TIME Picks the Best Photobooks of 2014

TIME’s photo editors and renowned photography experts select the 27 photobooks that defined 2014


A soldier rides a donkey in Nineveh, Iraq. 2006. (photo: Peter van Agtmael)

Magnum photographer Peter van Agtmael has received the 2012 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. The annual grant aims to recognize a photographer who has “demonstrated an exemplary commitment to documenting the human condition in the spirit of Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion.”

Read the story and see more photos here.


Last June, ISIS took Mosul, the militants painted a red Arabic ‘‘n,’’ for Nasrane, a slur, on Assyrian Christian homes. Many residents managed to escape fled to Qaraqosh, less than 20 miles east on the Nineveh Plain, a 1,500-square-mile plot of contested land that lies between Kurdistan and Iraq, Peter van Agtmael.

IRAQ. Baghdad governorate. Baghdad. 2006. Joshua Jump of Laramie, Wyoming, shortly after being wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device in Baghdad.  

Shrapnel tore through his face, chest, and leg, but he was quickly stabilised by medical staff. He was sent back to the U.S., where it was expected he would make a full recovery.  

Photograph: Peter van Agtmael/Magnum Photos

Photo: Daniel Berehulak-Getty Images

Photojournalism Links: May 2014 (Part 1)

A collection of the most interesting photojournalism and documentary photography from across the web.


Disco Night 9/11 by Peter van Agtmael

MODERN WARFARE IS murky. There’s nothing like the assassination of an archduke that signifies a clear beginning, or a surrender aboard a battleship to signal the end. For many in the United States, the war in Iraq appeared to end when the last soldiers left in 2011. But with the rise of the ISIS insurgency and the impending arrival of 300 U.S. troops, it’s becoming increasingly clear our involvement there is far from through.

So a photo project like Peter Van Agtmael’s book Disco Night Sept 11 seems a fitting way to capture some sort of truth about U.S. involvement in the Middle East, if not war in general. It doesn’t adhere to a strict chronological timeline, but instead tells an open-ended story that conveys the complexity and uncertainty of history still unfolding.

“The book doesn’t give a narrative of the beginning, middle and end. It’s a slice of observations of what happens when America—or any radically different culture—engages with another culture on violent terms,” he says. - ‘7 YEARS OF WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST, CAPTURED ON CAMERA’ by Pete Brook [Raw File]  

Coming of Age in Combat: Peter van Agtmael’s Disco Night Sept 11 [Time Lightbox]

Peter van Agtmael, Disco Night Sept 11 [Collector Daily]

Buy the book at Red Hook Editions

Discussed in Episode 2.13 with Pete Brook