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Book Reviews

Knockouts: Five Decades of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Photography 
by Frank Deford and Steve Hoffman
Hardcover, 276pp. ISBN: 1929049471

A beautiful woman, a beach, and a bikini. How many different ways can you combine those three things into an image. The photographers at Sports Illustrated have proven there are quite a few. 

Their annual swimsuit edition has become a "career maker" for both models and photographers - in no small part because of the quality of both. Though the book is filled with images of beautiful women its more than just a "girlie book". It is a stunning example of how good this genre of photography can be. The images, while seductive, do a wonderful job of walking the line between the glamorous and the erotic. 

It's also interesting how our image of "the perfect woman" has evolved since the first issue was published in 1964. A definite must-have for those with a serious interest in portrait, fashion, or erotic photography.

Robert Capa: Photographs    
Hardcover, 192pp. ISBN: 0893816752 or
Paperback, 192pp. ISBN: 0893816906

Capa is best known for his war photography spanning the period from the Spanish Civil war through D-day and finally Viet Nam where he was killed by a land mine. Many of his photos are intimate portraits of both the soldiers and the horrors they faced. Less known are his other works. Beautiful portraits of people both famous and average. I had seen numerous examples of Capa's war journalism, this is the first book I've seen that shows the true breadth of his talent. Photos are often described as powerful. So much so that this overused term has lost it's impact. An afternoon spent with these images will remind you just how powerful a photograph can be.


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