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Source Magazine: Thinking Through Photography - Issue 88

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The Greatest Photobooks of All Time

For the Photobook issue we have conducted a poll of people who have an informed opinion about photobooks. We have approached photographers, publishers, designers, booksellers, librarians, critics and curators, asking them to select ten books each. 112 have replied with 1,119 individual book nominations. And the winner is... Robert Frank's The Americans. Here you can see all of the books that received more than one vote in one list and the choices of individual selectors along with their comments about their selections in alphabetical order.

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Greatest 150 Photobooks:

(greatest 25 and the following 125 that received two or more votes)

1 The Americans, Robert Frank, 1958.

2 Evidence, Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, 1977.

3 The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, Nan Goldin, 1986.

4 New York, William Klein, 1956.

5= In Flagrante, Chris Killip, 1988.

5= Farewell Photography, Daido Moriyama, 1972.

7 Ravens, Masahisa Fukase, 1986.

8 The Map, Kikuji Kawada, 1965.

9= Diane Arbus: An Aperture Monograph, 1972.

9= Sentimental Journey, Nobuyoshi Araki, 1971.

9= William Eggleston's Guide, 1976.

9= For a language to come, Takuma Nakahira, 1970.

13= American Photographs, Walker Evans, 1938.

13= The Decisive Moment, Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1952.

13= Waffenruhe, Michael Schmidt, 1987.

16= Redheaded Peckerwood, Christian Patterson, 2012.

16= U-NI-TY, Michael Schmidt, 1996.

6 votes:

18= A Shimmer of Possibility, Paul Graham, 2007.

18= Broken Manual, Alec Soth, 2010.

18= Paris de nuit (Paris By Night), Brassaï 1932.

18= Paris, Moi Ver, 1931.

18= Raised by Wolves, Jim Goldberg, 1995.

18= Ray's A Laugh, Richard Billingham, 1996.

18= Sleeping by the Mississippi, Alec Soth, 2004.

18= Twentysix Gasoline Stations, Ed Ruscha, 1963.

18= The Afronauts, Cristina de Middel, 2012.

5 votes:

Telex Iran, Gilles Peress, 1984.

Every Building On The Sunset Strip, Ed Ruscha, 1966.

Exiles, Josef Koudelka, 1988.

4 votes:

American Prospects, Joel Sternfeld, 1987.

Candlestick Point, Lewis Baltz, 1989.

Common Sense, Martin Parr, 1999.

Drum, Krass Clement, 1996.

Flamboya, Viviane Sassen, 2008.

Gypsies, Josef Koudelka, 1992.

Naked City, Weegee, 1945.

Ordeal by Roses, Eikoh Hosoe, 1963.

Parallel Encyclopedia, Batia Suter, 2007.

Pictures from Home, Larry Sultan, 1992.

Rasen Kaigan, Lieko Shiga, 2013.

Self Portrait, Lee Friedlander, 1970.

Sent a Letter, Dayanita Singh, 2007.

The Great Unreal, Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs, 2011.

The Holy Bible, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, 2013.

Towards the City, Yutaka Takanashi, 1974.

Uncommon Places, Stephen Shore, 1982.

Utatane, Rinko Kawauchi, 2010.

3 votes:

Amazonia, Claudia Andujar, 1978.

Anonyme Skulpturen, Hilla and Bernd Becher, 1969.

Atlas, Gerhard Richter, 2015.

Bad Weather, Martin Parr, 1982.

Coexistence, Stephen Gill, 2012.

Erotos, Nobuyoshi Araki, 1993.

Face of our time, August Sander, 1929.

Fait, Sophie Ristelhueber, 1992.

Hidden Islam Nicolò Degiorgis, 2014.

Illuminance, Rinko Kawauchi, 2011.

Immediate Family, Sally Mann, 1992.

Imperial Courts, Dana Lixenberg, 2015.

Lebensmittel, Michael Schmidt, 2012.

Love on the Left Bank, Ed van der Elsken, 1956.

Neue Welt, Wolfgang Tillmans, 2012.

New Topographics, Britt Salvesen, 1975.

Observations, Richard Avedon, 1959.

Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions, Anna Atkins, 1843.

Poppy, Robert Knoth and Antoinette de Jong, 2012.

Red String, Yoshikatsu Fujii, 2014.

Sequester, Awoiska Van Der Molen, 2014.

She Dances on Jackson, Vanessa Winship, 2013.

Silvermine, Thomas Sauvin, 2013.

Sputnik, Joan Fontcuberta, 1997.

Subway, Bruce Davidson, 1986.

