maybe I rub my eyes for good measure. Is this for real? What is this inscrutable chaos? A camera flash fires, again and again and again and again and again and again. I decide that this artist loves school. I decide that this artist hates school. I decide that this might be a brilliant excoriation of a Kafkaesque educational institution. I decide that I never want to set foot in a school again.

I will describe a few moments of relative pause for me. Uniformed children singing in page after page of dizzying snapshot grids of singing school groups, lined up in orderly assembly formations; if you know the Polish national anthem, this might be its soundtrack moment. Indecipherable grading schemes on surprisingly varied iterations of graph paper. The inexhaustible numerals of pi typed out as the background of 11 pages (along with other stamps, marks, drawings), layered over frame after frame of a tousle-headed kid in a red hoodie. Young adults standing on classroom tables, deadpan stares at the camera, dressed in black with circular orange exclamation mark stickers on their chests. A kid in jeans and sneakers attempting to climb onto a bank of lockers. A thumbnail survey of exuberantly painted classroom doors, each illuminated by the ubiquitous flash. Unable to decode the scrawls on the walls and in the margins, I regret that I cannot parse even a smidge of the Polish language.

Trying to pause feels futile. I recommend submission, and simply being awash in this sum total of a chaos of shenanigans. I would have loved to see the exhibition version; Abzgram is a photo book translation of a sprawling multimedia exhibition in Berlin, which included extensive video and room-sized installation work. The exhibition and monograph were the fruits of the C/O Berlin Talent Award 2022, which Wojtas won in the Artist category. For the book iteration of the experience, Wojtas was paired with Mathias Gründig, who won the same award in the Theorist category. Gründig’s essay, entitled “Play and Punish”, soothes my (pleasantly frazzled) nerves; I feel camaraderie in this experience, where “all the dials are set to eleven, more is more.” Ruminating on the relationship between play and work in the context of Wojtas’ anarchic work, Gründig invokes the history of Polish pedagogy amid sprawling philosophical entry points, including Michel Foucault, Walter Benjamin, and Johan Huizinga. The book also includes an interview between Gründig and Wojtas, in which the question as to whether she liked school is answered and we read of the artist’s relationship to language, the camera, and maturity.

Abzgram. It is a pitch-perfect pleasure-pain title in that I can neither exactly pronounce nor explain it, but it feels right. It is somehow both knowable and unknowable, an exuberant almost-anarchy of letters to match the exuberant almost-anarchy of photography on display within these pages.

Purchase Book

Read More Book Reviews

Meggan Gould is an artist living and working outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of New Mexico. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,, the SALT Institute for Documentary Studies, and Speos (Paris Photographic Institute), where she finally began her studies in photography. She received an MFA in photography from the University of Massachusetts — Dartmouth. She recently wrote a book, Sorry, No Pictures, about her own relationship to photography.
photo-eye Gallery Reshaping the Earth: Energy and the Environment photo-eye Gallery photo-eye Gallery is pleased to present Reshaping the Earth: Energy and the Environment, an exhibition of photographs by Jamey Stillings and David Emitt Adams

David Emitt Adams, Port of Los Angeles, San Pedro, CA, 2015, Wet Plate collodion on 55-gallon steel drum lid, 23.5 inches in diameter, Unique, $7,500 ready to hang

photo-eye Gallery is pleased to present Reshaping the Earth: Energy and the Environment, an exhibition of photographs by Jamey Stillings and David Emitt Adams. This exhibition observes the transformation of land due to the extraction of natural resources from the earth. This exhibition also highlights a selection of images by Bremner Benedict that explore natural springs in the Southwest, many of which are currently being threatened.

Jamey Stillings, #24916, 20 July 2017, Archival Pigment Ink Print, 31x44 in, Editon of 10 plus two artist's proofs, $3,400 unframed 

Jamey Stillings, #39386, 29 August 2022, 22x28 in, Editon of 15 plus two artist's proofs, $2,000 unframed

Jamey Stillings' stunning color, aerial photographs record rapidly growing large-scale renewable energy projects that incorporate wind, solar, hydro and mining projects in the Atacama desert of Chile. The landscape of the Atacama desert has a long history of being altered by humans due to the region's abundant natural resources such as lithium, copper, gold and iron ore.

