Synopsis: Mark Power’s ’26 Different Endings’

26 Different Endings

Mark Power

Photoworks, 2007

26 Different Endings IMAGE: 5B4

From the publisher:
In this new Photoworks publication, British photographer Mark Power returns to the dialogue between real and imaginary space that characterised his most successful book to date, “The Shipping Forecast” (1996). Once again the premise for this work has been a map and a sense of those invisible boundaries that help to form a strong and durable idea of place. In this case that place is the great sprawl of London, whose outer limits are, for most of us, defined by the extent of the A to Z road atlas. It is these outer zones – where, as the map suggests, the city thins out and then falls away into nothingness – that are the subject of Power’s photographs.

Taking each page of the atlas as his guide Power has embarked on an epic quest into a kind of local unknown, a voyage into a form of melancholic emptiness where the energies of the city evaporate into a strange kind of inertia.Like “The Shipping Forecast” before it, “26 Different Endings” is a project still deeply concerned with the weather, with the everyday drabness of places resigned to their climate of indistinction, where a condition of greyness has become the condition of life.”26 Different Endings” is a report about what appears to be a deeply traumatised place. It is also about a state of mind that Power has become entranced by, one conditioned by flat white skies and a generous expanse of pebble dash, an overbuilt environment where all buildings, new and old, look something like ruins. David Chandler’s autobiographical short story, written in response to Power’s pictures, delves deeper into this state of mind, drawing on a vivid picture of both the emotional and physical landscape of his childhood. Mark Power is Professor of Photography at the University of Brighton, and joined Magnum Photos in 2002. This large-scale, landscape format book is published in a limited edition of 1000.

Artist Website:
Mark Power

Project Website:
Mark Power – 26 Different Endings

If you would like to share your thoughts on this book, then please do by getting in touch!

Synopsis: Paul Graham’s ‘A1: the Great North Road’

A1: The Great North Road

Paul Graham

Bristol: Grey Editions, 1983

A1: The Great North Road

From the publisher:
Photographer Paul Graham spent two years completing this documentary on the life and landscape of the Great North Road. Throughout 1981 and 1982 he made numerous trips along the A1, crossing and recrossing the length of the nation to record every aspect of life at the verge of this great road. The photographs reproduced in this book build not only into a significant documentary of the A1, but also provide a thread along which we can travel the Great North Road, deep into the nation’s heart, and weave a picture of England in the 1980s.

Artist Website:
Paul Graham Archive

Synopsis: Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’

We are looking at Sally Mann’s ‘Immediate Family’ through March on the Photo Book Club. Luckily this book is really easy to get hold of in libraries, photobooks or from the latest publisher of a paperback version, Aperture at a good price and so I shan’t be uploading a video this time.

If you fancy getting involved and sharing your thoughts on the book then you can do so in the comments section below or in email to

– Matt

Immediate Family

Sally Mann

Aperture 1992


“Mann’s subjects are her small children (a boy, a girl, and a new baby), often shot when they’re sick or hurt or just naked. Nosebleeds, cuts, hives, chicken pox, swollen eyes, vomiting—the usual trials of childhood—can be alarmingly beautiful, thrillingly sensual moments in Mann’s portrait album. Her ambivalence about motherhood—her delight and despair—pushes Mann to delve deeper into the steaming mess of family life than most of us are willing to go. What she comes up with is astonishing.”
—Vince Aletti, The Village Voice

“Immediate Family, which was published in 1990, must be counted as one of the great photograph books of our time. It is a singularly powerful evocation of childhood from within and without…”
—Luc Sante, The New Republic

Synopsis: Stephen Shore’s ‘Uncommon Places’

Before writing this synopsis and heading into the month long look at Shore’s book, I should point out that there are two books called ‘Uncommon Places’ by Shore, although to give the second it’s full title ‘Uncommon Places, The Complete Works’.
The original 1982 publication would set you back between £6-900 for a book in good nick and so there will be no book-bias here. Whichever copy you have, we would love to hear your thoughts.
– Myself, I will be looking at a copy of ‘Uncommon Places, The Complete Works’ and occasionally the original from my local library

