How is it possible that I've never heard of Mark Surloff? Or that the guy doesn't have a book?!?
...Or are those two things related?
Mark is an architectural photographer in Florida who shows an extensive body of personal work on his website. The site is laborious to navigate—the JPEGs are too small, and there's no click-through, and there are more than a hundred pictures on the site. Whole lotta clickin' going on; chances are you won't get farther into it than a handful of pictures. Or two or three handfuls.
But almost any one of them would be good enough to select as a fine representative sample. Graphic, playful, precise, observant, descriptive, quirky yet formally beautiful...with all sorts of echoes of other photographers in his work, without being imitative; this guy is terrific.
Why doesn't he have a book? Oh, I asked that already.
I get exasperated with publishers sometimes. I'm going to be a photo book publisher in my next life. (Yeah, right.)
Even after clicking through all 100+ pictures and peering myopically at the barely-large-enough images on my screen, I still don't feel like I've "seen" his pictures. There must be so much more to them, if they could be seen well. I'll hope I get to do that, one day.
Marek Fogiel turned me on to Mark Surloff. I'm just passing along the favor. Thanks, Marek!
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A book of interest today:
(To see all the comments, click on the "Comments" link below.)
Featured Comments from:
Christopher Mark Perez: "...Which reminds me of an important point: Make art to the best of your abilities. Do what you need to do to keep food on the table. To hell with the future and what people may or may not think long after you're dead.... It's damned difficult enough to understand the whims of people in the present...!"
Øyvind Hansen: "Thanks Mike! For me this has got to be one of your more interesting posts of random excellence. I would love to see a book of his work as the prints are a bit pricey."
Dave Kosiur: "It wouldn't surprise me if Mark posted photos to a personal website some time ago because he'd heard that was 'the thing to do' for most photographers these days, then let it languish. And perhaps Mark's never created a book because he considers it too much trouble and not worth the effort. It all depends on how he wants to share his photos."
Hans Muus: "A true joy; makes me feel good. His photographs once again make me aware of how it is still possible to have a very personal voice in photography without resorting to rude technique, silly subjects, or conceptual nonsense. And what a beautiful (and very effective) way to depict a sunny climate (says the Dutchman). And I like the way he often uses the empty sky as a canvas, as it were. Thank you, Mark Surloff, and thank you Mike for putting this in the window."
Andrew: "Thank you for the link. Wonderful images. How about a print offer through TOP?"
Mark Surloff: "Thanks so much for your kind words about my work. One wonders how others feel about our images, and its encouraging to have read these comments. Good luck to all!"
(Question from) Rory: "Is it rude to ask what camera he uses for his personal work? I want to buy the same camera so my pictures can look like his. (Kidding. But I want to know anyway. Mamiya 7?)
Mark Surloff replies: "Rory, it's not at all rude! My portfolio has been created with three camera formats. About one-third, shot with a Sinar 4x5, using Plus-X film. Another third, taken with a Pentax 6x7 cm camera and Panatomic-X. In 2008, I switched to Digital. I use high rez prosumer cameras. My current camera is Sony's HX100v. Why prosumer cameras for my personal work? Three reasons: their 4/3 format is more natural for me, coming from my view camera and Pentax experience. Secondly, I can see the world in B&W when looking through the cameras' electronic viewfinder (I love that). Lastly, image quality feels and looks (to me) like large and medium format film output."