Someone, in some interview or Tweet or podcast, mentioned this book at being one of the more inspirational reads/books in his or her library, and me being me, I almost immediately ordered a copy.

I’ve been feeling a bit, I don’t know, “bad” is the wrong word… “ambivalent” isn’t strong enough… iffy about my book purchasing of late (one might call it a binge, especially after my involvement in an exchange with some grad school colleagues about photo theory books), but I’m really glad to add this one to my library.

In “on Landscapes…” Hido takes readers through his career, from his first pictures with a 126 Kodak Instamatic, through his different series—the nighttime photographs of suburban homes with lit windows, landscapes shot through car windows, and later fictionalized narratives, photographs of memories and stories from his childhood—describing his process, from developing/finding projects, through the actual shooting, to editing and sequencing projects.

This is part of Aperture’s “The Photography Workshop Series” of books, and it really is a workshop in a book, sorta, and after reading it, I feel as if I have some permission to be a bit more free with my cropping and color manipulation… After all, even though I shoot film, I end up editing RAW files from my DSLR, so I have loads of freedom with my color and all, or more than I’ve felt, anyway.

As a survey of Hido’s oeuvre, it’s hits all the major notes, with 74 images that I plan to spend a good bit more time with. As a workshop-in-a-book, it’s full of all sorts of insight, and I will return to it many times, InshaAllah. It’s well printed, well bound, small and intimate, and a great book.


Overall, I’d give it 4.5 stars.

I got a used, first edition copy from Half Price Books for pretty cheap (even had a coupon that dropped the price even more), and Aperture continues to print them up and you can order a brand new one for not much more. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably benefit from it.

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