Issue 88 — Winter 2016
It is possible that for years, publishers around the world were producing photobooks and never realised. After all, they didn't even have the word 'photobook' to describe what they were doing. Jose Luis Neves here explains why the word didn't exist in the past and why it may not be adequate to describe the wild variety of books-with-photographsin that we have today.
But never mind that! We have done a poll to find out what are the greatest photobooks ever. As we hoped it would, this has identified a long list of titles that are widely agreed to be inspiring, some of them surprising. It has also thrown up a wave of books we'd never heard of, some of which we'd like to know more about. Hopefully it will have the same effect on other readers.
Orla Fitzpatrick has been looking at the Catholic Church's extravagant photobook productions and asks why they are not due the same attention as other more fashionable books. Like the distinction between general rodents and fancy rats, a mass produced propaganda vehicle may have more in common with the sensitively designed artist's book than we wish to admit. This is part of a series of articles titled tendentiously (by the editors) 'Photobooks in the real world' that deals with books that tackle big questions and are unlikely to be stocked by your usual photobooks specialist.
Daniel Jewesbury reviewed self-published books for Source for the last five years. For this issue he is in conversation with two photographers who have taken a particular interest in book publishing. Laura El-Tantawy, who was shortlisted for The Deutsche BÃ¶rse Photography Prize in 2016 for her self-published photobook In the Shadow of the Pyramids, and Liam Magee who was winner of the Camberwell Book Prize in 2014 for recent graduates from the photography department at Camberwell College of Arts. They discuss the process of making their very different books from the first dummy through to the final edition.
Source editor John Duncan interviews Paul Graham and they discuss how he learnt to make photobooks starting with his first publication in 1983, A1: The Great North Road. Graham discusses his editing process, how he sequences images and his use of titles. We are also publishing images from his latest book Paris 11-15th November, 2015.
In this issue we also welcome our new regular self published book reviewer Eugenie Shinkle. As ever, if you are prodcing a book yourself and would like us to consider it for review then send us an email.
— The Editors