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Holiday Book Guide

OP’s annual selection of books for outdoor photo enthusiasts
Outdoor Photographer may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. Outdoor Photographer does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting Outdoor Photographer.

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Lining the bookshelf with new large-format photography hardcovers this holiday season shouldn’t be too difficult. For the globetrotting photographer, there’s no shortage of dramatic, colorful pictorials taken in places across the United States and around the world. From Arizona to Antarctica, images taken by such celebrated photographers as Steve Bloom, John Isaac, David Muench, Sebastião Salgado and William Neill fill the pages of the books selected for this year’s holiday roundup.

holiday book

A World History of Photography by Naomi Rosenblum (Abbeville Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-7892-0937-5). In this collection of more than 800 photographs are little-known and celebrated masterpieces. Naomi Rosenblum explores the diverse roles that photography has played in the communication of ideas. Profiles are given of photographers who have made notable contributions to the medium or epitomized a certain style.

Africa by Sebastião Salgado (Taschen, 2007; ISBN: 978-3-82285-6-215). The photojournalist has spent 30 years documenting Africa. He selected the powerful black-and-white images contained in this volume, which is broken into three parts—the southern part of the continent, the Great Lakes region and the sub-Saharan region.

Arizona by David Muench (Graphic Arts Books, 2007; ISBN: 978-1-55868-986-2). The world-renowned landscape photographer has explored the Arizona landscape for more than 50 years. Filling the pages are photographs of the cliff dwellings, rock formations, giant saguaro cactus and evergreen forests that make this state so geographically rich.

Between Ocean and Bay: A Celebration of the Eastern Shore by Jim Clark (Mountain Trail Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-9799171-5-8). OP Contributing Editor Jim Clark shows off the eastern shores of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, spanning the Chesapeake Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. The book contains 120 images of wildlife, beaches, farms and seaside communities. It’s also filled with the photographer’s notes and extended captions detailing each photograph.

Canada by Daryl Benson (Cullor Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-0968457641). A collection of 144 color and black-and-white images fill this beautifully bound edition. From the Queen Charlotte Islands of western British Columbia to the eastern edge of Cape Spear in Newfoundland and Labrador, Benson crisscrosses his homeland. He also includes a series of short stories on his travels and experiences while photographing the book.

holiday book

Canyon Wilderness of the Southwest by Jon Ortner (Welcome Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-59962-056-5). This limited edition features more than 200 full-color photographs accompanied by quotes from authors, travelers and naturalists inspired by the Southwest. Timeworn canyons, mesas and vast windswept deserts are shown along with the rock formations, buttes, towers, arches and domes that make up these 130,000 square miles.

Equus by Tim Flach (Abrams, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-8109-7142-4). Taking seven years to complete, this book offers an intensely moving look at the spirit and physical dynamics of horses. Tim Flach traveled all over the world photographing a variety of breeds, from the prized Arabians in the Royal Yards of the United Arab Emirates to the wild horses that roam Mongolia. The photos were taken in a variety of settings, including in a studio, underwater in a training pool and from the back of a motorcycle.

India: In Word & Image
by Eric Meola (Welcome Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-59962-049-7). From the Himalayas and the monasteries in the north to the temples of Tamil Nadu in the south, Eric Meola shoots the country from all sides. Edited down from 25,000 images, the book contains more than 200 showing India’s people, landscapes, architecture, celebrations and art.

Inside Iran by Mark Edward Harris and Abbas Kiarostami (Chronicle Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-8118-6330-8). Iran is a place seldom seen or understood. Award-winning photographer Mark Edward Harris traveled the country, capturing images of daily life, from contemporary Tehran to historic cities like Qom and Shiraz. The photos are accompanied by short essays and extended captions.

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holiday book

Landscapes of the Spirit—Digital Edition by William Neill (Sadhna Press, 2008). Originally published in 1997, the popular book, now out of print, is available for download. It’s delivered as two PDF files, with one containing single pages optimized for viewing the individual images, as well as reading text. The second PDF shows two-page spreads, allowing readers to view the book as it was originally designed.

