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35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Necessary Disappointment, June 17, 2008
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This review is from: Vanishing America: The End of Main Street Diners, Drive-Ins, Donut Shops, and Other Everyday Monuments (Hardcover)
If You're a fan of Michael Eastman's fine art photography, as I am, you must get a copy of his latest book, "Vanishing America." You must get it, but you'll be disappointed in it--disappointed in the layout, particularly, but also in the reproduction.

As to the layout, the photographs are given no respect. They are presented full bleed, that is, without margins. A typical two-page spread has a large picture full-bleed on the left side, and an array of smaller pictures--also full bleed and butting up against each other so it's hard to tell where one ends and the next begins--on the right.

This is not a book of photographs so much as it is a book of Americana, the kind you see on the bargain racks of the large chain bookstores.

As to the reproduction, I remember seeing a large (50x40 inch) print of "Shotgun House, New Orleans" at a show a few years ago. It was $5000 framed and I wanted it, but I had neither the wall space nor the money, so I contented myself with a free, postcard-size promotional reproduction. This reproduced the colors of the larger image very well and it served as a good reminder of why I liked it. This picture is reproduced in the book, slightly cropped, for no good reason, and with a decided magenta cast, compared to my postcard copy. Looking at the picture in the book, it doesn't remind me at all of my feelings for the original print.

I assume books of Americana are more profitable than books of photographs. If so, I can forgive this disappointing book. Fine art photographers need all the support they can get.
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