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Sam Abell: The Photographic Life Hardcover – November 9, 2002
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Hardcover, November 9, 2002
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About the Author
He lives with his wife Denise in Crozet, Virginia.
Leah Bendavid-Val is the author of four books on photography including Propaganda & Dreams and Stories on Paper & Glass. She has curated photography exhibitions for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Pushkin Museum of Art, Moscow. She has been a book editor for National Geographic since 1985 and is presently Editorial Director for inSIGHT, an ongoing series of monogarphs on photographers.
She and her husband Avrom have three children and live in Washington, D.C.
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Top Customer Reviews
As a photographer myself, I can say that it is refreshing to see a book that delves into the stories behind the pictures (many which have been featured in National Geographic magazine) with both meaningful text as well as the display of surrounding photographs which led up to the final published one-the outtakes so to speak. Seeing these outtakes is enlightening. It provides a glimpse via examples, into Sam Abells working style and methods of seeing.
Abell proves himself a very generous and inspiring person. He shows an uncanny ability to not only make amazing photographs, but to also talk saliently and make clear statements about the process of making them too. Abell shares with us his thoughts, and stories for his photography. I'm not sure many other other photographers would be so willing to do so.
I found it interesting to learn and understand what went through Sam Abells mind while making photographs. Oftentimes one sees a photographer's results (the final images) yet knows nothing about the journey of work it took to actually achieve the results. This book fills that gap beautifully.
One can tell that this is a very personal book for Sam Abell. He does indeed live the photographic life, not only documenting important public places and events, but those of his own inner life as well.
The size of this book is quite hefty, perfect for a coffee table-it's that type of book. The production quality is top notch-the book text is easy to read and the images are presented beautifully.
My only complaint (and it's a small one), is that the ink on the front cover (the book is cloth bound) is not even and is faded and light in places. Again, this is minor and all the text throughout the inside of the book is perfect. Also, the book is a bit expensive.
That said, this is not his best work. While some of the pictures are new, it seems, on the whole, to be an expansion of his The Life of a Photograph, where he showed alternative angles and setting up shots of many of the same National Geographic works. While the photographic journal shots offer some new insights into the way he sees, with only a few exceptions they are not dramatically different than his "setting up the scene" shots in The Life of a Photograph.
Still, it's Sam Abell, and it's wonderful.