Alex Webb: "Istanbul"

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by nels, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. Today I received this new book by Alex Webb (published by Aperture) and had a
    chance to quickly flip through it.

    In keeping with his other excellent works, this one features a series of
    stunning saturated color photos, many of them with Alex's trademark style of
    finding an off-center, often oblique, frame divider. Here we also have a few
    double dividers. One of the compositions blends this well recognized style of
    his with what I could only describe as a possible salute to Nachtwey with a
    pair of legs dangling off the top left quadrant. Quite fun.

    What I have always found intriguing and appealing about Alex's pictures is his
    unique ability to see an apparent - often abstract - form of order in an
    otherwise highly chaotic candid scene from life. In fact, this particular
    body of work appears to play with the highest amount of abstraction than any
    other work of his that I am aware of.

    I like it.
     
  2. Oh yeah, the printing, binding, etc. are all first rate.

    The smell is very nice too, but I don't know if others here share my proclivity to smelling new books.
     
  3. >>> The smell is very nice too, but I don't know if others here share my proclivity to
    smelling new books.

    I do. Especially Daido books printed in Japan - pretty strong aroma and very tactile to the
    touch.
     
  4. Brad, I just smelled Daido's "71-NY", and agree 100%. The Daido smell is not something I'd linger on for very long, but this Webb book smell is something worth spending a few minutes with up close. Maybe it has to do with the fact that Daido stuff is B/W and this one is color...hmmm...the paint smell...
     
  5. Yeah, I've got 71-NY - it's pretty ggod. For a real treat take a good whiff of Shinjuku, it'll
    make you loopy for a few minutes.

    Nah, that color stuff is awful, like Thunderbird it'll kill off a few million brain cells...
     
  6. For an appealing smell off a B/W book, try smelling the "Ansel Adams at 100". Not the paperback version, but the hardcover tritone edition in linen slipcase that helps preserve the smell for a long time.
     
  7. Boy, you are both a real treat to the forum, glad to have you...

    Ciao, fad
     
  8. I haven't smelt Webb's ISTANBUL yet -- I'm waiting for a copy to arrive -- but I'm looking
    forward to smelling it. The aroma of new photo books is amongst the sexiest smells in
    the world.

    The pictures themselves can currently be viewed on the Magnum website -- AW is on the
    front page at the moment: http://www.magnumphotos.com/

    One of the amazing things about Webb is just how distinctive his style is. I'm sure that
    ISTANBUL will rank with his best work. Whether it will smell as good I can't yet say.

    (One of the best recent smell/sensory experiences offered by a photo book has to be
    Elliott Erwitt's mighty PERSONAL BEST volume published by TeNeues. The book is so large
    that you can pretty well close its huge double-page spreads around your head -- you can
    inhale the aroma and still see the pictures. It's probably illegal...).

    --alun
     
  9. My last three purchases have been completely odourless, they still 'work' as books of photographs, but now I'm wondering if I should take them back and either get them replaced of ask for a refund. Alternatively, are there any after-market whiffs available?
     
  10. guy's a f***ing genius
     
  11. Watch out for nose grease on the pages.
     
  12. interesting to see orhan pamuk as the writer in the book.
     
  13. On my way to Amazon, thks much - Paul
     
  14. Great photos. Appreciate both the book ref, Nels, and the Magnum link, Alun.

    Have you fellows had a chance to .... ah ... speak to anybody about these smell issues ? :)
     
  15. My therapist was trying to talk to me about these smell issues, but the last time I went in for my regularly scheduled appointment, I saw him passed out in front of his book case with a large hardcover book lying open on his face. Instead, I ended up in a "session" with his attractive assistant, and she now wants to come over to my place to smell those limited edition Michael Kenna books.
     
  16. I think Webb is pretty much unbeatable for composition and color.
     
  17. Just looked through the Istanbul series on the Magnum site. Found a photo with a white
    balloon, and remembered a shot I made a year ago.....actually a young turkish girl....
     
  18. "I think Webb is pretty much unbeatable for composition and color."

    David Allen Harvey is right up there as well.
     
  19. Those interested in Alex Webb's work might be interested in knowing he is teaching a workshop at the Woodstock Photographic Workshops in late August.

    http://www.cpw.org/WPW/wpw2007.html
     
  20. J.Martin, Thanks for the link. Mary Ellen Mark, Sam Abell, Alex Webb. Very tempting to sign up for all three seminars. Three cross country flights a little bit excessive. thks
     
  21. Hello Nels, When I graduated from Loyola University in New orleans in 1972 I made my way to a workshop in Millerton, N.Y. I flew to NY, took a very scary subway ride, got lost, finaly got to the Port Authority (more scary in those days) and took a bus. I ended up hitchiking the final way to the Apeiron Workshops. Bruce Davidson was the teacher and I was in complete awe of who was going to be the teacher. As it turned out, Alex Webb was my room-mate. He was a very serious undergraduate from Harvard at the time. Everything then was Tri X. I have watched his grand success. I have always admired, in this world of "commercial" journalism, how his exquisite personal vision has defined his work. He once wrote that the "journalism gets me there." It is what he has gotten after he is "there" is what we see. I think That's great...Robbie
     
  22. Good story, Robbie.
     
  23. Robbie, which one of you snored the loudest?

    Thanks for the story.
     
  24. Is this book already out of print?
    I have a signed copy of it, thankfully.

    It takes two, three even four times to really grasp all that is Istanbul.

    I know him, he makes me want to shoot better Kodachrome and be a better journalist...
     

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