As I contemplate ways to commemorate the changing of the year, and continue plugging away on the latest "Recommended Cameras" list (which are getting harder and harder to write, and I wonder if anyone even cares), I think I won't try to name a "Photographer of the Year" this year. It seems pretentious of me to do so...and pointless, too. It makes me feel like Peter Henry Emerson, who, late in life, would send out "medals" for accomplishments in photography to younger photographers who had never heard of his medals and had not a clue who he was. (Reminds me of an ultimate image of pointless human hubris, Klaus Kinski as Aguirre on a ruined raft spinning down a South American river "claiming" the passing landscape in the name of his King. Naming a Photographer of the Year doesn't make me feel that pointless, but it doesn't seem like something that's really up to me, either. Lots of photographers did good work this year, just like every other. Of course, saying so doesn't help give any of them extra attention, which is what awards are meant to do.)
But now, Photo Book of the Year...that I can handle. So I've been poring over a) lists, b) the books I've bought, and c) the books you've bought (I get an accounting from Amazon of the things readers buy through our links) for ideas. In 2007 I'm not sure I named one, although for me McClellan Street and Vancouver Photographs (the latter now out of print, sadly) tied for the honor.
How about some nominations? What would you say is the Photo Book of the Year, 2008?