Privacy Note: Source uses cookies or similar technologies to analyze trends, administer the website, track users’ movement around the website and to gather demographic information about our user base as a whole. The technology used to collect information automatically from Source Users may include cookies, web beacons, and embedded scripts. In addition, we and our analytics providers (such as Google), and service providers (such as PayPal and Mailchimp) may use a variety of other technologies that collect similar information for security and fraud detection purposes and we may use third parties to perform these services on our behalf. If you continue to use this site, you agree that we can place these types of cookies on your device.




Source Magazine: Thinking Through Photography - Issue 88

Order your copy of Source Issue 88 now using Paypal:

Europe and International postage options ▸

The winter 2016 issue of Source is all about Photobooks. What is the greatest ever photobook? We have conducted an international poll to discover the answer to this question, asking photographers, publishers, critics, booksellers, collectors and others to nominate their favourite books of all time. You can see additional analysis in the magazine but here are the results including the comments and selections of every nominator.

Return to Season Page ▸

Browse Photobook Poll Results:

(indexed by voter name)

Photobook Poll Results - Q-T:

Heidi Romano

Photographer, directed the inaugural Photobook Melbourne festival, Australia

Alec Soth, Broken Manual, 2010.

Sara Skorgan Teigen, Fractal State of Being, 2014.

Awoiska van der Molen, Sequester, 2014.

Bryan Schutmaat, Grays the Mountain Sends, 2013.

Katrin Koenning and Sarker Protick, Astres Noirs, 2016.

Tito Mouraz, The House Of The Seven Women, 2016.

Sophie Calle, Rachael, Monique, 2013.

Ron Jude, Lick Creek Line, 2012.

Katrien de Blauwer, Silently into the night, 2014.

Masako Tomiya, Tsugaru, 2013.

Amani Willett, Disquiet, 2013.

Alia Malley, A cavalier in sight of a village, 2011. Each one of these books left an impression on me – the way they tell a story, the texture of the paper, the printing quality, the way these books holds my attention. For me photography books are an escape. They allow me to loose myself in a story. There is nothing nicer, than taking time out and indulge in an interesting experience by looking at the pictures.

Andrew Roth

Author, curator and publisher, USA

Vito Acconci, Notes on the Development of a Show, 1973.

John Baldessari, A Sentence of Thirteen Parts (with Twelve Alternate Verbs) Ending in Fable, 1977.

Christian Boltanski, Recherche et présentation de tout ce qui reste de mon enfance, 1944-1950, 1969.

Sophie Calle, Les Dormeurs, 2000.

Jindrich Heisler and Marie Cermínová Toyen, From the Strongholds of Sleep: Materialized Poems, 1940.

Gordon Matta-Clark, Walls paper, 1973.

Daido Moriyama, Another Country in New York, 1974.

Bruce Nauman, Burning Small Fires, 1968.

Ed Ruscha, Dutch Details, 1971.

Jindrich Styrsky, Emily Comes to Me in a Dream, 1933.

Darragh Shanahan

Photographer and Bookseller, Gallery of Photography, Ireland

Diane Arbus, An Aperture Monograph, 1972.
It's an incredible book of photographs of people but it's actually a self portrait of Diane Arbus

John Berger, Ways of Seeing, 1972.
Well you can't run a specialist photography bookshop without stocking this book, it's a huge seller and very worth every cent.

Krass Clement, Drum, 1996.
A subtle and powerful book that we hope to create as an installation in 2017 in the town of Drum Co Monaghan.

Robert Frank, The Americans, 1959.
The gateway drug for new photographers.

Nan Goldin, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, 1986.
It's poetic, grim, a fascinating and sad story full of rock and roll.

Sally Mann, Immediate Family, 1992.
This book revealed how innocent and controversial photography can be.

Martin Parr & Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History Volume 1, 2 & 3, 2004, 2006, 2014.
Because since the very first photography book 'Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions' by Anna Atkins to present day, there are so many photography books we have missed and probably will never see. There are nearly 600 books recorded in these volumes and if you have a credit card and the internet you could compete with Martin Parr & The PhotoBook Museum on building up your own library.

Eugene Richards, Dorchester Days, 1978.
A remarkable photo essay and self published work.

Vanessa Winship, Sweet Nothings, 2008.
We admire her beautiful and committed work.

Tom Wood, Photie Man, 2005.
It encapsulates everything we like about photography, it's voyeurism with respect.

Jem Southam

Photographer, UK

Sol Lewitt, Autobiography, 1980.
The most remarkable and surprising book of photographs I think I have ever come across. I pulled it off a library shelf (have seen it just the once), and the initial bafflement soon gave way to the recognition that I was holding a most profound bookwork.

Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature, 1844-46.
The very first photography book, and one which in my experience still explores the medium of photography like no other. The pictures of breakfast tables and shelves still fill me with awe.

Camile Silvy, Photographer of Modern Life, 2010.

