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Abandoned America Hardcover – January, 2002


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Hardcover, January, 2002
$352.18

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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Roberts Rinehart Publishers (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570984093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570984099
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on March 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Photographs of the abandoned America seem very appropriate for the world's leading throwaway society and whereas photographers elsewhere might concentrate on abandoned historical ruins it does seem that many American photographers seek out the discarded that is just left and forgotten. Maybe this is because there is so much of it around, and in a huge country it seems all too easy to walk away from a building, a vehicle, a sign that has become redundant. To remove it becomes someone else's problem but before that happens a lot of photographers can show their creativity by capturing it on film.

Steve Gottlieb has travelled the country looking for, as the chapters show, houses and barns, factories and equipment, vehicles, signs and facades and finally a kaleidoscope of odds and ends. Another reviewer has mentioned the color and this is what I noticed first, it is very garish and uneven and there are very few true blacks anywhere. The technical notes mention that the images have been color corrected where needed and although the plates are printed in a very fine screen (over 200 dpi I think) the lack of solid blacks give most of the photos a pastel feel and detracts from the raw grittiness of the subject.

It is also a book of unfortunate technical contrasts, page twelve shows an old wooden house surrounded by bright (color corrected?) green trees making the photo look rather artificial yet turn over the page and there is a stunning black and white (using the four color black printing process) photo of three abandoned houses with a dead tree in the middle of the composition.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Paul A. Jones on March 7, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I really appreciated the vibrant colors and the generally high production values of the photographs in this beautiful book. Typically, photographs of abandoned, worn out and discarded items are done in a style that highlights the "used up" aspect of the subject. Most of the photographs in Abandoned America, on the other hand, give their subjects one last opportunity to "shine" in the conventional sense; to, perhaps, get one last chance at life.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I won't bother to describe the nature of this book, the other reviews take care of that. So I'll just give my opinion. I've always been interested in photography of abandoned or damaged objects, and was drawn to this book and very satisfied with the results. Yes, Gottlieb is a good technician, using the rule of thirds, pumping up the color a bit here and there, and (admittedly) doing a little Photoshopping to remove unwanted objects. He's a pro, and that's what they do. He's not just documenting these things for posterity, he's trying to create memorable images with them as well, and mostly succeeds. I also have some minor quibbles with his occasional choice of fisheye lenses and deliberately placing his shadow in a picture, but for the most part, he impressed me with his style and keen eye. The photos made me want to quit my job and travel around the country, looking for similar places off the beaten path.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2003
Format: Hardcover
On the surface this seems like the type of photography I like (and sometimes make). It's mainly abandoned structures, rural America, rusting cars, peeling paint, cats in rustic windows. But there's something about it that's disturbingly slick -- almost everything's composed with the rule of thirds, the colors are ridiculously oversaturated, and he often uses a
wide-angle lens for purely exaggerated effect. But even beyond that, it has the air of tour-guidebook photography, fetishizing colorful decay. True, some of it's sad, but in a gauzy nostalgic way -- it didn't truly make me think of the people who once populated these places.
Art photographers like William Eggleston or William Christenberry have covered similar territory, but their work is much less predictable, more complex, more genuinely haunting. You can even go back to Walker Evans for a look at what he considered "abandoned America" in the '30s and '40s. This work, meanwhile, seems readymade for commercial postcards or posters. "Abandoned America -- wish you were here!"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on July 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is perfect for my photography "library" and exactly what I needed for a photography club presentation I am doing on Rural Abandoned America.
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