Books I Love: Return to Mexico


The latest installment “Books I Love.” The concept is very simple. Find a book in my collection, photograph it, then share it with you. The idea being to share what I love about the book or why I have it. The books will range from traditionally published, POD and handmade. The only stipulation is that I love the book. Most of them have a backstory, which I will also share. Books and photography are forever linked, so why not explore the relationship through my bookshelf. Hope you enjoy.

This episode covers a book titled “Return To Mexico, Journey’s Beyond the Mask” by Magnum photographer Abbas. The book was published by Norton and includes an essay from Carlos Fuentes. The cover was designed by Katy Homans.

26 responses to “Books I Love: Return to Mexico”

  1. Mathias says:

    dude, i´m broke. will you PLEASE stop making me want to buy books?

  2. Derek Clark says:

    Nice one Daniel!

    I just ordered Return To Mexico. It’s of special interest to me as I’m returning to the Philippines (5 years since the last trip) this year and will be shooting some projects for The Kage Collective.

    Hopefully Return To Mexico will have some things that will relate to my trip?


    • Smogranch says:

      cool! It’s a great book. Love the journal entries at the back.

    • Derek Clark says:

      Return To Mexico arrived in the post last week with the usual few scuffs on the cover, due to Amazons crappy loose packaging.

      It’s a really nice book! The photos look great, but I’m looking forward to reading the journal entries at the back. But it’s one book at a time for me and I’m half way through ‘Lens On Life’ and Magnum Magnum is giving me the eye from the book shelf!


    • Smogranch says:

      SCuffs are good! Just wait till it’s in your backpack for ten days!

  3. Another classic. I was suckling at the tit of Abbas when I was a young photo pup.

  4. eric labastida says:

    I LOVE this book for exactly the same reasons as you. 16 new& used for $250.00 you were an Idiot for now getting Telex Iran. Arguably one of the most important and best photo books out there.

  5. JasonSMoore says:

    Thanks again, Daniel. Unfortunately, no access to great photobooks where I live (Manila, Philppines).

    Fortunately, Magnum finally got their shit together with the website:

  6. LionelB says:

    Interesting that he sees himself principally as a storyteller. There is certainly a cinematographic element in there. As he says himself though, the lack of complete control over the end result is where the magic comes in. The cinematographer plans everything. With images like these, it is all about creating chances, without ever knowing quite how it will turn out. The uncertainty is what brings the images alive.

    • Smogranch says:

      Lionel< Well, I think when you do this work you have to realize you are never really in control. When you think you are you are probably being played. Life doesn't wait for photographers.

  7. zeno watson says:

    Hi Dan, hope you are well. Thank you for highlighting “Return to Mexico” photo book. From a handful of photos you have shown, it is my kind of photography. So much so, I have just ordered this book about five minutes ago. Thanks again!

  8. erik says:

    I love the imperfection of it. The lint in the film gate, the soft focus, and surprising compositions… Very organic.

  9. erik says:

    …oh, and it’s because of this book I recently had to buy 100 rolls of Tri-X… Grrr, without this one and Telex Iran, I’d have made the transition to digital.

  10. dan…

    i love what you do on this blog.. one of my favorites… so refreshing.. straight forward.. the way you share your thoughts. cutting through the chaste… your quote “Passion trumps commercialism” dead on…..

    funny i have the telex iran.. not this one. but guess what? im getting it too!

    i was fortunate enough to intern at magnum for a bit over two years so got to mix with most of these photographers…… but weirdly i never saw this work… so im anxious .. esp bc of the journalling done within it…

    looking forward to your next selection….. im overflowing with photo books.. need to keep up with the shelves to hold them

    • Smogranch says:

      Hey Nina,
      Nice to meet you. Gilles is an interesting man, a very smart man as well. What I loved about Telex Iran was the honesty, his insecurity as he explored this special assignment. It’s not a modern book. It’s not polished enough which is what makes it so damn good. And yes, I’m an idiot for not buying it when I had the chance.

  11. gilles is an enigma.. brilliant but not so accessible.but he’s a huge talent.his images are so completely evocative…. hes not in it for art.. which i love the art element.. but for facts.. the rawness…. history

    what was the last book you show cased under the book i love… i missed it.. curious

    • Smogranch says:

      What a great description. I’ve done two so far, Mexico by Abbas and “Voyages” by Depardon. I love this book. My next in the series will be a surprise. A different direction but a book that really opened my eyes.

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