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Tuesday, 19 August 2008


Thanks, Mike.

Best regards,

Hello Mike,

>I have many titles by people like Kertész, Cartier-Bresson, Koudelka, Friedlander, and Levitt. But I like to have good overviews of major figures too, and sometimes these can be harder to find, since a single book
needs to stand in for a whole career.

Two books in this genre that make the grade are "Pauses" by Edouard Boubat (Bookking Int'l, 1988) and "Photographs At Home And Abroad" by Marc Riboud (Harry Abrams, NY, 1986). Both are outstanding and are among my all-time favorites.

If you haven't seen these you are culturally deprived [g].

Clayton Jones

I didn't find the political aspect of the FSA doc to be a problem. It's my opinion that we too often look at those photos as a real treasure that we all universally admire, forgetting that they were and still are hated by conservatives for their capture of a reality that doesn't fit their world view. (Sound familiar?) The current attacks on Social Security and universal health care are directly linked to the past hatred of FDR and his "socialist" policies.
The documentary reminded me how remarkable it is that the project lasted as many years as it did.
The cropping did bother me, but not as much as the sound of a 1980s shutter and winder as each photo was presented.

"The cropping did bother me, but not as much as the sound of a 1980s shutter and winder as each photo was presented."

Yes, that was inane. I guess I'm getting inured....

Mike J.

I suppose if they had used the "ker-THWACK...wheeez" of a 4x5 Graflex
RB nobody would have recognized it as the sound of a camera.

The winder sound effect between the shots was the first clue, wasnt it? I thought the political context was interesting.... Roosevelt had to sell the idea of government intervention to politicians who did not consider it their jobs to arrange programs to support people. That fault line still exists. Even on the reproductions, the luminosity of southern daylight and slow film was still arresting. Wouldnt it be interesting to see it from a purely craft-of-photography viewpoint...

Also take a look at the recent "Daring to Look: Dorothea Lange's Photographs and Reports from the Field." It's not an overview of the entire FSA project, but instead a detailed look at Lange's work on one year of the project, and how she went about it.

The FSA documentary was shown here (Tampa Bay) at 4 AM this morning, so I'm a little bleary eyed right now.
I thought that I was pretty well informed about FSA, but I learned a great deal from this program. There were many images I wan't familiar with, but there was a lot of cropping, and they went by too fast to really appreciate.
Definitely superficial coverage, but worth watching.

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