Friday, November 19, 2010

Inspirational Book

Inspirational Book

I found this book last week while I was at the Chazen Museum of Art here in Madison. I glanced through the demo copy and liked what I saw. I had recently ben dead certain that I was going to buy the new Herb Ritt's book, "The Golden Hour", until I got to look at it. It was not at all what I hoped it was - a book of Ritt's best work with descriptions and interviews. Instead it was a bunch of snapshots of Ritts. Dang. This book, by less-skilled photographers nevertheless presents a wide body of work from which to draw inspiration. I'm still flipping through its 700 pages, most of which are full page photographs. Frankly, the text is moronic, supposedly the deep soul-searching thoughts of the man responsible for the book.

I found it to be. Shallow and meandering like a scintillating stream of consciousness playing across my mind?

Yes, those last two "sentences" are intended to convey the style of writing in the book that is mercifully scarce. There are also a surprising number of photos of an out of focus hotel hallway. Hmm? One might have been interesting, but 4 or 5 is more like someone on a bender thought that he was photographing the kids on big wheels in The Shining.

So that's the negatives. The positives are that the book is chock full of photographs that one can peruse and dissect. Judgment of their actual worth is up to the viewer, and I suspect many of these photographers are young and not professional. That's OK with me. When I look at the pro shots in Vogue I often find myself bored or even annoyed, so looking at fresh work by naive photographers is ... inspirational.

The book is cheaper at Amazon.

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