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Saul Leiter 'Early Color'

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Thanks Andrew. I have borrowed a copy of 'Perspectives' by Don Mccullin a number of times in the past from the local library. (Cannot seem to get my own copy second hand) This is a version of 'Homecoming' I think.


I always end up reading his essay and am impressed by his humility in exposing his worries about photographing people who are destitute/suffering/traumatised. I think he suffers almost as much.


I scored a good American copy of his 'Open skies' book a couple of years ago for about 45 quid because i love the Mendip hills and the Somerset levels and I enjoy his 'dark' landscapes of this part of Somerset. (Many don't) He has (and communicates) a real feel for the legends surrounding the place.

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I also have high praise for 'Shipping forecast' by Mark Power but I suspect that is going to get me grief from Boris or others as Mark Power seems to anger some people as much as Martin Parr angers others. (Who I also like a lot so more trouble for me!)


If I could only have UK landscapes by two photographers it would have to be the 'Land' trilogy by Fay Godwin and 'Literary Britain' by Bill Brandt.

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I've got a copy of 'The Shipping forecast'. I really like it. I'm curious about the adverse

reaction that mentioning Mark Power might cause. The book is a nice balance of

traditional and modern landscape. It's not one to cause mass indignation is it?


I haven't got many other landscape books as it's not really an area I'm interested in.


'Homecoming' is documentary photography, focussing on the more deprived sections of

society and taken largely in the '70s although one or two shots from the very early '60s

have sneaked in. Huge chunks of it are shockingly bleak and it's a sad reminder that we're

not really seeing this kind of reportage in our newspapers or magazines anymore.

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"I also have high praise for 'Shipping forecast' by Mark Power but I suspect that is going to

get me grief from Boris or others as Mark Power seems to anger some people"


Could a photographer as bland as Mark Power actually induce something as strong as

anger? Indifference seems more likely. The same goes for his stablemate Peter Marlow,

though I wouldn't want to stop either politely going about their dull and pointless (maybe

not so pointless, they both do well from the corporate dollar) business. I certainly wouldn't

let my mild disregard for those two cloud my view of Brit photography. In Paul Graham,

Richard Billingham, Chris Killip, and Graham Smith you've got more than your fair share of

major league contemporary photographers. If you're in the mood for buying books Trevor,

why not take a reckless punt on Graham's American Night? You'll end up thanking me for


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"Huge chunks of it are shockingly bleak and it's a sad reminder that we're not really seeing this kind of reportage in our newspapers or magazines anymore."


The reason is that 'Lifestyle' and gardening and Cookery sells more newspapers.


Seriously Andrew, you probably know far better than I do (being in the industry) why this sort of thing does not go down well with editors of newspapers and magazines.


It is a sad state of affairs. Given that in 1945 Lee Miller was able to publish some of the first photos of the concentration camp victims in Vogue (!) and yet in modern day Britain a photographer like Don Mccullin is 'black listed' from having his photos published in any of the Murdoch empire's newspapers. (Ever since he was 'sacked' from the Times and the government issued instructions to the armed forces to not knowingly allow him anywhere near any conflict they were involved in.)

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Agree about Marlow.


'Shipping Forecast' bland? Perhaps, but I still like it. Whether it's because I have a soft spot


hearing the shipping forecast on Radio 4 or not I don't know. Let's be honest, the subject

matter slightly mitigates against it being as gripping as, say, 'Ray's A Laugh'. But then I can

hear Boris saying Eggleston could do the subject justice. True, but there is only one WE.


Maybe you have to look at it whilst listening to 'Peter Grimes' or 'Sailing By'. Or maybe you

need to have spent many forlorn summers by the English seaside.

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Do I like it? Of course. Again there's a purity to it. I also rate his conflict coverage very

highly - 40 years on it makes Nachtwey look like a very marginal footnote in photo



Regarding the Shipping Forecast being a less than edgy topic, that's true, but it doesn't

automatically follow that the vision has to be toothless. The same could be said of Soth's

subjects but, like Misrach, they rise above the subject matter. I just get disappointed by

the pointless faux gentility of people like Power and Marlow - they represent a

passionless facet of

middle-class Englishness that I just don't respect. Ironically, I do have an original print of

one of the images

from the Shipping Forecast, but I didn't buy it and it isn't on any of my walls.

