In The Unforgettable Photograph by George Lange, there are practical tips aplenty (228, by the publisher’s own count) on how to enlarge your current focus and achieve a wider range of angles for creating stunning images of all the people you love, in all the places you care about most. Hundreds of masterful photos surprise, inspire and fascinate, and are organized around six key ideas. The how-tos in this volume are not so much technical as philosophical, urging photographers to celebrate life—not just document it—through their photos.

The abiding principle for Lange is intimacy: We are touched by photographs insofar as we are able to feel the guiding force of each picture. In addition to its photography application, this book might also provide a good introduction for any budding human being (or photographer) to the ways in which love brings people together.

At $50, the new edition of Miller’s Antiques Encyclopedia is a steal. Open this sumptuous volume to any spread, and your grateful eye and antiquing heart will be seized by a half-dozen or so photographs of the most exquisite examples of the entire range of antiques to be found—and, with the help of this book, perhaps even acquired—on the planet. Judith Miller’s expertise is unsurpassed, and she knows how to transmit knowledge and experience with a graceful clarity and economical elegance in keeping with the thousands of artifacts she explicates. But this genuinely great tome offers more than its pragmatic value for collectors. In recent decades, academic history departments have been veering toward a deeper appreciation of material culture as the foundation of all historical currents and values. With this in mind, it would be difficult to identify a more comprehensive way of learning about the history of civilization than by making your way systematically through this tome, in which every featured grain (Furniture), shard (Ceramics and Glass), facet (Silver and Jewelry), thread (Carpets and Textiles) or gear (Clocks) of the world’s great productions is laid out with stylistic discernment and cross-cultural integrity.

Doodle books are a win-win for parents and kids. Parents know they keep kids busy, stimulate imagination, build creative skills and require no batteries, and kids know doodle books are 100 percent fun. Imagine page after page of unfinished, cartoony illustrations to complete with your own scribbles, colors and stream-of-consciousness drollery any old way you wish. Well, here’s a nifty twist: Photo Doodles: 200 Pictures for You to Complete by ViiiZ (a graphic design studio based in Paris). That’s right—photographs rather than drawings are the canvas for creativity. The photos are kid-friendly—think kittens, gingerbread cookies, a rollercoaster—and in subtle grayscale with plenty of room for adding colorful flair. Short prompts will get kids going. For example, “Who’s looking in the mirror?” floats above a series of blank, ornate frames. Add fish to the sea; draw what’s inside a mailing crate; write a newspaper headline; decorate snack packaging and so on. The paper is thick enough to accommodate washable markers, but colored pencils, crayons and any pen or pencil will do just fine. All ages and levels of artistic ability are welcome.

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