Tuesday, January 31, 2006

A Passion

One thing I like as much as taking photographs, making images, fondling gear, and playing in the “darkroom” with film and developer combinations is looking at the work of other photographers, especially, but not exclusively, those from photography’s long and varied past. I love photography books, and I’m always perusing online booksellers, and getting ideas from places like photoeye.com, which sends out “New Arrival” and “Sales” emails, on a regular and frequent basis.

Books are a passion of mine, but looking at and studying photographs, seems to be a deeper subset of photography, a link not common to us all, existing beneath metal, glass, and film. I’m always offering books of photographs to my loved ones and friends, only to have them give it the obligatory flip-through, and hand it back, which is understandable from those who aren't as immersed in photography, but I’m always surprised by the lack of discussion (or even mention) on online forums of photography books and the work of published photographers (beyond the occasional worship paid to Cartier-Bresson, and Winogrand). I’ve my thoughts on why this is, but I’d rather not expound upon them now. Instead, I’d rather offer up to you the work of Stephen Shore, and the republished ‘Uncommon Place—The Complete Works.’

If you enjoy work in the street photography lineage, particularly, as the liner notes state, the work of Robert Frank and Walker Evans, and I would add, right up through Arbus, Winogrand, and Meyerowitz, then you’ll probably like Shore’s work. If you’ve wondered what large format color street photography might look like, then this is the book for you. ‘Nuff said.