The Pond, John Gossage, 1985.

Tokyo Suburbia, Takashi Homma, 1998.

Tulsa, Larry Clark, 1979.

Untitled Film Stills, Cindy Sherman, 1990.

Valparaiso, Sergio Larrain, 1991.

Why Mister Why, Geert Van Kesteren, 2005.

Wisconsin Death Trip, Michael Lesy, 1973.

2 votes:

A Day Full of Miracles, Karol Kallay, 1963.

A Criminal Investigation, Watanabe Yukichi, 2011.

A Night in London, Bill Brandt, 1938.

A Period of Juvenile Prosperity, Mike Brodie, 2013.

A Storybook Life, Philip-Lorca Di Corcia, 2003.

A suivre - préambule, suite vénitienne, la filature, Sophie Calle, 1998.

A Way of Seeing, Helen Levitt, 1965.

Algerien L'algérie, Dirk Alvermann, 1960.

American Pictures, Jacob Holdt, 1977.

Another Water, Roni Horn, 2000.

Atget: Photographe de Paris, Eugène Atget, 1930.

Autobiography, Sol Le Witt, 1980.

Ballet, Alexey Brodovitch, 1945.

Bilder, Hans Peter Feldmann, 1968.

Blind, Sophie Calle, 2011.

Café Lehmitz, Anders Petersen, 1978.

Canary, Lieko Shiga, 2007.

Changing New York, Berenice Abbott, 1939.

Chili September 1973, Koen Wessing, 1973.

Concresco, David Galiaard, 2012.

Dalston Anatomy, Lorenzo Vitturi, 2013.

Dark Knees, Mark Cohen, 2014.

Deadline, Will Steacy, 2016.

E, Yamamato Masao, 2000.

Early Color, Saul Leiter, 2006.

East 100th Street, Bruce Davidson, 1970.

Elasticity, Aglaia Konrad, 2002.

Fabrik, Jack Tuggener, 1943.

Fig, Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin, 2007.

Floh, Tacita Dean, 2001.

Francesca Woodman, Francesca Woodman, 1998.

Fushikaden, Issei Suda, 1978.

Give Me Your Image, Bertien van Manen, 2006.

Grays the Mountains Sends, Bryan Schutmatt, 2014.

Greater Atlanta, Mark Steinmetz, 2009.

Hackney Flowers, Stephen Gill, 2007.

How Terry Likes His Coffee, Florian van Roekel, 2010.

Illustrations of China and Its People, John Thompson, 1873.

In the Shadow of the Pyramids, Laura El-Tantawy, 2015.

Jens F, Collier Schorr, 2005.

Kamaitachi, Eikoh Hosoe, 1969.

Karma, Oscar Monzón, 2013.

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, Walker Evans and James Agee, 1941.

Lick Creek Line, Ron Jude, 2012.

Lisboa, Cidade Triste e Alegre, Victor Palla and Costa Martins, 1959.

Looking For Love, Tom Wood, 1989.

Los Angeles Spring, Robert Adams, 1986.

Métal, Germaine Krull, 1927.

New Europe, Paul Graham, 1993.

New York Arbor, Mitch Epstein, 2013.

Nothing Personal, Richard Avedon, 1964.

Oh! Shinjuku, Shomei Tomatsu, 1969.

Park City, Lewis Baltz, 1980.

Photie Man, Tom Wood, 2005.

Photographs 1920-1934, Man Ray, 1934.

Public Relations, Garry Winogrand, 1977.

RFK Funeral Train, Paul Fusco, 2000.

Spain: Idai Naru Gogo / Grand Tarde, Ikko Narahara, 1969.

Summer Nights, Walking, Robert Adams, 2009.

Sweet Life, Ed van der Elsken, 1966.

The Democratic Forest, William Eggleston, 1989.

The End of the Game, Peter Beard, 1965.

The Lines of My Hand, Robert Frank, 1972.

The Pencil of Nature, William Henry Fox Talbot, 1844.

The Sweet Flypaper of Life, Roy DeCarava and Langston Hughes, 1955.

Trying to Dance, JH Engstrom, 2003.

Until Death Do Us Part, Thomas Sauvin, 2015.

Urformen der Kunst, Karl Blossfeldt, 1928.

Vietnam Inc., Philip Jones Griffiths, 1971.

Vinter, Lars Tunbjörk 2007.

Waiting, Sitting, Fishing and Some Automobiles, Anthony Hernandez, 2007.

Walls paper, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1973.

You Are The Weather, Roni Horn, 1997.

Browse Photobook Poll Results:

(indexed by voter name)