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Wednesday, 10 March 2010


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Of course, it will now be sold out when I try to buy it. ;~)

Oh well, so much for resisting the next time you recommended a book.

Yes Mike, this is a very enjoyable and instructive book. The only thing I would add is that in going through the book I particularly enjoyed the clever relationships (visual and/or thematic) between the photos on the facing pages, especially considering that many of them were taken years (or decades)apart.

One of my prized possessions from the first phase of my relationship with photography in the early 1970s is a copy of "Color Design in Photography" by Harald Mante from Focal Press -- publication date, 1970 and penciled (remember that?) lightly into the first page, upper right corner... $16.95. There is an extensive Technical Data section at the back, itemizing the cameras used, the lenses and the films in addition to the locations of the photos. It's very simple and straightforward and very edifying in the way it integrates colour theory with the foundness of colour photography,

The photographs in Harald's book put a smile on my face as I was flipping through them. Only later, reading the first few pages of text, did I recognise the phrase "without the aid of computers or Photoshop" from Jim Hughes' article. I was in Foyles of London, which has decided in its quirky way to put its many copies of Photography Unplugged not with the volumes of photographs on the second floor but with the photography instruction books on the first floor by Ang, Feeman and gang: Photography for Beginners, Photographing Fashion (revised for Digital Photographers), Photography Unplugged…

Lovely book with a regal colour palette used to depict everyday things. If the book represent's Harald's personality, he's a great guy.

"The only thing I would add is that in going through the book I particularly enjoyed the clever relationships (visual and/or thematic) between the photos on the facing pages"

Yes, absolutely. The spreads are very nicely done and the pacing throughout the book is excellent, well judged and interesting.


Coincidentally, I just ordered this book yesterday based on Jim's previous post and some follow-up exploration of Mante's work. From what I have seen so far, I'm struck by his use of strong color coupled with simple, straightforward compositions. Thanks Mike, for sending me his way.

Also available at Amazon US is one copy ("more on the way") of the English translation of Mante's The Photograph: Composition and Color Design [I leave it to the editor to turn that into an affiliate link--too hard for me.]

Judging from the Amazon preview, it looks good--chock full of wonderful photographs by Mante, which he uses to illustrate a not-so-common take on the subject. It might make a nice companion to Unplugged, for some. I think I'm going to have to flip a coin.

Got it from the German Amazon. Thanks for the tip and hope you get the fee

The inner designer/painter in me really enjoys this stuff.

Nothing willy nilly about it.

Wow. This looks very interesting to me for several reasons. First is that it is optimistic. I find a lot of photography pessimistic but I guess that's the way with most art but it's also part of my mental/emotional makeup. I have been trying to think of ways to photograph my depression but maybe I should think about photographing optimistic things to lift me out of depression.

Second, the book description says that Mante "later taught photography in the tradition of the Bauhaus school of design, applying image and color composition concepts to photography." I love Bauhaus design so this could be right up my alley.

Finally, and this is a silly reason, I love that Mante used Minolta cameras. There is so much noise on the internet about what professional equipment and lenses to use and for some reason Minolta rarely gets included in that noise. I like to be reminded that great photography comes from your head and heart not someone's opinion of your camera and lens. I need reminded of that more often than I want to admit (my self-confidence declines in the winter time).

I'm sad I just discovered Kodachrome after it's been discontinued. I like the look of the photos in the book robert e recommended, "The Photograph: Composition and Color Design," too but I don't know how to explain why. They are beautiful colors but they are not loud and in-your-face like I feel like I see online from digital or velvia photos. I didn't know color could be like that. But with Kodachrome gone I have no idea how to go about doing color Mante's way. Thanks for the review, Mike!

It is a good book and I regret not picking up a copy at Munich Hauptbahnhof when I leafed through it. Now back home in Australia, I've got my copy from the Book Depository.

Like Jon said above, I love that it is not some love letter to Leica or some anachronistic poem to the 'better days' of photography, but just a book of photographs!

It looks like TOP has done it again by making a single item more valuable and harder to obtain, but well worth it.

I picked up a copy of The Photograph: Composition and Color Design about a year ago, after looking through reviews of books on color composition. While I still think composition in general (and especially color composition) is somewhat a black art – arbitrary and subjective and personal – it's a nice book, filled with lovely photographs.

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