As some of my recent blog posts mentioned, I have recently returned from a trip to America. Part of this trip was a week in San Francisco, hence the image at the top of this post. The purpose of this post however is not to tell you all about my trip but to share a book I found whilst over in the US.
The book in question is Desert Realty by Ed Freeman. It’s quite a large book in terms of dimension but doesn’t have all that many pages. The book is a collection of fine art photographic images of property (most in need of some loving attention) but more on that shortly.
I found the book in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) where it was discounted from $25 to $10. For some reason (my wife rushing me away) I didn’t purchase the book. This haunted me for a few days until I was at the airport where there was a shop for MoMA and they also had the book for $10. This time I didn’t purchase the book as I didn’t have space in my hand luggage but instead looked it up on Amazon and purchased it on my phone. Anyway, the book arrived yesterday.
There are a few things I like about this book.
Firstly there is the excellent imagery so if you are interested to see this I suggest you look up Ed Freeman’s website where you can fine images from the Desert Realty exhibition/book. Well worth it.
Secondly Ed makes some very good distinctions between Photography and Art Photography. There aren’t many words in the book but they are well worth reading.
Thirdly and most importantly is the explanation of the images and how they were created, which is at the end of the book. Interestingly, if you start by looking at the images you seem to accept them as being very unusual images and to some extend real. You do however recognise that the colours must be faked but generally you think these places perhaps do exist in the desert. When you then move on to look at the back of the book and see the starting images you suddenly see the images in the book at highly manipulated and it jolts you back to reality.
The other aspect of seeing the starting images and reading the accompanying text is that it makes you realise how ordinary the starting images are. They appear almost like a collection of snapshots but it’s clear Ed is simply collecting material for the production of the finished image which he has in his mind’s eye. Don’t however expect detailed description and step by step instruction; this isn’t a how to book. It has however made me think twice about my own work and how I create my images.
Now there certainly isn’t a link between this work and Lightweight photography (I just wanted to share some thoughts with you) so I will point out that compact and Micro 43 cameras are probably the ideal tool to collect the starting material given their size and speed of working.
There, I feel justified now in making this blog post.