David Doubilet

Photowisdom: Master Photographers on Their Art by JJ Michael

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Ever find yourself in a photographic rut, searching for a little inspiration? Try heading to your local bookstore and pick up a photo book. There are a ton of photo books out there covering everything from technique and gear to theory, but the books I love the most are the coffee table books that display other photographers’ work.  Looking at others’ images is a great way to improve your own photography as well as get a little inspiration.


A book I find myself pulling off my bookshelf fairly often is Photowisdom: Master Photographers on Their Work by Lewis Blackwell. Photowisdom is a great collection of images from close to 50 renowned and award-winning photographers from around the world.  The images are wide ranging and include portraits, landscapes, photojournalism, studio work, and more, and they’re all impressive.  Additionally, each selection of images is accompanied by commentary from the photographers themselves about their photographic philosophy.  Reading how the photographers approach their subjects is just as enjoyable as viewing the photographs.


It’s impossible to share all of my favorites, and it seems that my ‘favorites’ change each time I open the book, but below are a few images from the book from some of the photographers I’m drawn to time and again.


Ami Vitale
Shaikh Kulsumbibi, age thirty-seven, a Muslim whose village of Sardarpur was destroyed in a gruesome vengeance attack, weeps as she seeks refuge in another village in India. Hindus came in the middle of the night and massacred nearly every one of her neighbors and family living there, in a strategically designed plan which involved flooding the exit and then electrocuting those who were not first killed by the fire bombs and kerosene, 3 March 2002. Ami Vitale
Fazal Sheikh
Sisters Sadna Goraye, “Worship,” and Ranu Bala, Vrindavan, India, 2005. Fazal Sheikh
Edward Burtynsky
Oxford Tire Pile No. 1, Westley, California, 1999. Edward Burtynsky
David Doubilet
Southern Stingrays, Grand Cayman Island. David Doubilet
Tim Flach
Monkey Bat (Egyptian Fruit Bat). Tim Flach