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Thursday, 07 April 2022


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"...Also, I love Kodachrome, which was to Haas like oil paints..."

When I look at the second image, it reminds me how much that I dislike HDR images that seem to be so over used today. I too came up on Kodachrome (and later Fujifilm E6 emulsions) and I loved to utilize shadows as negative space. Just three stops of exposure in contrasty light would do it and you could make a subject pop from a cluttered environment.

No way that second image would be improved by more clarity in the shadows.

I first saw Ernst Haas' work in the 15th Edition of the Leica Manual from 1973 (the one that extolled the virtues of the Leica M5). There was a center color section of the manual devoted to his work. Very subdued color rendition and lots of blur. I have enjoyed his work ever since.

The only complaint I have is the book itself, as with most photo books, it is a portrait mode book. Aren't most photos in landscape mode? Mine are.

Then I had to laugh because 4 of the 5 photos in this post are portrait.

Just can't win, can I.

Woah, name check! Since you ask, I don't own the book, and I don't buy photo-books during Lent (heh... Actually, I'm not supposed to be buying any more at all, ever, if I know what's good for me), but from what I can see it does look nicely put together (Prestel know what they're doing). I'll check it out.

However, I'll be boring and say I generally find that Saul Leiter has sated my appetite for the chiaroscuro of mid-century North American cities (I think you're going to hear that a lot), and when it comes to books of masterful colour photography Luigi Ghirri's "Kodachrome" is where I turn for inspiration. What a book! The introduction has also been hilariously badly translated from Italian, which always lifts my spirits.


Re "If you can't make it good, make it big"...

If you can’t take good pictures... take lots!

I have In America and The Creation on the shelf and they are treasures.
What I get from Hass is the sheer joy of photography.
Harry Callahans color does the same thing to me.

One thing I admire about Haas is that he was also a very talented black and white photographer; a rare quality even among the greats. See the book, Ernst Haas In Black and White. (Quite the opposite of the dreadful book, in my humble opinion, Ansel Adams in Color.) And of course Haas’ color work was exceptional. My photo book collection is comprised almost exclusively of black and white photographers; Haas is a rare exception.

Well, that was easy. It's on hold at the library. I'm number one in line. I love being able to look at books before buying. I've currently reading and thinking about The Photographer's Vision by Michael Freeman, and might well buy it.

I could have sworn that I already had "New York in Color" when I read your writeup. But I found a different book by that title, and a different book by Haas as well, that I had purchased on a TOP recommendation long ago. Ken Tanaka pointed out my other New York in Color, and I've ordered the new Haas. Sitting next to them was "Color Rush, a long time period overview which I can also recommend. It was put together by the same team that produced the Life Magazine exhibit at the Princeton Art Museum a year or two ago.

Sally Mann's "Immediate Family" uses the gutter specifically to indicate alternate crops, which is genius.

I've never seen anyone else do this.

You move markets, Mike: As I write this, Amazon lists this as the #1 bestseller in "Photography History." I'm about to place my order.

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