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Tuesday, 17 March 2015


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It looks nice but for that kind of price I want a lot better quality than print on demand gives.

Excellent work, Dan! Bought the iPad version immediately after browsing the preview. Might come back for the hard copy.

Thank you for the tip, Mike.

He's very good. I think he should do a kickstarter campaign to get support for publishing a book in quantity. I'd sign up. I can't justify buying books from blurb knowing that most of the cost is due to the print on demand model. I do think he ought to find a new title. The whole "beauty in sadness" thing doesn't seem original and doesn't work for me, and anyway, the photos do just fine on their own without having to try to support a theme. I love the photo shot from behind of the person carrying the two plastic (Walgreens, I think) bags.

Some really nice photos there, and if it were around half the current price I'd buy it in a New York Minute. However...

The prices people have to charge for Blurb books may not represent a problem if the photographer has a reputation, but they are not a cheap outlet for the everyman photographer who hasn't, are they? Is it possible to make something reasonable and sell at a price that people would pay happily? I've often pondered the idea, but it always trips up at that question. 'How much represents too much?', etc. Does your experience give you any thought you can offer on this, Mike?

Dan is a master of the TLR who ranks with such icons of TLR street photography as Doisneau, Fritz Henle, and Lisette Model.

The thing about working with a TLR is that you don't have to take a lot of photos -- just the right ones. And Dan mostly does that.

Print on demand doesn't have to be as expensive as Blurb's hardbound books. Magcloud also uses digital offset printing and lets you create softcover books with perfect binding for a lot less money. And from my experience, the image quality is as good.

Blurb bought Magcloud from HP last year, and a lot of us Magcloud customers worried that Blurb would raise the prices. But so far, no change.

Well, I'm not convinced. Yes, it's a nice connection between the palm reading sign and the woman's hand, but she is specifically asking not to be photographed, as is another woman on the page before. Showing that photo co-opts us into invading her public space, and successful sharing of public space requires us to give careful recognition to others, not take as much as we can get away with.

Good photographs make us think of something greater; "here's something funny I saw" doesn't cut it for me.

Some very nice work. Thanks for the link.

Like others, I find the print book out of my price range but were it not for Blurb I might have never seen the photos. And the e-book is quite reasonable.

Julian said " but she is specifically asking not to be photographed".

Having read multitudes of Dans posts on RFF and getting a sense of his character and how he shoots, my first thought was that she was blocking the sun from her eyes to see him. I didn't get the sense that she was asking not to be photographed. Did not get that from the previous photo either. I've captured some expressions on people that could look like they were protesting being photographed but the reality was anything but that.

About time there was some love and respect for film on here.

Julian- Should Arnold Newman not have photographed Krupp? Should photojournalists not photograph people who are suffering, dying or dead? And just how do you feel about being on camera in so many stores, commercial buildings and... public streets?

Granted there's a fine line here for sure, but I certainly do not detect anything mean spirited here. You have a right to photograph me in public as I do you; we may not like the resulting images, they may not come anywhere near the level of "art," but we do have the right- and ultimately, we will be judged by our actions. Recently, a German princess had fun photographing and making light of a homeless person (there's one we haven't seen before)- and she was rightfully pilloried for doing so.

This book reminds me why I fell in love with the square format and photographing with a TLR way back when I first ventured away from small-format cameras.

But as others have pointed out, $150 is a tough nut to swallow. More power to Wagner if he can sell his books at that price, but I will have to pass on it. Had it been a third of that price, though, I'd have bought one...

I doubt Dan expects anyone else to buy one of his books other than himself. It's more the exercise of producing volume after volume of consistently strong work that is impressive.... So rather than harping on the Blurb prices, which are what they are regardless of the photographer... have a look at the free previews or reasonably priced eBook.

In other words, take a moment to look at his pictures.

Really nicee sequencing. He sure did complete an impressive photographic project in nine months.

