Tag: Photography


Photographer Pays Homage to Expired Library Books by Turning Them into Art

While books are considered a work of art by their own nature, one photographer is taking it a step further by using books to create a larger masterpiece.


Artist Kerry Mansfield pays homage to the history of old books in her photography series Expired, honoring the ways in which their aged exteriors reflect their interactions with readers who have touched them.



Source: Kerry Mansfield 


When we pass aged books lining the shelves of libraries and bookstores, catching the tethered bindings, torn edges, and stained pages, we may overlook their value. But, those same imperfections can reflect the high value and long journeys books have had, Mansfield explains.


“In Expired, each picture serves as an homage to the book’s history, etched onto the pages by way of marginalia, a yellowed coffee splatter, or sticky peanut-butter-and-jelly fingerprints. It’s easy to feel a sense of abuse and loss, but these books say much more.”



Source: Kerry Mansfield 


“They show the evidence of everyone that has touched them, because they were well read, and well loved. They were not left on shelves, untouched. Now they have a new life, as portraits or records of the shared experience unique to the library book,” says Mansfield.


On her website, Mansfield reflects on the “right of passage” she undertook as a child after shortly after learning to write her name in which she would print her name on a library check-out card. Though the act seemed simple, it signified a larger meaning for the artist.


“I remember reading the list of names that had come before me and savoring the feeling that I was a part of this book’s history– a shared, communal experience exposed by curly-Q handwritten names and room assignments,” Mansfield said.



Source: Kerry Mansfield 


Her appreciation of library books and the values they held carried on throughout her adulthood during which her passion for art only grew. While studying architecture in school Mansfield learned an important term – one in which perfectly summarized her love and appreciation of old books.


“I learned the Japanese term “wabi-sabi”– the art of finding beauty in imperfection and acceptance of the natural cycle of growth, decay and death. Unlike the American cultural focus on spectacle, wabi-sabi is underplayed and modest, the kind of undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered.”




Source: Kerry Mansfield 


Mansfield found this undeclared beauty in the aged jackets of expired library books, books which have been found their way in the hands of countless readers, passed along until they reach their final destination of warehouses. After Mansfield found an old check-out card in the back of a book at Goodwill years ago, she “made it her mission” to find as many as she could and document them in celebration,


“We must take time to celebrate the swiftly disappearing communal experience offered by library books as they are being replaced by downloads, finger swipes, and plastic newness. If you listen carefully, you can hear the aching poetry–the burden of the years that calls from their tattered pages.”



Featured Image Via Kerry Mansfield

Camera Day

Check Out These 4 Breathtaking Photography Books

I wouldn’t have guessed it, but today just so happens to be National Camera Day! It’s not easy to capture the perfect shot. You could use your phone and put on as many filters as you want, but something about a good old fashioned camera works just as well (if not better). When everything is simply perfect in that moment, it’ll never happen again, so you have to click and snap away. If you’re looking for something worth a thousand words, here are four of the best, most aesthetically pleasing photography books.




Camera Day

Image Via Amazon


This book will give readers not only a broader understanding of the history and purpose of the Endangered Species Act, but also an intimate look at the very species it seeks to preserve. With stunning up-close portraits on every page, this important volume evokes sympathetic wonder at the vast and amazing array of plants and animals still in need of protection.



 Image Via Amazon


Meyerowitz decided to take each of the objects in Cézanne’s studio and view them against the gray wall (managing to obtain permission from the Director of the Atelier―no-one had touched these objects in ages). His impulse was to place each one in the exact same spot on his marble-topped table and just make a “dumb” record of it. He then decided to arrange them in rows, almost as if they were back on his shelf above the table, and made a grid of five rows with five objects on each row, with Cézanne’s hat as the centerpiece.

This beautifully designed volume presents these photographs, which are at once marvelous photographic still lifes and an incredible revelation of Cézanne’s methods.


 Image Via Amazon

Image Via Amazon


This iconic National Geographic photography collection of the world’s most majestic nature landscapes presents the exquisiteness of the great outdoors and showcases evocative and extraordinary images, often unseen. With vast deserts in twilight, snowcapped mountain ranges at the brink of dawn, a forest in the height of autumn colors, these indelible images will magnify the beauty, emotion, and depth that can be captured in the split second of a camera flash, taking readers on a spectacular visual journey and offering an elegant conduit to the world around them. Paired with illuminating insights from celebrated photographers, this beautiful book weaves a vibrant tapestry of images that readers will turn to again and again.


4. Annie Leibovitz at Work by Annie Leibovitz

Image Via Amazon

Image Via Amazon



The celebrated photographer Annie Leibovitz, author of the New York Times bestselling book A Photographer’s Life, provides the stories, and technical description, of how some of her most famous images came to be. Starting in 1974, with her coverage of Nixon’s resignation, and culminating with her controversial portraits of Queen Elizabeth II early in 2007, Leibovitz explains what professional photographers do and how they do it. The photographer in this instance is the most highly paid and prolific person in the business. Approximately 90 images are discussed in detail — the circumstances under which they were taken, with specific technical information (what camera, what settings, what lighting, where the images appeared).