Learning To Breathe: One Woman’s Journey of Spirit and Survival by Alison Wright (Hudson Street Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-59463-046-0). In this spiritual memoir, photojournalist Alison Wright recalls the harrowing bus accident she survived in Southeast Asia, which left her near death on the side of a rural road in Laos. After the collision, Wright spent 14 hours without proper medical attention, and then endured months of surgeries and grueling physical therapy.

Living Africa by Steve Bloom (Thames & Hudson, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-500-51427-6). Born in South Africa, Steve Bloom uses his lens to express the essence and diversity of this overwhelming continent. From the world’s tallest sand dunes in the Namibian desert to the green wetlands of Botswana to the frenzied markets of Ethiopia, Bloom gives readers a comprehensive look at Africa today.

Our Arizona
by Kerrick James (Voyageur Press, 2007; ISBN: 978-0-7603-2837-8). The photographer traveled to every corner of the state, exploring such natural wonders as Monument Valley and the Petrified Forest, along with the state’s bustling cities. James also captures what remains of ancient Pueblo civilizations and the contemporary culture of the Navajo, Hopi and other tribes.

Our Changing Planet: The View from Space edited by Michael D. King, Claire L. Parkinson, Kim C. Partington and Robin G. Williams (Cambridge University Press, 2007; ISBN: 978-0-521-82870-3). This stunning volume shows satellite imagery of the changes taking place on our planet from land movements and volcanic eruptions to the growth of cities, deforestation and pollution. Accompanying the images are essays on the science behind them and the implications of what they show.

Over The Rivers: An Aerial View Of Geology
by Michael Collier (Mikaya Press, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-931414-21-1). Get into Michael Collier’s little Cessna 180 and discover what he sees in this remarkable photo collection. These aerial views provide brief, intimate and unique glimpses of rivers. Collier, a science writer and geologist, also provides insightful captions that describe the geological processes of how rivers work.

holiday book

Still: Oceanscapes by Debra Bloomfield (Chronicle Books, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-8118-6290-5). In 60 captivating images, photographer Debra Bloomfield chronicles the sea’s every mood, from dawn to dusk. She spent seven years on this project and stuck to photographing one stretch of beach. Bloomfield writes that the book is “about contemplation in an overstimulated, ‘overtechnified’ world.”

The Antarctic: From The Circle To The Pole
by Stuart D. Klipper, Guy G. Guthridge, Stephen J. Pyne and William L. Fox (Chronicle Books, 2008; ISBN:978-0-8118-6229-5). Explore the mysterious landscape of Antarctica through the eyes of a photographer who has traveled there six times in 20 years. From ships suspended in the frozen sea to glowing icebergs and views of endless snow, the book’s panoramic shape and unique vertical opening add to the grandness of each image.

The Forgotten Horses
by Tony Stromberg and Robert Redford (New World Library, 2008; ISBN: 978-1-57731-615-2). Instead of focusing on the more exotic, flashier horse breeds or famous thoroughbreds, equine photographer Tony Stromberg turns his lens on “working class” horses. The animals in this book were photographed at sanctuaries across North America that care for abused, neglected and abandoned horses.

The Vale of Kashmir by John Isaac and Art Davidson (W.W. Norton, 2008; ISBN: 978-0-39306-525-1). These incredibly poignant photographs celebrate the people and the landscape of a region that’s rich with beauty, color and culture. John Isaac focuses on the historical Kashmir, not the country torn apart by war. Isaac was a United Nations photographer for 30 years, and he has worked with both the Sierra Club and UNICEF.

Utah: The Light Fantastic
by Tom Till (Fable Valley Publishers, Inc., 2007; ISBN: 978-0971255548). With his large-format camera, the landscape photographer travels through Utah, capturing the state’s great beauty. He photographs some of the newer attractions, like Range Creek Canyon, Thanksgiving Point and Glen Canyon.