Hi, thanks for looking. That's all I can ask. Blurb sets the prices. I made a 7x7 size too and bought one with the FLASHMARCH 30 off coupon. I'm sure the printing will make photos look cyan. I put the whole book on free preview -- no need to buy it. Who has room for stuff. Some photos were included to transition from one group or sub theme to another. What I love to do is walk for most of the day and look for shots, and interact with people, and sit down and have a snack. And then think about the shots I may have gotten and the ones I missed. Often I have to hustle across the street or run to try to get to a shot I see from half a block away. Like the shot last week of a two woman, a middle class woman and a poorer woman, leaning over, their heads almost touching as they searched through a pile of shoes left on a NYC street by a shoe company. Couldn't make it in time. I savior these almost shots as the ones I get. On weekends, if I have 6 rolls or more, I develop and scan. When I have time I PhotoShop my faves. I review all shots on my Tamron Fotovix -- like Bill Cunningham -- I assisted him in 80 or 81 -- only know from reviewing my list. Anyway, every 4 - 6 months I like to select my faves and make a Blurb book. Lets me see what was working, what I need or want to do. Then it's back to shoot more. My biggest regret in terms of photography is having to work at a full time job, when what I want to do is shoot 12 hours a day and go to LA for a week or two to shoot and other spots. I like film because I want to touch it -- load it on stainless reels like I did as a kid. And most of all experience the magic of seeing after expectation if I got the shot or not. All the variables in photography, whether they be digital, film, or a combination of both are what make me, and others feel like they experienced something, were challenged, or made it work. As for some people not wanting their photo taken, that happens. Often when I talk to the people afterward, their cool with it. If you ask, then the moment is lost. Nothing for me is worse than when a person is self-conscious in the knowing that they're being photographed -- unless of course that's the point. In some photos people look annoyed but aren't and in some they look like they're not annoyed but are. I think there's too much worry about this. My belief is if you can see it with your eyes, then why not with your camera too. Just random thoughts. Forgive my rambling.

"Her public space" is an oxymoron. That said, I do find much of the book consists of the author's projection of "sadness" on very mundane subjects, people looking at their phones or otherwise expressionless, with the odd juxtaposition thrown in. Blurb is fine as a way to experiment, throw a bunch of stuff together and see how it might fit together, and I'm sure many people use it to do the same thing.

@ Julian: I did not get the impression that the lady in "palm reader" was gesturing avoidance of the photographer. Nor do I think she was shading her eyes. My own impression, due to the low angle of her arm and the slight smile, is that she's waving to the fellow taking a photograph. Of course only Dan will be able to provide reliable testimony. But I have many photographs with similar ambiguity. It's part of the joy of candid photography,,isn't it?

@ Ed: My own "respect" for Dan's work in this book derives purely from the images. What type of camera he used, whether or not he used film, or what type of film he used is of distantly secondary interest to me. The body of work produced is all that ever really counts in any meaningful dimension beyond shutterbug circles, don't you agree?

As an experiment I spent a lot of time last year working on a Blurb B&W photo book. When I was ready to see the thing in print I paid my money and had it shipped to me here in Japan. I was not happy with the result so I never "published" it, but you can see the discussion about it on this photo.net thread:


Maybe I was just expecting too much. Even inexpensive regular photo books at the bookstore are much, much better, IMO. I post this so others who are thinking about making one will, at least, have a better idea what to expect the result to look like.

Mine was meant as an experiment that if it had worked out satisfactorily would have resulted in me making several more books over the coming years. As it stands now, I have decided that the current Blurb B&W printing is not worth all my time and effort.

I make absolutely no comment about Dan's book, because he may have had much better luck or have been much more skillful than me. So, please, no one take my comments as applying to Dan at all.

Dan is a master of the TLR who ranks with such icons of TLR street photography as Doisneau, Fritz Henle, and Lisette Model.

In my opinion, John Gay was the master of the TLR. And if anyone is agonising over needing new equipment to get better pictures, just look at his book England Observed to see what can be achieved with just a Rolleiflex and its normal angle of view.

Bit mixed IMHO - some I like, but others I just don't get (of course that could be my problem). I'm left with the feeling that some of the shots are fillers, and this takes away from the whole. It could have been a much stronger work with half the pictures. But, as has often been said, the toughest part of photography is the editing!

Beautiful work. Reviewing the book, I believe the weakest photos are weak only in reference to the others presented here. Taken individually, I would be proud to say any of them were mine. Sadly, I am among those who cannot afford the $150 cover price.


I get what you're saying about the sun, but the shadows show that the light's coming from camera right, the ladle's not looking towards the light, she's looking towards Dan. I'm with you on everything else


Maybe she was saying hi? We can't know for sure

Here's Gary Winogrand explaining why

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