Top 3 Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin

3 photo books on a coffee table - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
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Written by James Baturin

When I look at my journey into film photography, it really all started with being inspired by the work of others, and saying, “I want to create images like THAT!”

And isn’t this so often how the urge to create begins? We see an image, or hear a piece of music that moves us, and we are compelled to create something that might move other people in the same way.

Top Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film
Top Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film
Top Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film
3 photo books on a coffee table - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film

As photographers, I think this engagement with the work of other photographers is so crucial. And while the age of the internet has made entire archives of photographs available for us to view on a screen, to see a photograph on a printed page offers an experience that is powerful and profound.

While we may not be able to afford prints or original pieces from our favorite photographers, there are some gorgeous photo book publications out there that put physical images in our hands, so we can engage with them without the mediation of a screen.

As a black and white landscape photographer, there are a number of photo books that continue to be an inspiration for me as an artist. Here are three of my favorites…

3 photo books on a coffee table - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film

Images of the Seventh Day by Michael Kenna

I put this book at the start of my list, because it is the first photo book I ever bought, and it’s the one that really confirmed and inspired in me a desire to shoot black and white landscapes on film.

Kenna is really the pioneer of black and white minimalist landscapes on film, and his commitment to the analogue process from exposure in camera to darkroom printing is remarkable in the digital age.

Photo book for landscape photography - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
Images of the Seventh Day by Michael Kenna

The images he creates often resemble paintings more than they do photographs, and it’s his use of a camera to offer a new and profound perspective into a familiar world that makes him so compelling to me.

He has many beautiful publications available (all of which are worth having), but Images of the Seventh Day offers a really nice variety of his images from different times and places. If you’re looking for a place to start with Kenna, this book is it.

Find Images of the Seventh Day by Michael Kenna on Amazon.

Photo book for landscape photography - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
Images of the Seventh Day by Michael Kenna
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Seeking Stillness by Olivier Du Tré

Olivier Du Tré is a Belgian born landscape photographer, who now resides in Alberta, Canada, where most of the images in this publication were taken.

His evocative black and white landscapes, and the fact that he is a fellow Canadian are two obvious reasons why this book has been a source of inspiration for my own work.

Photo book for landscape photography - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
Seeking Stillness by Olivier Du Tré

But in addition to a collection of gorgeous images, Du Tré also includes an introduction to the book, where he shares the integral role his rediscovery of film has had in his own photographic journey.

The way that he describes his love for the process and intentionality of film, especially in his use of large format cameras, is a story that I as a film photographer resonate with deeply, and connects me to his images in a more personal way.

For his story and for his evocative presentation of the Canadian landscape on film, Olivier Du Tré’s Seeking Stillness is a photo book I continually turn to for inspiration.

Find Seeking Stillness by Olivier Du Tré on Amazon.

Photo book for landscape photography - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
Seeking Stillness by Olivier Du Tré
Photo book for landscape photography - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
Seeking Stillness by Olivier Du Tré

Small Island, Big Picture by Alexandra de Steiguer

I discovered Alexandra through a short film put out by The Atlantic called, The Challenge of True Solitude (the film is available on YouTube here).

In the film, Alexandra documents her life living through the Winters alone on a small, craggy island on the Atlantic Ocean, working as the caretaker of a grand nineteenth century hotel.

Alexandra is an artist as well, and uses music and film photography as a way to interpret and express creatively her experience of living a life of solitude miles from the mainland.

Photo book for landscape photography - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
Small Island, Big Picture by Alexandra de Steiguer

The book she published, Small Island, Big Picture includes over 60 black and white film photos, along with Alexandra’s stirring life reflections.

This combination of image and word is so effective, and the intimacy with which Alexandra knows the island makes it sound more like a person than a place.

It’s a moving story, and Alexandra’s use of film images to give flesh to the place she knows so well is breathtaking. All of this is contained in a beautiful hard cover publication that I’ve turned to often for inspiration.

Find Small Island, Big Picture by Alexandra de Steiguer at alexdesteiguer.com.

Photo book for landscape photography - Photo Books for Black and White Landscapes on Film by James Baturin on Shoot It With Film
Small Island, Big Picture by Alexandra de Steiguer

Thank you so much, James! James is a regular contributor here at Shoot It With Film, and you can check out his other articles here, including Understanding Reciprocity Failure in Film Photography and Fujifilm Acros vs Acros II Film Stock Comparison. You can also check out James’s work on Instagram.

Leave any questions you have down below, and you can pick up these photo books full of B&W film inspiration here: Images of the Seventh Day by Michael Kenna, Seeking Stillness by Olivier Du Tré, and Small Island, Big Picture by Alexandra de Steiguer

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James Baturin

James Baturin is a regular contributor for Shoot It With Film. Find his other articles here, including Hasselblad 500 C/M Film Camera Review and Long Exposure Film Photography Tutorial.

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Blog Comments

Hi James

Thank you for this article. I know Kenna’s work (inspiring and intimidating) but the others are new. Wonderful work.

Thanks Stephen! Yes Kenna was an obvious choice, but I also wanted to include some I’ve discovered that I thought might not be as well known! I appreciate your feedback! 🙂

Hi,

very nice artcile, I’d like to see more on this topic. There are so many photobooks and such selection makes it a bit easier to explore something new.

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