My latest trawl of the local charity/thrift stores didn’t turn up any cameras, a good thing some might say but I did find a couple of books!
Ansel Adams – The Negative and The Print, numbers 2 and 3 in this seminal series. Of course I couldn’t just own 2 and 3 so set about ordering No 1 The camera, from that online seller named after a forest. I can’t say that I’ve read them yet, I did sit down for 10 mins with a cup of coffee, to have a quick browse and found about 2 hours later I was more knowledgeable that when I sat down! When I have time, I need to read these – cover to cover with a note book. Very well written, researched, and illustrated. I can’t think of a better “how to” book I’ve come across- ever, on any topic. Fully recommended to anyone with an interest in photography.
Next up was Don McCullin, this was actually a Christmas present from last year, and I have just had another extended look though it. Apparently Mr McCullin would prefer not to known as a war photographer, and it is true that a lot of his photographs are not war photo’s. This book is something of a “magnum Opus” and seems to cover everything. As such there are a lot of “war” images. I find that as a collection these can be a little overwhelming collected in one place. There is only so much death, bodies and starvation that I can take in one go. That said one cannot question the quality of the images in every aspect. They are certainly powerful and thought provoking. The quality of the book is equally impressive, stretching to 360 pages of quality paper with well re-produced photographs. Strangely I find myself drawn to his landscape photography and might seek out one or two of those.
Finally last, but not least is Jim Grey’s “Vinyl Village”. This is a photo essay describing the urban area in which the author lives. It’s presented in, give or take A4 size, and contains a well produced and edited selection of black and white images. It’s an interesting and thought provoking read. Here, a few thousand miles away in southern UK I can recognise the theme. The photography is faultless, the reproduction from Amazon is good, but not brilliant, but then the price was an amazing £7:99! Would I recommend you buy it? Absolutely! I am very impressed by it, I have a similar publication from a gallery covering the work of Jacques Henri Lartigue, and this holds it own! It is a great example of what could be done by those who have the dedication to actually do it… and I applaud the result!
I should add that I am in no way associated with any of the above publications in any way, and my opinions are just that! Happy reading!