Uncommon Places/Uncommon Places, The Complete Works

Stephen Shore

Aperture 1982/Aperture 2004

From the publisher:

Published by Aperture in 1982 and long unavailable, Stephen Shore’s legendary Uncommon Places has influenced a generation of photographers. Among the first artists to take color beyond advertising and fashion photography, Shore’s large-format color work on the American vernacular landscape stands at the root of what has become a vital photographic tradition. Uncommon Places: The Complete Works presents a definitive collection of the original series, much of it never before published or exhibited.

Like Robert Frank and Walker Evans before him, Shore discovered a hitherto unarticulated version of America via highway and camera. Approaching his subjects with cool objectivity, Shore’s images retain precise internal systems of gestures in composition and light through which the objects before his lens assume both an archetypal aura and an ambiguously personal importance. In contrast to Shore’s signature landscapes with which “Uncommon Places” is often associated, this expanded survey reveals equally remarkable collections of interiors and portraits.

As a new generation of artists expands on the projects of the New Topographic and New Color photographers of the seventies—Thomas Struth (whose first book was titled Unconscious Places), Andreas Gursky, and Catherine Opie among them—Uncommon Places: The Complete Works provides a timely opportunity to reexamine the diverse implications of Shore’s project and offers a fundamental primer for the last thirty years of large-format color photography.

At age twelve, Stephen Shore’s work was purchased by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art. At twenty-four, he became the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Other one-man show venues include the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. He has received two National Endowment for the Arts Grants and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant, and has been the Chair of Bard College’s photography department in upstate N.Y. since 1982.


Synopsis: Nobuyoshi Araki – ‘Sentimental Journey, Winter Journey’

Sentimental Journey, Winter Journey

Nobuyoshi Araki

Shinchosha Publishing, 1991


A relatively unknown photographer in the late 1960s, Nobuyoshi Araki began documenting his young wife through an intimate series titled My Wife Yoko (1967-1976), a body of work now considered one of the Japanese photographers most important.

From their honeymoon to their home life and vacations, we begin to understand the relationship between the young couple, a relationship that Araki continues to explore through his later series Winter Journey (1989/90), a period that that marks the final chapter in their lives together, as Yoko battles with terminal illness and they say their final goodbyes.

In ‘Sentimental Journey, Winter Journey’, both these series are combined in a hardcover book in slipcase.

We would love to hear from anyone who would like to add a personal reflection or comment into the discussion of this book, leave your comments below or pop us an email:

Purachase links:

Abe Books
Abe Books (UK)
Amazon (UK)

Synopsis: Nan Goldin – ‘The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency’

The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency

Nan Goldin

Aperture, 1986

Nan Goldin - The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency 1986

From the publisher:

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency is a visual diary chronicling the struggle for intimacy and understanding between friends and lovers collectively described by Nan Goldin as her “tribe.” Her work describes a world that is visceral and seething with life. As Goldin writes: “Real memory, which these pictures trigger, is an invocation of the color, smell, sound, and physical presence, the density and flavor of life.”

“Goldin, at the age of 33, has created an artistic masterwork that tells us not only about the attitudes of her generation, but also about the times in which we live.”—Andy Grundberg, The New York Times

“Goldin’s prescient philosophy has, if anything been solidified by the intervening decade, and her Ballad resounds more poignantly than ever in its tenth-anniversary republication.”—Lawrence Schubert, Detour magazine

If you would like to receive 10% off this title, see here for a deal with the kind folks at Aperture

Synopsis: Ken Schles – ‘Invisible City’


Invisible City


Ken Schles


Twelvetree Press, 1988

For a decade Ken Schles watched the passing of time from his Lower East Side Manhattan neighborhood. His camera has fixed the instances of his observations, and these moments become the foundation of his invisible city. Friends and architecture come under the scrutiny of his lens and, when sorted and viewed in the pages of this book, a remarkable achievement of personal vision emerges.

