The Digital Journalist
Books for the Holidays
December 2007

by Marianne Fulton

Here are some suggestions for books we like, most recently published, arranged alphabetically by title:


The Bigger Picture: Thirty Years of Portraits. Diana Walker, photographer. National Geographic, 2007.

As a Time magazine photographer, Diana Walker had access to four presidents: Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton. Pictures of their families like those she made of celebrities and statesman have a particular spark to them. The sitters obviously knew her or responded to her spontaneity with some of their own. Discussions about many photographs by Walker and her subjects are nice inclusions.

Creature, Andrew Zuckerman, photographer/filmmaker; Graham Nash, introduction. Chronicle Books, 2007.

This is probably the most handsome photography book of the year. Andrew Zuckerman, a modern-day Noah, collected some of the great species of the animal kingdom in his studio, and photographed them in large-format in a way you have never seen before. The art direction on the book is beyond great. This is a book the whole family will treasure.

Evidence of My Existence. Jim Lo Scalzo, photojournalist; Ohio University Press, 2007.

This is not a picture book. Instead, it is a rare and meaningful look into the life of a photojournalist and the decisions that have to be made. Lo Scalzo talks unflinchingly about the personal crisis that he went through as he approached the birth of his baby while the winds of war were calling to him to cover Iraq. He had to make a decision about what was the most important to him: his profession or his family. It is a decision that many photojournalists have to make but rarely talk about in the direct way that Lo Scalzo does. (See the feature on this book on

Extraordinary Circumstances: The Presidency of Gerald R. Ford. David Hume Kennerly, photographer; Tom Brokaw, introduction; Richard Norton Smith, essay. Center for American History, 2007.

This is a gorgeous oversize book about President Ford's term in office from the day he was appointed by Richard Nixon to be vice president. David Hume Kennerly is one of the very few contemporary photojournalists known to the general public and rightfully so. He reported directly to the president and was often seen by his side. Kennerly's pictures reveal a great and generous public servant taking on the burdens of office.

Eye on Africa: Thirty Years of Africa Images. Sebastiao Salgado, photographer; Mia Couto, author; Leila Wanick Salgado, editor. Tashen; Mul edition. 2007.

Sebastiao Salgado brings together his work in Africa from 40 different stories he has done. The book has three parts reflecting three regions of the continent: Southern Africa, the Great Lakes region and the Sub-Saharan region. Salgado shows us all facets of African life today.

Mary Ellen Mark. Mary Ellen Mark, photographer; Charles Hagen, author. Phaidon55s/Phaidon Press, 2007.

Mary Ellen Mark is a remarkable photographer by anybody's definition. Her work published by Phaidon Press in this small-sized paperback is easily available to a mass audience. Charles Hagan's insightful essay gives another look at her life and photographs.

Russell Lee Photographs: Images from the Russell Lee Photograph Collection at the Center for American History. Russell Lee, photographer; Linda Peterson, editor; John Szarkowski, foreword; J.B. Colson, introduction. Center for American History at University of Texas/Austin, 2007. See The Digital Journalist's March 2007 feature on Russell Lee:

Best known for his work with the celebrated Farm Security Administration of the late-1930s chronicling the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, his work did not start with the FSA nor did it stop there. He maintained his consideration of the human condition from first to last. Linda Peterson and Russell's friend and colleague J. B. Colson present a fuller picture of Lee's work. This is another book published in 2007 by the Center for American History; we applaud the Center's recent efforts to share its riches with the world.

Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey. Jim Reed, photographer. Harry N. Abrams Books, 2007.

Jim Reed has specialized in photographing hurricanes, tornados, floods and other natural events throughout his career, notably Hurricane Katrina as it crashed into New Orleans. This handsome book has hurricane-force images in color.

The Digital Journalist will be doing a feature on Reed's work early next year.


Let Your Motto Be Resistance: African American Portraits. Deborah Willis, author. USMTH (Smithsonian), 2007.

Another thoughtful book by Deborah Willis, a leading historian of African American photography that adds to her outstanding publishing history of such books as: Reflections in Black: A History of Black Photographers, 1840 to the Present and the beautiful The Black Female Body: A Photographic History.

World History of Photography. 4th edition. Naomi Rosenblum, author. Abbeville Press, Dec. 2007.

We include this excellent history of photography because it is a must-have reference for anyone interested in the medium. Naomi Rosenblum has assembled a rich history that puts photojournalism and documentary photography in context . The book contains excellent reproductions.

© Marianne Fulton