a few books about photographers, the photograph and the photographic art forum that are interesting gateways to new learnings & photographic appreciation.
Art is very much a personal choice. Giving art as a gift can be a very memorable and meaningful way to recognize a special someone. Giving art to a family member, a valued friend or colleague can show how much they mean to you. It can brighten a home or apartment. It can also be difficult to choose for someone else.
Here Come the Holidays, Personal and Meaningful Gift Giving
As the holidays approach and we think about others, a work of art can be a unique and wonderful gift. It is a more personal gift than a tie, sweater, gift basket or kitchenware.
One of the most memorable gifts I ever received was art from a team I worked with. They consulted with a friend and artist, Jennifer Dickson, and selected a work called “The Dreamer”. To this day it hangs in my bedroom over my dresser where I see it every day.
As a young boy, I wanted to give something special to my parents and siblings for Christmas. I turned to art. At that age, I was not buying original art. The gifts of art took the form of a box of Vincent van Gogh cards for Mom, an art calendar or print for Dad’s office and an art poster for my sister.
How do you select a piece of art for someone else? You could start by considering their design sense or thinking about things they do with their free time as a way to find some art they might like. You could take them with you to a local gallery or engage with them in a discussion about a piece of art online to get a sense of their preferences. For some other thoughts, here is a link to a post on Saatchi art about tips for buying art for someone who means a lot to you.
However you go about deciding what art to buy, your buying options are plentiful: visit a local gallery or art fair; contact an artist you know; explore new artists and reach out to them on Instagram; or visit online galleries like Artsy,Artspace or SaatchiArt.
Making it Personal and Easy
Giving Limited Edition Prints
If you have someone special on your list who you think might like new art, I am making it easy for you to give the gift of Limited Edition photographs.
If you want to give art as a gift you can buy a gift certificate for a Limited Edition print for that special person and then link them to BinhammerPhotographs.com to pick the print they want. Or they can email me and I will search my archives to find a photograph they love, and deliver that memorable gift you wanted for them.
How it works: You contact me to let me know the size of print and who the gift is for. I’ll send you an invoice and a gift certificate. All they have to do is email me the name of the print they want and it will be shipped directly to them, with the certificate of authenticity and ownership in their name.
Book Ideas, Including Roadside America
Art books can also be a wonderful gift. For some of the best coffee-table art books, you might want to check out these ideas. For some of the years best photography books, The Wall Street Journal offers thoughts. If you would prefer to give a different type of gift my Roadside America photography book is available for purchase on Blurb.
Happy Holidays to You From the Digital Darkroom
Hope your holidays are off to a grand start.
At this time of the year, I also hope you find some time away from the daily grind of life to reflect and discover the beauty in our lives.
Enjoy some special time with friends and family doing whatever it is that this special season means to you
I’ve been reading Henry Carroll’s new book, “Photographers on Photography, How the Masters See, Think & Shoot”. He takes a look at the influential figures from past and present who pushed photography forward. Through a selection of quotations, photographs and interviews he offers insights into the minds of masters and examines the approach to the craft and what matters. His U.K. publishers have a blog post with some lovely excerpts which feature a selection of images from the book that serve as brief introductions to the big ideas and collective viewpoints on thought-provoking photography. The book is a great read.
Rather than a chronological storyline, the book is organized around thoughts about photography by photographers. It is a sort of an introduction and examination of the philosophical aspects of photography using quotes, iconic images and Carroll’s own commentary. There is no delineation by chapter of which specific philosophical underpinnings of photography are being explored (rather the book “chapters” are simply a list of the photographers by name). While Carroll’s selection of quotes and commentary leads you on a path, he leaves the interpretations open to the reader. In this respect the book is like a series of thought starters for you about how you think about and view photographs. While I am still reading the book and continuing to digest it, here are some of my takeaways on some of the perspectives offered in the book:
- The camera as machine…and the linkage between man, emotion, art and a machine
- Pictures, photographs, prints and the parameters around each of them
- Photographic consumption and the digital world we live in today
- The image as a reality, a selected segment of reality, a past or an emotion and how these combinations may inter-relate
- The diversity of photographers’ views of their own image making (i.e. photographs are taken as a whim, to feature a subject or to say something more). Is the photographer driven by the making of a political statement, reporting and/or emotional expression?
- What and/or who gives a photograph meaning: the photographer? the subject? and/or the viewer? or the context? This was discussed for fully in my email newsletter, in case you want to subscribe to future emails for commentary about photography, and even some special offerings that are available to subscribers. Subscribe on my the bottom at the contact page
- The power of photography…or not
Be prepared…the book forces you to think and often raises more questions than answering them. In some cases you flip a page and the next page contradicts the page before it….it forces you to think about the different perspectives and approaches to photography.
This is a great book. It is an enjoyable, thought-provoking, informative read that takes you into the world of thinking about photography for collectors and photographers.
Here’s a video of Henry Carroll talking about the book…his challenges putting it together and what it is all about. Enjoy the video. Enjoy the book.