There are certain images that have penetrated our culture in such a way that they've come to represent entire eras as a part of our shared history. These beautifully constructed photography books capture nature, the solar system, and American life in ways that will leave you speechless.

11 Photography Books With Stunning Images

  1. "Photography: The Definitive Visual History"
  2. "Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs"
  3. "Photographs from the Edge: A Master Photographer's Insights on Capturing an Extraordinary World"
  4. "LGBT: San Francisco: The Daniel Nicoletta Photographs"
  5. "National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs"
  6. "100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time"
  7. "Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks"
  8. "The Planets: Photographs from the Archives of NASA"
  9. "Moments: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographs"
  10. "1001 Photographs You Must See In Your Lifetime"
  11. "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs"

Eddie Adams On His Iconic Photograph

How Many Pulitzer Prizes For Photography Are There?

The Pulitzer Prize for Photography was first awarded in 1942, and was given out every year through 1967. After that, the award was split into two prizes. The Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography is given either to a single photo or a photo series of significant merit. The Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography, formerly known as Spot News Photography, is focused more on those images directly related to immediate news items, though the Pulitzer Board has moved photos between categories from time to time based on its judgment, and several photographers have won prizes in both categories.

Award-Winning Photographers Discuss Their Work

More Information

Though most of us are used to seeing blurry photos on our mobile devices, some artists deserve to be properly viewed with vibrant, properly displayed images. These photography books are filled with brilliant pictures that showcase artistry and history where words simply couldn't do them justice.

#1: "Photography: The Definitive Visual History" by Tom Ang. In this book, the award-winning photographer turns the spotlight on some of the most iconic photographs and photographers of the last 200 years. Published in 2014, the book gives its readers a comprehensive overview of the different personalities and technologies that helped shape the art form. It is divided into eight sections, covering the rich history of photography from 1825 to the present day.

#2: "Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs" provides a chronologically-arranged presentation of the works of American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams. The book is divided into five key periods, covering Adams' days as a young lensman in Yosemite in 1916 all the way to his final shots from the 1960s.

#3: "Photographs from the Edge: A Master Photographer's Insights on Capturing an Extraordinary World" by Art Wolfe and Rob Sheppard. This colorful volume showcases what happens behind the scenes in the work of nature photographer Art Wolfe, providing an insider's view of the decisions behind the images he's snapped from around the world in areas like Mnemba Island and the Himalayas.

#4: "LGBT: San Francisco: The Daniel Nicoletta Photographs." Documenting San Francisco in the 1970s. Daniel Nicoletta showcases an intimate look at alternative theater, drag queens, and same-sex couples at a time and place important to modern American history.

#5: "National Geographic Simply Beautiful Photographs." Annie Griffiths takes readers through some of National Geographic's famous images, along with lyrical quotes from poets and scholars to go with gorgeous landscapes and nature scenes.

#6: "100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time" by the editors of "Time" magazine, which includes famous pictures like the image of Mohammed Ali that won a Pulitzer Prize, one of few sports photographs to receive the honor. Published in 2016, the book served as a companion to's digital celebration of the art of photography.

#7: "Edward S. Curtis: One Hundred Masterworks" by Christopher Cardozo, which features the work of American photographer and ethnologist Edward Curtis, known for documenting the American West and its people. The gorgeous black and white images chronicle how Native Americans lived their everyday lives.

#8: "The Planets: Photographs from the Archives of NASA" by Nirmala Nataraj. Featuring more than 200 photos, this title offers a view of the planets within the solar system, coupled with extended captions explaining the science behind what we see. Published in 2017, the book's highlights include pictures of the volcanoes of Venus and parts of Jupiter that were only recently discovered by scientists.

#9: "Moments: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Photographs." A complete collection of photographs from 1942 through 2015, every entry comes with an essay written by Hall Buell, who served as the head of picture services for the Associated Press. Some of the memorable pictures in the book include the flag raising at Iwo Jima and Carol Guzy's work in Haiti.

#10: "1,001 Photographs You Must See In Your Lifetime" by Paul Lowe. The book presents a vast array of still images taken by notable photographers from 1850 up to the modern day. Lowe also adds thorough text to explain the stories behind the photos.

#11: "Robert Mapplethorpe: The Photographs." This compilation features work from photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, known for his controversial subject matter. The photos were acquired from the artist's personal collection by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

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