26 members recommend for December

Information is Beautiful
by David McCandless
Collins, £20 list, or £12.40 on Amazon

A sort of grown up version of the Visual Aids books – lots of interesting stuff explained using attractive graphics and charts, although whether Edward Tuffte would approve is unclear. No matter, the perfect present for the information design obsessive in your life.
Roger Horberry

Shadow Catchers: Camera-less Photography
V&A South Kensington
Cromwell Road, London SW7
Runs until 20 February 2011

This small, utterly captivating exhibition is a brilliant antidote to the chaos of Christmas. It showcases five photographers who work without a camera, creating images on photographic paper by casting shadows and manipulating light or chemically treating the paper. The results are muted, subtle and engrossing. I particularly liked Susan Derges’ ‘Arch 4 (summer)’ where she conjured up clouds using ink, and her series of tadpoles growing into frogs, seen through the base of a jam jar. The final shot is an empty jar. Presumably the frog hopped out.
Fiona Thompson

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