Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Recent Books & Random Thoughts...

Well, it's that time of year when we look back... and plan ahead. This year I finally got it down and put together (kind of ridiculous to say published) my first Blurb book. A helluva lotta work starting from B&W negs, but pretty happy the way it turned out- for my first try. Of course, it woulda been loads nicer had someone actually noticed the damn thing, but... Actually, its the way to go- if only for the fact that I have neither darkroom, nor printer. It definitely makes for a somewhat convenient alternative (not the most preferable obviously, but definitely the cheapest) for getting one's work in some kind of print form.

My exposure to the plethora of photography books now available is limited, probably a good thing since I can't afford or have room for one more. But for now (and in no particular order)...

1)  Greater Atlanta- Mark Steinmetz   Subject of much critical acclaim, and good as his work is- I think a lot of people (who simply don't know better) were just taken aback that, yes, one could do straight, "fine art" photography that didn't fit their particular stereotype of what all B&W photography looks like. I saw all kinds of the stuff back in the day (when a lot of these guys were still prepubescent embryos)- and to my eternal discredit, I didn't take better note of all the names. Back when I was young, dumb and twenty one, I thought B&W would last forever. But a lot of the work of those who began to carve their own distinctive paths in B&W were simply steamrolled in time by the avalanche that was color... Good? Yes! Great to see and experience (again)? Yes! Original? Hell No!

2)  Looking For Evidence- Eva Leitolf   Every time I look at one of her photographs, I transfix yet again at what Ms. Leitolf manages to accomplish- transform the ugliness of past events within the beauty of the present.

3)  Wonderland- Jason Eskanazi   The pocket Bible of 35mm B&W.

4)  Father/Photographer- Henry Frank   Big Bob's Ol' man gives it a go in a nice little, compact scrapbook (it's in the genes don't ya know).

5)  America By Car- Lee Friedlander   Let's see you take better pictures sitting on your ass...

6)  Newton Creek Anthony Hamboussi   There's art to be had in all that documentary!

7)  This Is Not My Sky- Noah Beil    Home made goodness you can taste and feel.

8)  Nan Goldin     The portable entry vehicle. 

9)  Working The Line- David Taylor    The as of yet definitive photographic study of the US/Mexican border, complete with hardcover book and beautiful accompanying accordion styled typology insert. Incredible work, and incredible bang for the buck!

10)  Fluffy Clouds-  Jürgen Nefzger   On order... (I'm a sucker for cooling towers).

 If there's one, and only one, book I get in all of 2011-- it's gonna be Vivian Maier's...

And now... make way, yes, I can see it, just over the horizon- the light at the end of the tunnel...  
The Great B&W Photo Revival of 20__!!!

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