|Photo: Vivian Maier|
This post is not about the book Age Of Silver, a very good looking, greatest hits tribute I mention only because it's published by powerHouse- the same publisher of Vivian Maier, Street Photographer. Age Of Silver is gloriously printed with rich cold tones that bespeak the glory of well reproduced black and white photography. In contrast, Vivian Maier's book looks as if printed with mud. Silver costs $45, Maier- $40.
I've held both books in hand, and all I can say is that $5.00 US cannot possibly explain the difference in quality between the two. One is about as good as B&W reproduction can possibly get, the other good enough to return for a refund (my option). Obviously, had powerHouse really wanted to create a worthy homage to a noteworthy photographer (with an already built in audience no less) they could have chosen to do so. Many a person interested in her work would have gladly paid $60.00 for a quality monograph doing justice to her work- I would have certainly saved my change for the chance! Instead, powerHouse inexplicably(?) chose to go the cheap knock off route... Inexcusable!
UPDATE: powerHouse was actually gracious enough to reply to my inquiry, and informed me that they decided to go sepia on Vivian Maier, Street Photographer in order to present a different look from the other work they publish- that sounds logical. I was then assured that both books were printed to equal quality standards. That being true (particularly after seeing both) I can only assume that there was a quality control issue somewhere down the line, or that the files themselves were not the best- pure speculation and conjecture on my part. But even photographers who can live with the production values of the Maier book are quick to state that the quality is uneven throughout.
Anyway, props to powerHouse for responding in this day and age.