Alison M. Jones Photography:
Recommended Books: Photography

Paris Bookstore

Left Bank bookstore, Paris France.


ICP Encyclopedia of Photography. Crown Publishers, Inc. “International Center for Photography is one of the world’s unique reposititories of photographic knowledge and standards. Its staff has headed a group of experts from all disciplines to create a comprehensive one-volume encyclopedia of historical, artistic and technical aspects of photography.” 1,300 entries.

the camera i: Photographic Self-Portraits from the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection. 148 works spanning the entire history of photography. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publisher.

Adams, Robert. Why People Photograph. New York: Aperture. “Adams’ writing is free of academic jargon. Readers will appreciate his attention to common experience, his enjoyment of the unorthodox and above all his conviction that art matters. Artists may understand themselves to be bound by complex and important obligations.”

Agee, James, and Evan, Walker. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men: Three Tenement Families. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. London: BBC & Penguin. “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak. But there is also another sense in which seeing comes before words. It is seeing which establishes our place in the surrounding world; we explain that world without words, but words can never undo the fact that we are surrounded by it. The relation between what we see and what we know is never settled.”

Berger, John, and Mohr, Jean. Another Way of Telling. Vintage Books. “Explores the tensions between the photographer and the photographed, between pictures and viewers, between filmed moments and the memory it resembles.”

Boice, Judith, ed. Mother Earth: Through the Eyes of Women Photographers and Writers. A Sierra Club Book.

Cartier-Bresson, Henri. The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers. New York: Aperture. “As far as I am concerned, taking photographs is a means of understanding which cannot be separated from other means of visual expression. It is a way of shooting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s originality. It is a way of life....” 1976

Dennis, Lisl. The Travelers Eye: A Guide to Still and Video Travel Photography. New York: Clarkson Potter Publishers.

Shaw, John. John Shaw’s Landscape Photography: Professional Techniques for Shooting Spectacular Scenics. Amphoto Publishers.

Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: A Delta Book. “A progress of essays about the meaning and the career of photographs.”

Steichen, Edward. The Family of Man. Foreword by Carl Sandburg. 1955: Museum of Modern Art. “The greatest photographic exhibition of all time – 503 pictures from 68 countries.” “The most ambitious and challenging project photography has ever attempted.” E.S.

PHOTOGRAPHERS (a minuscule list compared to our shelves)

ANSEL ADAMS: California. Classic California writings edited by Andrea G. Stillman. Introduction by Page Stegner.

WILLIAM ALBERT ALLARD: The Photographic Essay: American Photographer Master Series. Hornstein, Henry, ed. A Bulfinch Book, Little, Brown and Co.

MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE: Say, Is This the U.S.A. with Erskine Cadwell. A Da Capo Book.

Portrait of Myself: The Autobiography of Margaret Bourke-White. Boston: G.K. Hall and Co. “Working for the integrated whole required a much wider conception. It added another dimension to photography. It gave the camera one more task: pictures could be beautiful but they must tell facts too. And the idea of searching to record ‘the unseen half’ was, I decided, an invaluable habit for a photographer to form for use....”

PHIL BORGES: Tibetan Portrait: The Power of Compassion. Text by the Dalai Lama. Rizzoli International Publications, Inc.

EDUOARD BOUBAT: Comme Avec Une Femme.

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: In India. Thames and Hudson.
Tête á Tête: Portraits. A Bulfinch Book, Little Brown and Co.

BRUCE CHATWIN: Far Journeys: Photographs and Notebooks. Viking Press.

ALFRED EISENSTAEDT: Witness To Our Time. A Studio Book, Viking Press.

ERNST HAAS: The Creation. Penguin Books

LEWIS W. HINE: Children at Work. Text by Vicki Goldberg. Prestel Books.

ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ: Aperture Masters of Photography (No. 11)

DOROTHEA LANGE & PAUL TAYLOR: An American Exodus: A Record of Human Erosion. Jean-Michel Place Publisher.

FRANS LANTING: Eye to Eye. Taschen.

HELEN LEVITT: Crosstown.

ANNIE LEIBOVITZ: Women. Text by Susan Sontag.

FREEMAN PATTERSON: Odysseys: Meditations and Thoughts for a Life’s Journey.

GALEN ROWELL: Mountain Light: In Search of Dynamic Landscape. Sierra Club.

SEBASTIAO SALGADO: An Uncertain Grace, with Essays by Eduardo Galeano and Fred Ritchin. Aperture.

AUGUST SANDER: Photographs of an Epoch: 1904–1959. Man of the Twentieth Century Rhineland Landscapes, Nature Studies, Architectural and Industrial Photographs, Images of Sardinia. Aperture.

JOHN SEXTON: Quiet Light: Fifteen Years of Photographs. A Bulfinch Press Book. Little, Brown and Co.

ROMAN VISHNIAC: A Vanished World. Foreword by Elie Wiesel. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux.

EUDORA WELTY: Photographs. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi. “The eye is soverign in every art but music.’

EDWARD WESTON: The Day Books of Edward Weston: Two Volumes in One. I Mexico, II California. Aperture.

MARION POST WOLCOTT: A Photographic Journey text by F. Jack Hurley. University of New Mexico Press.

Aerial documentation

Alison documenting deforestation of the monarchs’ winter habitat in Mexico with door off a Cessna 208. (Photo courtesy


Saint-Exupéry, Antoine De. Airman’s Odyssey: A Trilogy Comprising Wind, Sand and Stars, Night Flight, and Flight to Arras. New York: A Harvest Book, 1984. St-Exupéry was much more than a pioneer aviator – he was a classic adventurer and an author whose words fly off the page. In “Wind, Sand and Stars” he writes, “our highest accomplishments still have the single aim of bringing men together,” and then he discusses the issues of surrounding the decline of human values and the village with its crafts and folksongs which has accompanied the rise of the machine. This struggle of priorities has only increased since he wrote his lines.

Ackerman, Diane. On Extended Wings: An Adventure in Flight. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1987. This is a story of determination and sobering reality. Yet Ackerman flies through the proverbial storm of loss speaking as always in her lyrical manner, one usually reserved for the beauty of nature.

Rowell, Barbara Cushman. Flying South: A Pilot’s Inner Journey. Berkeley: Mountain Light Press, 2002. Both incredible landscape photographers, Barbara and her husband Galen died tragically in a plane accident. Published posthumously, this book is studded with amazing images from around the world and causes me huge sadness that I never knew Barbara Rowell. She traveled and flew to many of the same locations I’ve visited and photographed and has shared them with the world in exquisitely beautiful images.

Aerial documentation

Deforestation of monarch’s Mexican winter habitat, 2004.

Anderson, James. Arctic Bush Pilot: From Navy Combat to Flying Alaska’s Northern Wilderness. Kenmore WA: Epicenter Press, 2000. As we struggle to save the pristine environment of ANWAR, this account of a bush pilot’s drama, adventure and misadventures post WW II is fascinating. Fifty historical photos add to the lure of this book.

Machado, Ron. Ron Machado’s Private Pilot Handbook. San Clemente CA; The Aviation Speakers Bureau, 1996. This is a thorough and humorous information manual which contains all you’ll need to know for the FAA private pilot exam – for updating and refreshing your piloting skills – or if you a photographer sitting in the right seat like me, it will make the experience more interesting and give you some copiloting skills!