One of the things I wanted to do this year was to start buying photobooks. I got the idea from an article by Eric Kim, who publishes so many advice pieces that it is inevitable that one of them should stick and this one did.
One of the first books I bought was Labyrinth by Daido Moriyama. I chose it for two reasons. One is because Moriyama is one of my favorite photographers. If you look at my photographs, especially my most recent, you can see his influence on what I do. The other reason is that Labyrinth is a book of contact sheets, so if gave me a chance to not only see the images that Moriyama chose to publish, but also the images that came before and after that he rejected. Contact sheets are an interesting way to get insight into how a photographer works, thinks and sees.
I liked the idea of looking at contact sheets so much that I also picked up a copy of Magnum Contact Sheets when it became available. Whereas Moriyama’s book is a collection of contact sheet that spanned his career, Magnum Contact Sheets is a collection of contact sheets that show the images taken during the shoots that captured some of Magnum’s most iconic photos. It’s a fascinating look into images made by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliot Erwitt, Bruce Gilden and others.