Book Roundup: The Influence of Imagery

December 10, 2012

By Andre K. Crump

Entropic Kingdom

By Tom Chambers

Modernbook Edition

Hardcover, 112 pages, $75

Photo by Tom Chambers

Boutique art gallery Modernbook has issued another beautiful and ultimately collectible tome by the name of Entropic Kingdom by Tom Chambers. The cover image tells the entire story, with an extremely talented Chambers using saturated, fantastical imagery that borderlines on possible realities of style, adventure and imagination. Also designed by Chambers, the book features work from five of his photographic series and an essay from photographer and editor of the Lenscratch blogzine, Aline Smithson. In an interview with photo-eye’s blog earlier this year, Chambers said, “I feel both a great sense of pride, as well as relief, now that Entropic Kingdom has been published. The book contains the best of my work from five series, which I have developed over 13 years. It is rewarding to see my work wrapped up and preserved in a package. And, now I feel a fresh start and the freedom to explore other photographic directions.” 

Mario Testino: Private View

By Mario Testino


Hardcover, 256 pages, $69.99

With a tipped-in lenticular cover image of Lady Gaga, this new publication by photographer Mario Testino screams, “Put me on your coffee table!” There is a good reason—in it, Testino shares a unique variety of celebrity images that include actual photo shoots as well as behind-the-scenes frivolity. Testino’s famous subjects range from Elton John, Heidi Klum, Demi Moore (buff) and Julia Roberts (holding a squirrel), to Mick Jagger, Emma Watson and even the British Royal Family (including Kate).

The Sartorialist: Closer

By Scott Schuman

Penguin Books

Paperback, 512 pages, $30

Scott Schuman came to prevalence via his popular blog, The Sartorialist, which documents in well-framed snapshots the street style of people he encounters around the world. That photographic style is now not only well-respected, it has also been incorporated into the design of many mainstream magazines, as editors realize the impact that street style has on runway trends. A sartorial star now himself, Schuman’s new book continues the visionary work he pioneered, and offers the reader a plethora of fashionable yet regular people from metropolitan areas across the globe. [The book is available with two different covers: one featuring a woman, the other a man, as shown here.]

Cycle Style 

By Horst A. Friedrichs


Paperback, 196 pages, $24.95 

Apparently, in London, one who bicycles can also look dapper. Reminiscent of the old etched images of gentlefolk on high wheel bicycles, Cycle Style is a modern look at a historic city tradition. Shot in the actual streets and parks of the capital, men and women throughout London not only wear the latest fashions while on their bikes, they also incorporate the bikes into their wardrobes. If there was ever a proponent for increasing bicycle use versus cars, this photographic collection is it. Nonetheless, so that readers aren’t carried away with the imagery, the book strongly recommends that you always wear a helmet.

Architecture Now! Eat Shop Drink

By Philip Jodidio


Paperback, 416 pages, $39.99

The places where we eat, shop and drink are not just formless caverns of happenstance. Many are highly stylized and designed endroits that appeal to our senses of touch, hearing and most importantly, sight. Harvard-educated Philip Jodidio has compiled a stimulating photographic tour of these public spaces, where many of us spend a significant portion of our waking lives.

Coming Into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast

By Nathalie Herschdorfer


Hardcover, 288 pages, $65 

There are those who know Condé Nast as the name of the company behind lifestyle magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bon Appétit and GQ. What they may not know is that Condé Montrose Nast was an actual person. As the founder and publisher of his company, Nast personally led to the discovery of a great many well-known photographers, as well as the creation of a media platform that supported countless others. These include—to name a few—Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn, Man Ray, Bruce Weber, Albert Watson, Helmut Newton, Patrick Demarchelier, Ellen von Unwerth, Diane Arbus and Herb Ritts. That’s worth at least a century of photography.

Photography: The Whole Story 

By Juliet Hacking


Hardcover, 576 pages, $34.95 

It could be argued that a book called “The History of the World” would probably miss about 95 percent of actual world history. However, Photography: The Whole Story is an impressive effort to give you exactly what its title offers. Starting with the birth of photography, this publication follows each era of its evolution, focusing not only on techniques, hardware and well-known photographers, but also on the social and political contexts of photography’s growth. Extensively researched and attractively designed, this guide is highly recommended for those who want to be versed on what photography actually may be, and has been.

A Third Decade of Guess?

By Paul Marciano


Hardcover, 244 pages, $80 

If you haven’t noticed it yet, the Guess brand has long-embraced fashion photography as a key strategy to global expansion. It has been so successful that one could argue that there is a “Guess-style” for pictures: often black and white, processed like high-speed and high-contrast film stock, sexually enticing, casual and portrait-oriented. A Third Decade of Guess?, formatted at 15.5 x 12 inches in size and featuring model Claudia Schiffer, is proof that embracing what one loves and what people love about you is often quite profitable. Bonus: Several pages in the book are transparent, like film negatives or slides—a clever touch by author and Guess mastermind, Paul Marciano.

Justin Bonello Cooks for Friends

By Justin Bonello

Penguin Global

Hardcover, 176 pages, $40 

A photographic and culinary tour of South Africa by Justin Bonello. The topic is right in Bonello’s area of expertise, as he is well known regionally for his popular BBC travel and food television program, Cooked. In this volume, he combines personal stories and discoveries with beautiful images of not only the food and ingredients he is preparing, but also how he came to discover them. A pleasing exploration of modern South Africa and its culture, in a well-designed book supported by fantastic photography. 

The James Bond Archives

By Paul Duncan

Taschen, Hardcover with film strip, 600 pages, $200

The James Bond franchise is now more than 50 years old, and with that milestone comes a fantastic, and huge, 600-page compilation of Bond history and photographs in the form of The James Bond Archives.

Aside from the villains, gadgets, gimmicks and “Bond Girls,” one of the most enduring aspects of the franchise has always been its emphasis on camerawork and imagery. Even if the plots didn’t always make sense, the beauty of the scenery, the hotels and resorts, the clothes, cars and the people was always captured and delivered to the audience in the “Bond” style. It could be argued that the image of James Bond is truly that: the images of James Bond. 

Proof of this lies within The James Bond Archives, containing more than 1,100 previously unpublished stills, on-set photos, memos, documents, storyboards and posters. Two years in the making, the archive also includes oral histories from the actors, directors, special effects technicians and others across every Bond film ever made, ranging from 1962’s Dr. No to 2012’s Skyfall. Not inexpensive, yet very collectible, the first printing of the book also contains an original strip of film from Dr. No.    

Andre K. Crump has over 25 years of experience in photography and is founder and publisher of TCB-Cafe Publishing and TasteTV. His work has appeared on the front of American Photo magazine, and has been featured in publications such as Petersen’s PHOTOgraphic and Rangefinder magazines. Previous photo-based books from TCB-Cafe Publishing include The Cafés of San Francisco (3rd Edition), Chocolate French and Incredible Eyes.