David Emitt Adams, LA Harbor Oil Tanker, Wilmington, CA, 2017, Wet plate collodion tintype on 55-gallon steel drum lid, 23.5 inches in diameter, Unique, $7,500 ready to hang 

David Emitt Adams uses historical photographic techniques to explore his subjects, sparking conversations about the past and present. His "Power" series features images of industrial landscapes from the American oil industry, captured using a custom-built camera and printed directly onto 55-gallon steel oil drum lids using wet plate collodion chemistry.

Bremner Benedict, Pinto Hot Springs, NV, Archival Pigment Ink Print, 16x24 in, Edition of 4, $1,200 unframed. 

Benedict's "Hidden Water" project documents springs in the Southwest, including the Chihuahuan, Sonoran, and Mojave deserts, the Great Basin, and the Colorado Plateau. The project raises awareness about the loss of these vital ecosystems that have long been essential to human survival but are overlooked in our modern world.

About the artists:

Jamey Stillings is a photographer based in Santa Fe, NM. Jamey’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally. His work is in the permanent collection of the United States Library of Congress Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Los Angeles County Museum of Art Nevada Museum of Art, and Center for Art + Environment Archive Collection among others. His monographs include ATACAMA: Renewable Energy and Mining in the High Desert of Chile, Steidl, 2023, The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar, Steidl, 2015 and The Bridge at Hoover Dam, Nazraeli Press, 2011.

David Emitt Adams is a photographer based in Phoenix, Arizona. David’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally including museum exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collection of The Center for Creative Photography, The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, the Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, The George Eastman Museum, and The Worcester Art Museum as well as numerous private collections. 

Bremner Benedict is a photographer based in Concord, Massachusetts. Bremner's photographs have been exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Her work is in the permanent collection of Fidelity Art Boston Collection, The Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, New Mexico Museum of Art, George Eastman International Museum of Photography, and Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others.  In 2023 Benedict was the recipient of Center's Project Launch Grant

Also on display is a selection of work by gallery artists, including Mitch Dobrowner, Michael Kenna, Steve Fitch, and Beth Moon.

Reshaping the Earth: Energy and the Environment is on display through January 6th, 2024. An Artist Reception and Booksigning for Jamey Stillings will be held on Saturday, December 2nd, from 3-5 p.m.

*      *      *


*      *      *

If you are in Santa Fe, please stop by we are open Tuesday– Saturday, from 10am- 5:30pm. 

300 Rufina Circle, Unit A3, Santa Fe, NM 87507

For more information, and to reserve one of these unique works, please contact 
Gallery Director Anne Kelly
You may also call us at (505) 988-5152 x202

Book Review Coming and Going Photographs by Jim Goldberg Reviewed by Blake Andrews “At 66, Jim Goldberg is edging into his golden years but still young at heart. Give him a pair of scissors and some rubber cement and he’s like a kid in a sandbox..."

Coming and Going. By Jim Goldberg.
Coming and Going
Photographs by Jim Goldberg
MACK, London, UK, 2023. 360 pp., 10½x13½".

At 66, Jim Goldberg is edging into his golden years but still young at heart. Give him a pair of scissors and some rubber cement and he’s like a kid in a sandbox. He’s used these rudimentary tools to collage together a richly sophisticated art practice, with one blockbuster photo project after another. His photobooks include Raised By Wolves, Open See, and The Last Son, all of which demonstrate his signature cut-and-paste scrapbooking style. These and other monographs have helped him ascend the photo heights: Magnum membership, multiple NEA grants, a Guggenheim, and professor emeritus status at CCA.

Goldberg has a big heart, and he has used photo projects to illuminate the neglected American underclass. As described on his website, he conducts “long-term, in-depth collaborations which investigate the nature of American myths about class, power, and happiness.” He’s something of a social justice warrior, and such work is much needed and appreciated. But what about Goldberg himself? As might be expected from someone working in journalistic tradition, he’s captured his own life in the course of daily output. These photos have appeared here and there in bits and pieces. But until now he’s mostly kept out of his own spotlight.