William Eggleston, The Democratic Forest (the recent Steidl 10 volume version), 2016.
If I was allowed the complete set I would take it to my desert island and there would hopefully find the time to really comprehend something of what the medium is capable.

Looking In: Robert Frank's The Americans, 2009.
The hardback catalogue to the MET exhibition of Robert Franks 'The Americans' As above, a dense investigation, a seminal work on a seminal work.

Ed Ruscha, Twentysix Gasoline Stations, 1963.
Lightweight by comparison with the last two items, but for all that the shadow or inspiration cast by this book is extraordinary.

Bernd and Hilla Becher, Industrial Landscapes, 2002.
A slight problem to decide which Becher book to put forward, but perhaps because of my landscape sympathies this one rises to the top of their pile.

Paul Strand, Tir A' Mhurain, 1962.

Peter Fraser, Two Blue Buckets, 1988.
When he is on song, and it happens fairly frequently, Peter can pull pictures out of anything and nothing that just confound us.

The Meadow, Barbara Bosworth, 2015.
My latest find. A book I plan to pick up again and again over the next years.

Carly Steinbrunn

Photographer, UK

Karl Blossfeldt, Urformen der Kunst, 1928.

Gerhard Richter, Atlas, 1972.

Hans-Peter Feldmann, Bilder, 1975.

Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, Evidence, 1977.

Sol LeWitt, Autobiography, 1980.

Andy Warhol, Photographs, 1987.

Michael Schmidt, Waffenruhe, 1987.

Christopher Williams, Angola to Vietnam, 1989.

Paul Graham, New Europe, 1993.

Wolfgang Tillmans, Neue Welt, 2012.

I don’t like lists but I do love books. Here is a subjective choice of publications by artists that I admire; books that, additionally, have all had a strong influence on my work. Many are conceptual pieces, made after Ed Ruscha started his series of artist books in the 1960s. Several aim to confront the traces of a violent past marked by war or colonialism; some, to that purpose, make use of vernacular imagery. All of them question the language of photography by way of an understated mastery of the book form, using pictures in a sequence like words in a sentence

Isabel Stevens

Critic, UK

Robert Adams, Summer Nights, Walking, 2009.

Sophie Calle, Suite Vénitienne, 1979.

Robert Frank, The Americans, 1958.

Nan Goldin, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, 1986.

Kikuji Kawada, The Map, 1965.

William Klein, New York, 1956.

Chris Marker, Commentaires, 1961.

Daido Moriyama, Farewell photography, 1972.

Larry Sultan and Mike Mandel, Evidence, 1977.

Dayanita Singh, Sent a letter, 2007.

Masakazu Takei

Editor, Foil Publishing, Japan

Sebastião Salgado, Genesis, 2013.

Andreas Gursky, angkok, 2012.

Nan Goldin, Devils' Playground, 2003.

Cy Twombly, Photographs, 1993.

William Eugene Smith, Minamata, 1975.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Lady, 1983.

Yoshikazu Shirakawa, The Antarctic Continent, 1994.

Rinko Kawauchi, Aila, 2004.

Toshiteru Yamachi, Pigs and Papa, 2010.

Syojin Kajii, Nami, 2004.

Some of the photographers I guess everybody knows but the Japanese photographers I selected, I am not sure how many people know them. If you have the time I hope you can see their books.

Rudi Thoemmes

Publisher and bookseller, RRB photobooks, UK

Chris Killip, In Flagrante, 1988.

Robert Frank, The Americans, 1958.

Keld Helmer-Petersen, 122 Colour Photographs, 1948.

Takuma Nakahira, For a Language to come, 1970.

Karol Kallay, A Day Full of Miracles, 1963.

Michael Schmidt, Lebensmittel, 2012.

Be Bold with Bananas, No date but probably, 1972.

Dirk Alvermann, Algerien, 1960.

Krass Clement, Skygger Af Ojeblikke, 1978.

Sergio Larrain, Valparaiso, 1991. Fairly predictable list; all blokes, nothing very contemporary, most black and white, many of the them first publications. Krass Clement: could have picked any of his 21 books, he also heads the most underrated category. The Banana book is there as a representative of all those delightful unintentional photobooks. Bananas...

Anita Totha

Founder of Remote Photobooks and runs The Photobok Club, Auckland, New Zealand

Alec Soth, Sleeping by the Mississippi, 2004.

Mark Steinmetz, Greater Atlanta, 2009.

Alessandra Sanguinetti, On the Sixth Day, 2005.

Pieter Hugo, Rwanda: Vestiges of a Genocide, 2011.

Andre Kertesz, Hungarian Memories, 1982.

Darren Glass, A Field Guide to Camera Species, 2009.

Roger Steffens, The Family Acid, 2015.

Viviane Sassen, Roxane, 2012.

Miti Ruangkritya, Politics no.2, volume 1, 2011.

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

Browse Photobook Poll Results:

(indexed by voter name)