K.K. Ottesen, whose work has appeared in The Washington Post for more than a decade, is a writer and photographer who pairs images with interviews to break down barriers and celebrate common ground. Her first book, Great Americans, explored what it means to be American through a series of portraits of people who bear the names of famous fi gures. Her new collection, Activist (Chronicle, $35), features forty change-makers of diverse ages, backgrounds, and perspectives—Bernie Sanders, Angela Davis, Bill McKibben, Alicia Garza—discussing what motivates people to take up a cause and what sustains them during the struggle. Spotlighting issues including voting and reproductive rights, the environment, and economic justice, Ottesen shows, while her subjects tell, what it means to live a life of passion and purpose.
Writing about her work in It’s What I Do, Lynsey Addario, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who has dedicated her life to telling the stories “most people were not covering,” memorably described experiences such as being kidnapped three weeks into the Libyan uprising of 2011.She also conveyed the deep passion for justice and for “doing justice to the stories of people who…opened their doors and hearts for me,” that compels her to stay in this dangerous, “brutally competitive,” and overwhelmingly male profession. Her new book, Of Love & War (Penguin Press, $40), lets us see that passion in action. The album presents nearly 250 photos from across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, along with accompanying essays by Dexter Filkins, Suzy Hansen, and Christy Turlington, and Addario’s own field notes, letters, and contact sheets. Together these pictures and words document both a wide range of humanitarian issues and the crucial role of witness Addario plays. Named one of the five most influential photographers of the past twenty-five years by American Photo Magazine, Addario is noted for her ability to frame shots that are both dramatic and personal.
Taken over the course of four years, the more than two hundred photographs of Wild Land (Thames & Hudson, $65) come as close as any images can to letting the natural world speak for itself. In majestic two-page spreads, uninterrupted by text, award-winning photographers Peter and Beverly Pickford show us some of the last unspoiled places from all seven continents. Every one of these photos is stunning, each for different reasons. To take a few (almost) at random: elephants at Etosha National Park, Namibia, stand noble, elegant, and fragile within a subtle frame of light from the full moon. In the same park we see the ghostly figure of a black rhinoceros drinking from a spring. In the Arctic, the Pickfords follow a pair of polar bears as they pick their way across the sea ice—the stretches of blue water between the frozen patches suggesting the daunting challenges of survival. A few pages later: blazingly white sky and a quartet of Arctic terns, delicate and spare as images on a Japanese scroll. Australia, Asia, Europe, North and South America offer similarly splendid, incomparable views. While few people appear in these shots, the Pickfords’ prefatory essays to each section include insightful glimpses of the lives of the Indigenous people who hosted, guided, and taught them throughout this invaluable project.