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I remember reading an article about "Black Country" and am fairly sure Billingham used

medium format for that. I hadn't seen the other photos though. It's funny - in almost all of

the photogs linked I see traces of Eggleston. I was thinking that when looking through the

Alec Soth Mississippi pages, when LO! I came across of photo of Bill himself.....!


To keep on the topic of "colour photographers we like", and wildly off the LEICA topic [he

shoots 8x10] I am afraid, I feel honour bound to point you guys to the website of a British

guy called Harry Cory Wright. I stumbled across him one day whilst looking for information

on DIASEC, and love his work.




From visiting Photo-London last month it seems that there is a lot of interesting "fine art"

colour work going on at the moment. Large format seems to be the way forward, with

prints most often mounted between perspex and aluminium and being LARGE. Two I

remember most from that show were Massimo Vitali (beaches series - very beautiful) and

Simon Norfolk (Computers series).



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I have a print I commissioned from the E. Chambre Hardman trust in Liverpool (before the National Trust took over the Rodney Street studio) of 'the Rick'. It is a hand printed and hand toned 16x12 done from the original 1936 neg and it is as 'Pictorialist' as it gets and I love it!


(It only cost 55 pounds and impossible to get one done now the NT have taken over. I just wish I had had the foresight to buy a few others at the time.)


Not everything has to stab you in the head with relevance or hard hitting meaning to like it.


So here is a poor web version of a print I love having on my wall....



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"They represent a passionless facet of middle-class Englishness"


I think 'Shipping' is an example of a book where the idea is stronger than execution. The

idea appeals to the cosy Radio 4 side of me and I'm afraid to say that I would have bought

the book almost irrespective of the photography because the subject appeals.


In a similar way, you wouldn't mind if I let folk, on the Forum, know that one of your

personal favourite books is 'Seminal Hairdressers of the '70s'. Now, some of us are a bit

aghast at the excessive use of star filters in this book but that doesn't bother you because

it's a subject that you're particularly interested in.


Having said that, although I really like 'Shipping', I readily conceed it's not one I would

recommend. In fact, after 'Early Color' and 'Evelyn Hofer', I'd be hard pressed to suggest

any recent photo books. Mind you, I don't get to see many new books after the demise of

Zwemmers (don't like the Photographers' Gallery bookshop much).

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Trevor, re: 'The Rick". I'm originally from near Evesham. Best asparagus in the world. Fact!


A couple of days ago I was at getty Images and I was very taken with a night study of the

Embankment, taken in 1929. Another example of pictorialist photography but I loved it and

the print was a real cracker. I'm assuming that the original neg must have been something

like half plate glass because there's a wonderful quality to this shot.

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Brian it's on Judd street and it's called something like Photo Book International (??). It must be

well over 18 months since I visited it. Don't really go down Judd street anymore 'cause of all

the roadworks between the British Library and St Pancras.


Thanks for reminding me about it. I should cycle down and check it out. Cheers.

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Just to pull it all together - Zwemmers, books, and 'dos - didn't Claire de Rouen (nice

Egyptian bob) open her own shop post-Zwemmers? I meant to check it out last month but

sadly my London visit didn't get past 48 hours (much to Guy's disappointment).


"Shame about getty's really heavy handed watermarking"


Shame about Getty's very existence, and shame on Andrew if he's colluding with them.

Absolute f#$%^*g barbarians, hellbent on destroying the livelihoods of photographers.


"terrrfiic...Excuse spelling."


I just thought that was how you country boys spoke.


Possibly the best source of photo books in London is (was?) Mike Wells who deals from the

jampacked basement of his Camden home. I've moved around so much in the last few

years that I've fallen off his mailout list. Is he still in business? You Brit boys are also just a

few hours away from the civilization of Paris and the wonderful La Chambre Claire (from

the Barthes - nothing to do with the lovely London Claire de R) on rue Saint Sulpice.

Finally, maybe somebody can confirm the rumors of Mr Mancuso's trilogy ("Rattlesnakes",

"Rage", "Regret? Non!") deal with Phaidon....

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