Coming and Going
puts the focus on Goldberg. Spanning a timeline roughly from his mid-twenties to the present, it is a monumental memoir, 13 inches tall, with 360 full-bleed pages. Even softbound, it weighs over 6 pounds. The reader’s task feels Herculean initially. But it turns out to be quite manageable, even fun. Coming and Going is sequenced as a chronological memoir. It’s structured like a graphic novel, with images and words taking lead turns, and interacting in interesting ways. Goldberg is a natural storyteller and he’s had an interesting life. This might even be considered a page-turner, at least in the contemporary photobook world of occasionally clunky narrative.

When we first find the protagonist, he is in Lima, Peru circa 1979. He’s a globetrotting twenty-something with a pocket full of Tri-X. He’s busy Coming and Going, as they say. But Goldberg is soon pulled back to the daily tumult by the first of several major life events (all helpfully noted in the book with handwritten dates, lest they spin out of control). His father is sick. He returns to help his folks Herb and Lil, still living in his childhood home in Florida. But he’s not ready to settle down, and before long he’s off on more adventures. His peripatetic twenties and thirties leave a blizzard of Polaroids, 35 mm negs, and written notes. He falls in love, marries Susan Miller, has a daughter, Ruby, turns 40, enjoys professional breakthroughs. He checks in for an update on Echo and Tweaky Dave from Raised By Wolves. Soon his father passes and his marriage crumbles in a heavily redacted “Dear John” letter. Whew! That’s all Part I, the first half of the book.

Part II begins with his traumatic divorce from Miller. A heartbreaking list of possessions to be divided is blunt and to the point. They say a photo is worth a thousand words, but this one only needs a few hundred to describe decades of turmoil. As Ruby grows through childhood and adolescence, she assumes a growing role in Goldberg’s life, and in the book. He falls into parent routines, helping with homework and sorting Halloween candy. Meanwhile, his aging mother and teaching duties demand increased attention. The dishes pile up. Life goes on. He remarries (to the photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti) and they have a daughter. His mother passes, leaving a fridge of food and a box of heirloom jewelry. She joins a star chart of lost friends. As the book finishes in a retreating collage of faces and memories, Ruby is roughly the age Goldberg was when this tale began. The next generation is ready to step up.

As one life event gives way to the next one, Goldberg deftly divulges his personal history through notes, photos, handwriting, craft projects, and clipped collages. Few other photographers can so seamlessly weave large format negatives, Polaroids, 35 mm trimmings, and contact sheets. All are fair game for him. It would be a mess in other hands. But Goldberg has had years of practice through past monographs, and he makes it look easy. His photos come and go. Before we know it he’s 66.

The rough content and structure of Coming and Going are not atypical. You’d find similar stories in any personal history, and perhaps they’d even be fleshed out in a scrapbook like this one, tucked in the family den. Goldberg isn’t special in this regard. He’s lived an “everyman” life, widely relatable in most aspects. But, Goldberg being Goldberg, he is a photo connoisseur as well, and this visual memoir is several notches above the common family album. He knows just when to pack a page with pictures, when to leave space in the flow, when to share a letter or memento. Double-spread photos of white noise TV screens serve as quiet placeholders, moments of narrative reverie for the reader to catch their breath. The white silhouetted head from Raised By Wolves’ cover is another recurring motif. Perhaps it’s meant to reference his art career? Or it may be a literally empty vessel, interspersed here and there to collect the reader’s thoughts. In any case, he’s once again proved his mastery of simple cut-and-paste technique. He’s a kid in a sandbox, just as he’s always been. After years of building castles, this one is dedicated to himself.

Purchase Book

Read More Book Reviews

Blake Andrews is a photographer based in Eugene, OR. He writes about photography at
Book Review The Inhabitants Photographs by Raymond Meeks. Text by George Weld. Reviewed by Cheryl Van Hooven “Chosen as the sixth Immersion laureate, the French–American Photographic Commission established by the Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès, American photographer Raymond Meeks’ brief was to create a book and exhibition based on his residency in France during the summer of 2022..."

