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2013 Best Books Reviews and Videos: Part I

Reviews & Videos 2013 Best Books Reviews and Videos: Part I Part I of our collection of book reviews and videos featuring 2013 Best Books titles published on photo-eye Blog.

The Canaries
By Thilde Jensen
LENA Publications

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:
Alec Soth
Erin Azouz
Jeffrey Ladd
John Gossage
Rob Hornstra

"Tightly edited and astutely focused, Jensen manages to do something unique with her book. Beginning with an already compelling subject, it would have been easy to document those afflicted with MCI and have a sympathetic portrait. Instead, the book is infused with a palpable sense of dread." —Adam Bell Read more

Notes from the Foundry
By Suzanna Zak, Daniel Shea, Susan Lipper, Andrew Moore, John Lehr, Nicholas Gottlund, Jacob Koestler, Ross Mantle, Zoe Strauss, Sean Stewart & Todd Hido, Gregory Halpern, Darin Mickey, Corine Vermuelen, Andrew Borowiec, David La Spina et al.
Spaces Corners

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:
Christopher McCall

"Notes From the Foundry is the latest title from Spaces Corners, a young artist-run bookstore and gallery in Pittsburg. Editors and gallery owners Melissa Catanese and Ed Panar have curated an impressive lineup of sixteen photographers for this book, most of whom have gained national recognition, including a few international stars." —Blake Andrews Read more

Strangely Familiar
By Peter Mitchell
Nazraeli Press

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:

"This book is number 7 in Nazraeli's series of 10 books chosen by Martin Parr and it's a classic, a marvel of decrepit cityscapes mixed with environmental portraits that show the soul of a city and a people at odds with what Mitchell calls the 'glittering emptiness' of the city today." —Colin Pantall Read more

Two Rivers
By Carolyn Drake

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:


Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:

"Actually, post-apocalypse isn't far from the truth. Lieko Shiga made the photos before, during, and after the 2011 Tohoku Tsunami while embedded as the official photographer for Kitakama prefecture along Japan's coast (Rasen Kaigan = Spiral Coast). A horror set indeed, and she was on the scene with a camera to document events. But the resulting photos do not record history in the traditional way." —Blake Andrews Read more

Black Sea of Concrete
By Rafal Milach

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:
Regina Anzenberger

"Rafal Milach's Black Sea of Concrete explores the coastal landscape of modern Ukraine as it lives with this formidable legacy while also struggling to move forward. Trapped between an oppressive but known past and an uncertain future, the path ahead is far from clear." —Adam Bell Read more

In and Out of Fashion
By Viviane Sassen

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:
Eric Miles

"[In and Out of Fashion] is a retrospective catalogue of Sassen's last 17 years in fashion photography that has appeared in diverse yet loosely connected fashion magazines (Purple Fashion, Pop, Dazed & Confused), all of them alt-fashion. Sassen's fashion work is alluring, extremely well composed and always a little off-putting. Her models are condorted into strange shapes or part of their bodies, often their faces, are obscured, marred by body paint, plants, and awkward body language. This creates a trademark style that is, for lack of a better term, Sassenese."  —Christopher J. Johnson Read more

New York Arbor
By Mitch Epstein

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:
Christopher McCall
Douglas Stockdale
John Gossage

"I am elated that Mitch Epstein feels the same way, where trees are concerned. I applaud him, and his publisher Steidl, for not veering away from 'another tree book;' there is certainly a forest of them already. And probably a grove or two are waiting in the wings, hesitating to emerge for fear of the Schongemacht (an imaginary Teutonic scold) casting shaming shadows on them. Epstein invests his images with an elegance and a contextual intelligence that highlights the character of individual trees apart from the overarching canopy of them that most pedestrians glide beneath with little more than casual appreciation for the shade. —George Slade Read more

By Amani Willett
Damiani Factory

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:

"Amani Willett's new book Disquiet frames the changing life of the photographer around the recent turmoil of the Occupy Wall Street movement, seeing a mirror-like metaphor in American society. This book offers a deep dive into those dark times of life when one wonders if everything is crumbling. Action is taking place outside of these photographs. The pictures are fascinating hints at the uneven moments of life." —Tom Leininger Read more

Once a Year
Photographs by Axel Hoedt

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:

"A good fashion photographer isn't simply looking for beauty, but the moment where clothing transfigures the person wearing it — a transformation perhaps never more powerful than with costume. Photographed against white backdrops or in the streets in both black and white and color, Hoedt's atmospheric images invite you to look, yet not in the same way documentary images do. In these images it is possible to see something beyond the garment. Momentarily still, Hoedt's photographs allow us flashes of a centuries old world hidden in the experience of otherness of this once a year tradition." —Sarah Bradley Read more

S├ámi: Walking With Reindeer
By Erika Larsen

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:


Field Trip
By Martin Kollar

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:

"Kollar takes the reader through an unexpected vision of Israel. When going through the book the first time it felt like the pictures were made in this region, but without captions or a forward, it feels a bit confused. Recognizable pictures of Israel are not initially evident. The book is part of a larger series by 12 photographers exploring Israel and the West Bank with the goal of creating a diversity of images rather than a single view of this highly charged place. Learning of the context after viewing the book helps to answer some of the questions the Kollar is posing. A lack of captions or forward propels the viewer into this place that seems familiar and strange at the same time — a version of life between the major news events." —Tom Leininger Read more

The Fourth Wall 
By Max Pinckers

Selected as a Best Book of 2013 by:
Cristina De Middel
John Gossage
Tomoki Matsumoto

"In his prize-winning book, The Fourth Wall, Max Pinckers shows Mumbai as a fantasy city. There are no hard documentary facts here, no Falkland Road prostitutes, Narcopolis junkies, or Salaam Bombay street kids. Instead, Pinckers takes us to a Bollywood Mumbai that is half-imagined, half-nostalgic and half-real, a masala mix that conforms to the rich history of representation that the city has experienced over the years." —Colin Pantall Read more