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Al Sol: Photographs from Mexico, Cameroon and Nicaragua Hardcover – February 19, 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

The work of photographer Stella Johnson has spanned editorial assignments, corporate projects, documentaries and personal artistic expressions. Grounded in her photography training at the San Francisco Art Institute and her advanced degree in journalism from Boston University's College of Communication, Stella has gone on to work extensively in both the U. S. and overseas with commissions from The Ford Foundation, EarthWatch Institute and Continental Airlines and assignments from Time, Fortune and US News and World Report. She received her first Fulbright Scholar Grant to Mexico in 2003-2004 to collaborate with Anthropologist Lourdes Arizpe's project "Intangible Heritage of Mexico". She returned to Mexico in 2006 as a Fulbright Senior Specialist, teaching documentary photography and visual anthropology at the Regional Center for Multidisciplinary Research of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in Cuernavaca. In 2008, she was awarded a Fulbright Senior Specialist grant to teach in Ecuador. Major New England work includes two documentary projects on homelessness and one on midwifery. Other documentary projects include studies in urban development (for the Ford Foundation,) photo-essays on a Mennonite settlement in Norfolk, Connecticut, and the National Center of Afro-American Artists' annual performance of Langston Hughes' Black Nativity, both for Yankee Magazine. Traveling on assignment has taken her to Africa, South and Central America, and Mexico. She has documented the progress of rural development programs in Mexico for the Ford Foundation, UNIFEM, and the Inter-American Foundation. For Continental Airlines she has photographed colonial architecture in Mexico, the ancient Mayan City of Tikal in Guatemala, and the tropical rainforests in Costa Rica. Stella has participated in two Earthwatch Institute projects: In Paraguay she documented anthropologists studying an endangered indigenous culture, and in Cameroon she recorded the attempt by medical personnel to eradicate intestinal parasites among nomadic Muslim tribes.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Wild Greek Press/ University of Maine Press; 1st edition (February 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0891011145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0891011149
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 10.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,243,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Whelan on March 31, 2008
"Stella Johnson's photographs are poems weighted with grace, dignity, and compassion." Constantine Manos

Photography, the international language, can enrich our lives and open new worlds. This is the case with Stella Johnson's first book, Al Sol.
Johnson has immersed herself in village life as both a passionate photographer and compassionate observer in Mexico, Nicaragua and Cameroon. Living with the people whom she photographs, she is able to cross the line to capture intimate moments. Working with a handheld Leica she is free to discover extraordinary moments in ordinary situations. Moments that allow us inside . . . children playing without toys . . . women preparing food and attending to life's daily chores...men fishing.
Johnson demonstrates her skill at filling the frame and layering complex images: her use of light and shadow brings a classic luminosity to her images. Each image stands on its' own. Patience and a little bit of magic bring a sense of joy and wonder to daily village life. Her palette of human emotions is universal, reminding us of the importance of love, dignity and respect.
The accompanying text expands the story: a preface by Constantine Manos; Johnson's writing and a conversation about the work with Gela Garcia and Gustavo Illades. The design by Michael Alpert is eloquent.
Al Sol is a book that will engage the human spirit and grace any book collection.
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This is a wonderful book. Stella Johnson has a devoted group of followers who, like me, admire the sensitivity and craft that lie behind these images. The book reminds me of some of Paul Strand's best work in the late 1940's and 1950's in France, Italy and Scotland. The quality of the production is likewise top rate. This is a great addition to my collection of portraiture photography. I hope she has another one out soon.
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