By Raymond Meeks & George Weld.
The Inhabitants
Photographs by Raymond Meeks.
Text by George Weld.

MACK, London, England, 2023. 172 pp., 8½x11¾".

Chosen as the sixth Immersion laureate, the French–American Photographic Commission established by the Fondation d’Entreprise Hermès, American photographer Raymond Meeks’ brief was to create a book and exhibition based on his residency in France during the summer of 2022.

“How should we let them know we were here?”

At first, just looking and making no photographs, Meeks immersed himself in Calais and the Pays Basque near the French-Spanish border. Although a stopping point for endless caravans of migrants braving perilous obstacles to get to Europe and the U.K, there are no caravansaries here offering respite and safety. 

 While volunteering with the aid organization Care4Calais, Meeks soon discarded his original plans to make portraits of the migrants. In a conversation with David Campany at ICP, Meeks said he realized that formal portraiture would take him out of encounters and experiences, out of the complexity of being lost, out of being available to what he was witnessing. Instead, he followed the traces left by the migrants, focusing on the places they inhabited, however briefly, on the evidence of their presence, human detritus, and on the land itself, seemingly as impregnable as their access to asylum. Without a single migrant’s photo, The Inhabitants nonetheless carries the feeling of a journey of displacement, bewilderment, of being a stranger in a strange land.

“The edge of the water, the edge of land . . . beyond this, what?”

To bring other voices into the latent narrative, Meeks engaged poet and writer George Weld, . Their collaboration, The Inhabitants, is a tour de force of the marriage of photographs and poetic text, each powerful in its own right, but transcendent together. Weld’s months of research and writing drew inspiration from such varied sources as Homer’s Odyssey, Rodin’s Burghers of Calais, Agnes Varda films The Wasteland, The Road, and Children of Men. Always in the first person, whether experiencing or observing, his extended poem envelops the reader in closely intimate conversation with voices of lament, of wonder, and longing. When asked about whose voices, Weld responded, “The voices here are all invented . . . They come together not to document a reality but to create one.” 

Despite their independent work and previous discussions about how the text and its many voices could interact with the pictures, both Meeks and Weld agreed that the actual form of the book, it’s meaning, came together during the editing and physical collaboration in Meeks’ studio in the Hudson Valley. Having no prior experience of these places other than Meeks’ archive of over 4000 photographs. Weld said he had “lived in Ray’s world” for those months as they shaped the book.

“I carry seeds with me, sewn in the hem of my jacket.”

Slip-cased, The Inhabitants’ textured off-white cover and barely visible debossed title hints at the tenuous traces of what’s left behind. Opening immediately to a white field and simple but propulsive line by Weld, the book’s tone is signaled by the shock of the following page: a full bleed, dark and formidable landscape. Thus, the journey begins.

Primarily in black-and-white, Meeks’ photos of mysterious dark forms, dense foliage, and broken industrial remnants convey unsettling undertones and elicit feelings of menace and disorientation. Is that blackened entrance a place of shelter or of danger?

With contributions by Meeks, Weld, Morgan Crowcroft-Brown and Michael Mack, the cinematic design underscores Meeks’ restless framing: up, down, near, far, oblique, direct, and the deft and generous use of white space cradles the weight of Meeks’ photos. Midway, a run of subtle color images provides a brief pause in the black-and-white, perhaps a glimpse of a land of promise, a hoped-for future. The choice of a small, italicized font elevates the sparsely distributed text which often rests in isolation on the page and adds counterpoint to the photos. Every decision supports their intention. 

There are many ways to read The Inhabitants, photos first, text first, both together, but in order to absorb its layered richness and depths, I would recommend slowly and repetitively. Flowing as tide and current in contrapuntal movement, the pictures and words, neither taking dominance, weave together a fully resonant experience.

Purchase Book

Read More Book Reviews

Cheryl Van Hooven is a photographer and writer based in New York and often working in the California Mojave Desert. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints & Photographs, Imagery Estate Winery Permanent Collection at Sonoma State University, among others. She is currently working on a photo/text book.