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Profile for Gary Bowden > Reviews


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Gary Bowden "Gary Bowden" RSS Feed (Fredericton)

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Paul Graham: A Shimmer of Possibility (12 Books Set)
Paul Graham: A Shimmer of Possibility (12 Books Set)
by Paul Graham
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from $1,250.00

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely stunning achievement, March 19, 2008
In my experience there are two types of people who are drawn to photography. One group focuses on the experience of the individual image. The other group, focuses less on the individual image and more on the overall impact -- either the ability of the photographer to create a consistent style that runs through the images or the way that the images are sequenced. In very rare cases, like Robert Frank's American's, one gets the lucky combination of both stunning individual images and stellar sequencing.

Individuals fixated on the power of the individual image will find more pop in other places. But, for those interested in how images are put together and sequenced, this is the most important project of the past decade. Graham has achieved the rarest of accomplishments -- stretching the boundaries of the media. I've only had my copy for a few days, so I can't comment on how often I'll return to it. But I can say, without hesitation, that it is a unique experience not to be missed. With over 150 years of photobooks in print, Graham has managed to create something fundamentally new.

William Eggleston, 2 1/4
William Eggleston, 2 1/4
by William Eggleston
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $57.99
76 used & new from $44.99

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beg, borrow, buy or steal this book, November 1, 2001
I've looked at thousands of photo books in my life and this is one of my personal favorites. Why? It isn't, for the most part, because of the subject matter. Eggleston's images are pretty banal -- common everyday objects that we routinely ignore. I like this book because it shows an undisputed master dealing simultaneously with two photographic problems -- color and a square image format. Even if you don't agree with Szarkowski's assertion that Eggleston was the first photographer to actually see in color (in contrast to the emphasis upon form and texture that characterizes black and white photography), there is no disputing the originality of his vision and the influence that it has had on subsequent generations of photographers. The images in this book, from early in his career, beautifully display that vision. But, unlike any of his other photographs, the ones in this book are square. Most photographs are reproduced in rectangular format, providing them with a natural visual tension. Faced with a square format, many photographers opt for symmetry as a compositional strategy. Not Eggleston -- he uses color to create disproportionate visual weights and add a visual dynamic to the images. For a nice contrast, compare the images in this book to those in Larry Fink's Social Graces (black and white photos in the 2 1/4 format) to appreciate the difference between using color (Eggleston) and non-symmetric form (Fink) to get rid of the structural monotony of the square image format. Finally, this book is an absolute delight to hold. The pages and cover, as with most other Twin Palms books, provide tactile pleasures a quantum leap beyond those in 98% of other books.

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