The 4 best photography books

Which are the best photography books? We have chosen four: two made by the best photographers of the last century, a recently published book of interviews and an indispensable volume on photographic composition.

“Slightly out of focus” by Robert Capa

Biography fictionalized through images of the most famous photographer in the world, “Slightly out of focus” is a diary narrated by Capa himself, who traces his own story as a war reporter: with an often ironic style, the American photographer of Hungarian origin takes us to the European and African fronts, among the allies during the landing in Italy – when he also meets <a href=""a very young Andrea Camilleri) and until the liberation of France.
Far from the usual photography book (photo + caption), Capa makes us dive into those fundamental years for him by putting us in contact with History, thanks both to his (now) iconic photographs, and to a writing that can be used as a screenplay – with stories of love, vicissitudes, twists and turns and intense characters that emerge amidst rubble and fighting.

“A occhi aperti” di Mario Calabresi

Eyes wide open” collects 10 interviews by the former director of Italian newspapers La Stampa and La Repubblica with as many great photographers of our times: Steve McCurry, Josef Koudelka, Don McCullin, Elliott Erwitt, Paul Fusco, Alex Webb, Gabriele Basilico, Abbas, Paolo Pellegrin, Sebastião Salgado.
A book that focuses on the relationship between the photographer and the great history, bringing out the figure of the photographer as a chronicler of our time. In particular, Calabresi is interested in revealing the genesis of individual important shots that have crystallized an era, or contributed to making an event memorable. Paul Fusco describing the photo of Jackie’s tears at the funeral of her husband John F. Kennedy, la war-torn Beirut shot by Basilico; Webb who catches the eye of a man who is arrested in a field of flowers after crossing the border between Mexico and the USA; or Welimaga fishermen balancing on McCurry’s bamboo poles.

“Henri Cartier-Bresson. Discoveries”

There are many books dedicated to Henri Cartier-Bresson, but ““Discoveries” is probably the most representative: written by the photography historian – and curator of the photographic fund of the Center Pompidou and of the MoMA in New York – Clément Chéroux, this volume retraces the biography and working life of the great photographer through the photos taken during his travels, the quotes from Cartier-Bresson himself and the anecdotes of colleagues and friends.
In summary, all about Cartier-Bresson in a relatively slim volume: perhaps not the ideal publication to have the best possible rendering of the photos by HCB, but an excellent compromise for those who want to know the life of HCB and at the same time have his most representative photos.

“The Photographer’s Mind” by Michael Freeman

Photojournalist Micheal Freeman has written a happy trilogy of books on photography of which this “The Photographer’s Mind” is the second and perhaps most intriguing chapter. An important book for the amateur and novice photographer – but also for the simple enthusiast – to understand both the technique and the conceptual genesis of a shot.
“The Photographer’s Mind” is divided into six chapters, full of information and useful information for avoiding clichés and learning the art of fascinating and surprising the viewer:

  1. The shot
  2. Elements of composition
  3. Graphic and photographic elements
  4. Compose with light and colour
  5. The intention
  6. The creative process

Target Point, Italian Ideas