For the next month we will be looking at Invisible City with its author Ken Schles adding comment and context throughout. After you have seen the book and text using the links below, perhaps you would like to put a question to Ken?

Getting a copy of Invisible City is not easy, hence our video and text posts, but you can get your hands on Ken’s latest release ‘Oculus’ from or from the publisher, Noordelicht here.


Invisible City: The Images (VIDEO)

Invisible City: The Book (VIDEO)

Invisible City: the Text

Ken Schles’ Website

Review by Guy Trebay

Review by Thomas Beller




Synopsis: Anders Petersen – ‘Cafe Lehmitz’

Cafe Lehmitz

Anders Petersen

Schirmer Mosel, 1978

Anders Petersen - Cafe Lehmitz

From the publisher:

Cafe Lehmitz, a beer joint at the Reeperbahn, was a meeting point for many who worked in Hamburg’s red-light district: prostitutes, pimps, transvestites, workers, and petty criminals.

Anders Petersen was 18 years old when he first visited Hamburg in 1962, chanced upon Cafe Lehmitz, and established friends that made an impact on his life.In 1968 he returned to Lehmitz, found new regulars , renewed contact and began to take pictures. His photographs, which we first published in book form in 1978, have become classics of their genre.

Tom Waits used the cover picture for his album Rain dogs. Their candidness and authenticity continue to move the viewer. The solidarity evident in them
prevents voyeurism or false pity arising vis-à-vis a milieu generally referred to as asocial. The other world of Cafe Lehmitz, which no longer exists in this form, becomes visible as a lively community with its own self-image and dignity.


You can see many of the images on Petersen’s site here

The book is also available at a very reasonable price in it’s latest verion from Schirmer/Mosel:
– Amazon UK
– Amazon US


Synopsis: Larry Sultan – The Valley

The Valley

Larry Sultan

Scalo Publishers, 2005

Larry Sultan - The Valley

From the publisher:

Since 1988, Larry Sultan has returned time and again to photograph on porn sets in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley–the Silicon(e) Valley of the porn industry. But The Valley is by no means a documentary on porn filmmaking. Rather, it is a dense series of pictures of middle-class homes invaded by the porn industry. Sultan’s lens focuses on pedestrian details–a piece of half-eaten pie, dirty linens in a heap, “actors” taking a break–that offer clues to a bizarre other-world. The lush and intricate images adroitly play with artifice and reality, adding up to rich, elliptical narratives that circle around the concepts of “home” and “desire.”

These images of homes and gardens, porn actors and film crews, studio and location shootings are an ambiguous meditation on suburbia and its trappings, family and transgression, loss and desire, the utopias and dystopias of middle-class lifestyle. The Valley and its many-layered photographs outline the complexity of domestic life at the beginning of the 21st century, opening up new perspectives for photography through its innovative combination of staged and documentary photographs. In 1998, an English magazine asked me to go on a porn set. After the first five minutes of the strangeness of it all, I started to look around, going to the bedrooms, wandering through the house. It felt like a permission to go into a house in L.A. and to imagine how someone would live their life in this house. I made the pictures for the magazine. I left and thought, “This is it, this is what I have to do.” –Larry Sultan


Unfortunately it is not easy to find a collection of the images from ‘The Valley’ in one place. Quite a few however can be found at Sultan’s agent Bill Charles’ website HERE, HERE and HERE

The text by Sultan, from ‘The Valley’, along with some images from the series can be found on American Suburb X here.

Text, Artist statement and interview from the SFMoMA exhibition can be found here

Larry Sultan: Video Obituary and 2008 Interview

In preparation for our look at Larry Sultan’s ‘The Valley’ in June, the following video obituary was produced by Daylight Magazine and gives a brief but concise insight into Sultan’s work for those who are unfamiliar with it.

See also the Genius of Photography interview with Sultan and his father Irvin below

– Matt Johnston