New Topographics: Library day

I've got way too many photography books checked out from the library right now -- here's a brief rundown:

  • Photography: A Very Short Introduction / Steve Edwards -- An extremely interesting little paperback that is absolutely packed with thought provoking historical and philosophical interpretation. I'm planning to buy a copy as it's a lot to digest. Also discussed recently by Mark over on The Landscapist. Strongly recommended.
  • Family Pictures / Nicholas Nixon -- A 1991 book of family portraits in the Smithsonian Photographers at Work series. Nixon was part of the influential New Topographics exhibit that I've been examining lately. A small book of intimate black and white family portraits shot with an 8x10 camera. A 35mm feel, but with much more detail and chiaroscuro. Subtle and wonderful. I'm still trying to get a copy of Nixon's The Brown Sisters from the library.
  • Landscapes from the Middle of the World: Photographs, 1972-1987 / Frank Gohlke -- also part of the New Topographics exhibition in 1975. This thin volume shows a mix of projects -- the images of grain elevators are particularly strong. Looking at the rest of Gohlke's books I then found Measure of Emptiness: Grain Elevators in the American Landscape, which I'm planning to track down soon.
  • Meadowland / Ray Mortenson -- This wonderful book was suggested by Chris in a comment on a previous post about Robert Adams. These black and white image of the New Jersey meadowlands are too beautiful to be part of the New Topographics. Great mix of density and desolation. Simple presentation -- thirty seven horizontal images with a one page afterword. Worth seeking out.