How much does a life’s work weigh? In the case of Peter Simon, seven pounds, two ounces. That’s how much his new book Martha’s Vineyard: To Everything There Is a Season weighs.

Spring: Ozzie Fischer at the wheel of the hay truck. Albert Fischer top right. — Peter Simon

To be more accurate the book does not represent Mr. Simon’s entire photographic life. That would weigh much, much more. He was born in 1947 and his photographic career includes rock and roll portraits, the Civil Rights era, hippie heyday, sports, politics, Jamaica and its reggae stars — the subjects are as varied as they are iconic, depicting much of the last half century.

His newest book hews more closely to a single subject, or rather place, Martha’s Vineyard, where he has visited since he was a baby and has called home since he and his wife Ronni moved here full time in 1988.

There will be a launch party for the book at the Simon Gallery on Sunday, May 28, from 5 to 8 p.m.

The book contains over 700 photographs, capturing the Vineyard in all its glory from the many scenic vistas depicted in his annual calendars to the people who have defined the Vineyard over the decades. There are many talented photographers working on the Island today, but what Mr. Simon has is the long ball. He started shooting for the Vineyard Gazette in 1969 under editor Dick Reston.

“He said Simon go out and take a picture of the dump in Chappaquiddick and get really gritty pictures of glass with sunlight shining off the glass and do a whole dump essay,” he recalled.

Summer: Edgartown harbor in all its glory. — Peter Simon

The Chappy dump pictures didn’t make the cut for the book, but many other assignments did. There is a whole section on summer storms, including Hurricanes Bob and Gloria. The Chilmark Road Race has its own section as does the music scene. Photographs of his sister Carly Simon as a young girl are nestled next to shots of the Taylor family, Lou Reed, Bob Weir, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Jimmy Cliff and Peter Tosh, all of whom performed on the Vineyard. The Island music scene is also well represented from Maynard Silva, David Crohan, Johnny Hoy and Mike Benjamin to a picture of a teenage Willy Mason performing at Nectarfest.

When asked to choose his favorite picture in the book, Mr. Simon squirms for a moment. Earlier he had compared creating the book to birthing a baby, a nod to the size and weight and also how each photograph represents a favorite child. But when pressed he finally breaks down and picks a two-page spread of five photographs.

The five photographs are all black and white (with one hand colored by his wife Ronni Simon). Four photographs are from the 1970s and one was taken in 1998. They are moody and quiet, whether populated by people, animals or trees. Ingmar Bergman comes to mind.

“I don’t know why,” he says. “I just love it. It has a timeless quality to it.”

Fall: deep in Cedar Tree Neck. — Peter Simon

Mostly he declines to rank his favorites. The process of choosing what to include in the book out of so many thousands of images hurt enough. He started creating his calendars in 1988, at the suggestion of Ann Nelson, the former longtime owner of the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. Choosing, sorting and laying out the images took years. He was helped by Charlie Utz, Colleen Sweeney, his wife, Ronni and many others. The group went through every calendar with each person tagging the ones they thought were must-haves. It was a good counterbalance, having some objective eyes on the prize. Often a picture Mr. Simon chose would have no tags.

“That meant no one else liked it,” he says.

The book is mainly photographs, unlike his recent books On the Vineyard I, II and III, and his photographic memoir Eye and I, all of which contained as much text as they did photos. There are references beneath each image giving a description of time and place, and a few essays are sprinkled throughout the book. The novelist Geraldine Brooks introduces the four sections of the book — Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter — with seasonal essays, and the journalist Stephen Davis, a longtime friend and collaborator of Mr. Simon’s stretching back to their college days at Boston University, gives a personal history. Jan Hatchard, director of development at Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, writes the preface. Mr. Simon is dedicating 20 per cent of all profits to Community Services.

Winter: snowballs and hanging clothes. — Peter Simon

And at the very beginning of the book there is a dedication by Mr. Simon to his father, Richard Simon, the founder of Simon & Schuster and an amateur photographer who first encouraged his son’s work. When Richard Simon died of a heart attack in 1960, young Peter inherited his Leica camera. Mr. Simon credits many photographers as influences from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Robert Frank and Bruce Davidson. But it is his father to whom he feels he most indebted, and who was essential to the creation of this book.

“My father, before he died, said son, save every negative you’ve ever taken. So I did. I never threw anything out because I listened to him.”

The launch party for Martha’s Vineyard: To Everything There Is a Season is Sunday, May 28 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Simon Gallery, 54 Main street, Vineyard Haven.