Accompanying the current exhibition at the National Gallery of Art, Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris (Univ. of Chicago, $60), casts a spotlight on one of the most gifted photographers of the 19th century. Highlighting the works of the master photographer, Charles Marville, the monograph takes readers back to the mid-1800s, putting us among the people and on the boulevards of the “City of Lights.” Through opulent dusk and fog, Marville’s sepia-toned images capture the spirit and beauty of Paris as it underwent radical transformation through Napoleon III’s modernization program. Commissioned as the official photographer of Paris, Marville created pictures that testify both to the city of a bygone era and his own timeless talent.
In Ansel Adams in the Canadian Rockies (Little, Brown, $30), follow Ansel Adams, one of America’s premier nature photographers, on his 1928 expedition with the Sierra Club. Full of breathtaking panoramic photographs, the book contains everything you’d expect from Adams: lush valleys, towering mountaintops, and awe-inspiring dances of darkness and light. Commemorating one of the earliest major projects in his artistic career, these gorgeous photographs testify to Adams’s burgeoning genius and well-trained eye for landscape images. With nearly one hundred pages of fascinating views, this book makes the perfect gift for lovers of the outdoors, photography buffs, and Adams fans the world over.
Humans of New York is the brainchild of Brandon Stanton, who set out to create a photographic census of New York City. Originally a photo blog, the project now boasts its first eponymous printed collection of street portraits. The idea is simple: Stanton approaches strangers on the street, takes their photo, and occasionally asks them a question, like, “What was the happiest moment in your life?” Yet Humans of New York (St. Martin’s, $29.99) is more than a simple collection of snapshots. Even without captions, each photograph tells a short story and gives the viewer a glimpse into the life of a stranger. Taken together, these four-hundred arresting and inspiring street portraits form a celebration of humanity in all its diversity and quirkiness.