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Cape Light: Color Photographs by Joel Meyerowitz Paperback – June, 2002

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Paperback, June, 2002
$74.44 $9.98

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joel Meyerowitz is a photographer best known for his large-format color work published in Cape Light and several other books. He began his career as a street photographer and is the co-author of Bystander: A History of Street Photography. His photographs have been shown worldwide, including exhibits at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Recently he produced his first feature film, POP, a diary of a trip he made with his son and his aging father, who had Alzheimer's disease. Clifford Ackley is curator of photography and prints at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch; Expanded edition (June 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821227955
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821227954
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.3 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,079,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Vecsei on January 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
I first saw this book while i was looking through the photography section at the University of Guelph library. This book probably influenced my photography more than any other. Unfortunately, it also made me start doing shots with my nikon that are better suited for a large format system. The introductory interview with the photographer is possibly the most interesting discussion on the topic of light and photography. If you plan to become anything more than an amature photographer, PLEASE get this book NOW.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a little stunned that this book only has six reviews and that they're not all five-star reviews. I can only attribute that to the reasons one of the reviewers gives below, that this is a sub-standard edition of what is one of the greatest photo books ever envisioned or published. I first saw this book (the year it was first published, 1978, I think) in a bookstore outside of Boston and it was so beautiful that I had to sit down on the floor of the shop and study every page. I couldn't have been more blown away by the utter simplicity and yet great emotional depth of the images. Meyerowitz, one of the masters of New York "street" photography in the 1960s had burned out on the intensity of his street and commercial work and retreated to a small house in Truro on Cape Cod and, leaving small formats behind, brought with him a pair of 8 x 10-inch Deardorff field cameras. He then spent that summer (and much time after, I assume) using the huge view cameras almost as if they were smaller-format cameras: in some cases keeping a camera on a tripod in the back seat of his car and then, when a great moment occurred, hopping out of his car and shooting the photo in just minutes.

And when you look at the spectacular photos in this book (and they include some of the simplest and most interesting landscape photos ever made) you can see and feel that moment of awareness, that instant when a photograph was waiting to be made and Meyerowitz was there. He took a huge artistic chance in shifting from small-format cameras to large-format field cameras, but it seems in retrospect like a completely inspired decision. I think he changed forever the way that art photographers (the great Stephen Shore among them, I'd guess) look at large-format cameras.
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Ansel Adams said that this book was his favorite book of color photographs (the reason I bought it, long ago). Meyerowitz's use of little contrast, incomparible colors, and unusual subject matter makes this a must MEMORIZE book for all serious photographers. If you don't go nuts over his photographs, you don't like photography as much as you thought you did.......
john in texas
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This book order originaly issued in the 1970s. Lovely photographs. I picked my favorites and framed them all together and threw away the rest of the book. Dreamy photographs, no analytic reason to buy it!
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I've bought this book as it's one of the classic color photography books. Pictures are sensational, but this edition is "too cheap", not just because of the paperback, but because images don't have space enough to show themselves. Moreover the print quality is really bad. I suggest you to spend some more money and by a "decent" edition of this great book.

Raúl
[...]
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book just before the publication of the big Meyerowitz Retrospective that pushed his book prices through the stratosphere. Mine is a used copy with sprung covers. These are photographs of Cape Cod from fifty years ago and are right on the button, as in Right On. I was there and these photographs took me right back to there. One caveat: the photographs are published using older techniques and are matte. It gives them a dreamy quality that suits the subject matter but can be off-putting for the eye used to digital clarity
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I told a photographer friend that to me, there is something about the Cape, especially the outer section, that I find magical without being able to pinpoint exactly why I felt this way. He recommended buying Cape Light, and I got a paperback copy. I do not know how the reproductions compare to the originals, but to me at least, they are good enough to explain why this book is so revered by photographers. To amateurs like me, it demonstrates how light can transform the most mundane object into something special and encourages us to start seeing the world with JM's eyes. I also recommend it to all who cannot resist the itch to oversaturate their digital pictures during post-processing--the 'dreamy' quality one reviewer speaks of should not be looked down upon, and you do not get it with colors that scream at you! For non-photographers who love the Cape and are bored with standard picture-postcard views, it's a wonderful gift.
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Format: Paperback
I don't know what reviewer "K Raustol" (a couple reviews down)has been smoking, but this work, along with Ansel's body of B&W work is to my mind the finest large-format photography ever produced. This book is ALL about composition and capturing the subtle naunces of the changing light, and this book represents that concept better than any other published color work that I've ever seen. As another reviewer mentioned, if you're serious about photography, this book in an absolute MUST.
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