B&W landscape

Compiled by Q.-Tuan Luong, part of the books section of the Large Format Page

Links point to amazon.com

Examples : The Making of 40 Photographs Adams goes further than the very detailed technical explanations about each image, that we come to expect from him. He give personnal insights into his vision and personal feelings. Besides being a remarkable instructional book, it is also an engaging chronicle of his journey as a photographer.
The Portfolios of Ansel Adams There are many books of images of AA, but this one has to be my favorite, because it reproduces his images by Portfolios, which were the main method he had his original prints circulated. Although they are dominated by grand landscapes, this book also comprises a larger range of subjects than this other monographs.
Ansel Adams at 100, by John Szarkowski Published in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Ansel Adams, this book is superbly produced, printed on tritone, large enough to reproduce the images at the same size as the original vintage prints with plenty of space. The earlier prints were quite small. Unlike the previous book, this one concentrates exclusively on landscape and nature close-ups photography (with the exception of one photograph of New York and two of native americans). However, within this limited scope, Ansel Adams fans will discover new images. First, there was an effort to select seldom seen photographs. Some well known photographs are placed in the context of a sequence, for example the Yosemite valley views, or the Old Faithful geyser, but the emphasis of the book is definitively not on them. Second, Szarkowski often selected earlier prints where Adams used softer renditions than in his later (more well known) prints. This is illustrated by two examples of variations in printing of Aspens and Denali. The essay is interesting, although controversial (see a dissenting opinion by Kenneth Brower on The Atlantic Monthly site). The book, in my opinion, is more a revisitation of Adams landscape work, than a definitive reference book.
Wynn Bullock : The Enchanted Landscape Photographs 1940-1975 While AA's photography is often litteral, Bullock's photos have a powerful metaphorical meaning. They reveal the extraordinary behind the surface of things.
Edward Weston: The Last Years in Carmel While Weston is better known for his treatment of form and shape in still lifes and nude work (see Edward Weston : 1886-1958 for a good compilation of his work), an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago emphasizes a different and lesser known area of his work, one that he evolved during his last creative years. While the book has a number of excellent family portraits and nudes, in my opinion, it is the landscapes of Point Lobos which stand out. In these images, Weston draws a dark and moody portrait of the coast. See also this QA Forum thread.
Listen to the Trees John Sexton continues AA's tradition of superbly crafted images, and the fact that the book is about a single subject allows him to show his technical mastery through a range of different images. Unlike AA, John Sexton focusses on intimate portraits of nature.
Summit: Vittorio Sella : Mountaineer and Photographer : The Years 1879-1909 Working with large glass negatives, one century ago, Sella produced B&W images that many still consider to be the pinnacle of mountain photography. This book shows that even without modern mountaineeing or photographic equipment, one can produce great images in the wilderness.
Bradford Washburn: Mountain Photography Washburn used an aerial 8x10 camera to photograph Alaska mountains in images which reveal the beauty of natural landforms.