Featured Image Via Public Domain Pictures. All Synopses Via Amazon

Obama laughing

Obama’s White House Photographer Released Book Called ‘Shade’

If you’re familiar with Pete Souza, Obama’s White House photographer, then you might already know about his hilarious Instagram trolling. 





For the past year, Souza has been releasing photographs of Obama with witty, biting captions aimed at the current U.S. administration. The posts took off and have made him a powerful, popular figurehead in the resistance. He’s been using both his skills as a photographer, and his anger and frustration with the current state of the U.S., to stand up and speak out.


And now, following the popularity of his bestseller Obama: An Intimate Portrait, Souza will be releasing a second collection of photos entitled Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents.


At a recent press release for the upcoming book, Souza said:


During the past year, I have been as distressed as anyone by the lies and hate emanating from the current administration. I began to use my personal Instagram account to throw shade at what was happening in the White House. Since then, I’ve been inspired by the comments I’ve received from many people who have posted on Instagram, sent me emails, or talked to me at my speaking events around the country. Many have suggested that I package my photographs and commentary into a book. As that idea becomes a reality, I am excited to once again partner with Little, Brown on this endeavor.


The book will compare photos of the Obama administration to the one currently in office, showcasing the two wildly different presidencies.




Pretty sure he wasn’t slandering someone on Twitter.

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on



The book is being published through Little Brown, and is expected for release October 16, 2018.





Featured Image Via Vox

Nine book spines from a page of Expired

Check Out These Beautiful Portraits of Well-Loved Library Books

Have you ever wondered what happens to the library books that are checked out too much? Literally enjoyed so much by people that they become unusable? Kerry Mansfield answers those questions with her art book Expired, which serves as a necrology, of sorts, for books that have maxed out their welcome on library shelves.

The pages of Expired showcase worn out books that libraries from all over the country have tossed out after deeming them too damaged for continued use.



Page from Expired picturing Time For Fairytales Old and New

Image Via Hyper Allergic


Image of discarded Shoulder the Sky book

Image Via Hyper Allergic


This collection also makes a point to show checkout cards filled out to the max. About the process of deciding what makes a discarded book worthy of archival, Mansfield said, “After culling through thousands of books each one was chosen for specific characteristics that best display the love poured into library books over their years on the stacks. Currently over 180 ex-library books have been individually photographed.”


This collection of photographs is surely to be appreciated by book, art, and anthropology lovers alike. One look will fill you with nostalgia for a system that is changing right before our eyes. True to the nature of its subject matter, Expired charmingly features its own checkout card. I would love to present this on my own coffee table. Mansfield states on her website that the remainder of the collection, which will round out the 180 books with the remaining seventy-five, will be released in the future.


Featured Image Via Kerry Mansfield

Reese Witherspoon

Not so Fast! New Book Proves Sloths Are a Lot Smarter Than You Think!

I’ve noticed for the last few months that adorable sloths have been the butt of thousands of memes. It could be their silly perma-smile faces or the fact that they move painfully slow or their long arms and claws. It makes them seem quite comical, but behind all those memes and jokes is actually a very intelligent creature.



 Image Via Amazon

Becky Cliffe, a zoologist and founder of a Costa Rican-based Sloth Conservation Foundation, is shedding a new light on sloths in her new book, Sloths: Life in the Slow Lane. Apart from their having the lowest metabolic rate of any non-hibernating animal, there’s a lot we could learn more we can learn about these tree-dwelllers.


“I really wanted to paint a picture of an animal that is actually perfectly adapted for survival,” Cliffe says. Did you know that sloths are three times faster in water than on land? Yes, they float. Cliffe notes
Thirty percent of their body weight is just digesting, fermenting leaves. So they’ve quite a lot of gas in there as well. They’re like big balls of air with arms and legs.


They may be slow, but they are very strong. They have special tendons that draw their claws closed when at rest and they can hang from a tree all day everyday. This is because they have a network of blood vessels running through their arms that keep muscles cool and prevent high energy use. Even though their muscle mass is thirty percent less than another animal their size, they have special slow-twitch fibers so they can endure all that hanging without tiring. How crazy is that?



Image Via World Wildlife Fund


Since these guys can’t shiver to create body warmth, they spend their time in the sun, where it can take them up to thirty days to digest a single leaf. And for those who think they’re too slow in the face of predators, they actually use that for their survival.



Harpy eagle

 The Harpy Eagle |  Image Via Parody Wiki-Fandom

Sloths share their elevated tree territory with the Harpy Eagle, one of the most powerful birds of prey who focuses on the tiniest movement to spot its food. So who wins here? I’m going with the sloth; after all, there are six different species of them. Even humans can’t spot them very easily. According to National Geographic, it took wildlife photographer Suzi Eszterhas and Becky Cliffe six years to compile the book’s photography.


So the next time your friend tries to insult you by comparing you to a sloth, whip out this book, and show them that they may actually be paying you a serious compliment. 


Featured Image Via National Geographic