Pretty-boy photography books are a dime a dozen, but few do them as well as Tom Bianchi. The famed photographer has released 20 books of his pictures, poems and essays over the 25 years since he gave up his career as a corporate lawyer. Since then, he has worked diligently to bring his own brand of beautiful men to the masses. Now, Bianchi has released a new photo book titled Fire Island Pines--Polaroids 1975-1983, which celebrates a very specific time in the history of the famed island destination. "Back in the 70's and 80's," he writes on his blog, "I documented the emergent gay culture on an infamous beach out of sight, for the most part, from the dark forces of repression that ruled then."
Growing up in Chicago, Bianchi says that he first read about the gay getaway in a muscle magazine. "Fire Island sounded exotic, perhaps a name made up by the photographer," he recalls in the preface to the book. "I had no idea it was a real place. Certainly, I had no idea then that it was a place I would one day call home." When Bianchi finally ventured to Fire Island, AIDS had not yet claimed many of his friends. The disease went on to change the gay landscape forever. But before that happened, Bianchi set out to capture the men, parties and natural beauty of the seaside community--not to mention the gorgeous guys who populated his life and bed--with his Polaroid camera, which adds to the many charms of this set. Now 30 years later, Bianchi is getting to share his very personal vision of a time long gone. For more information, visit TomBianchi.com.