Richard Bram began making street photographs in the early 1980s and was a founding member of In-Public (the part that split off to form UPPhotographers). If you’re aware of all that, then you sort of have an idea of what his pictures might look like: he knows what he’s doing and knows how to do it.

‘Short Stories’ is an exhibition catalog from his 2020 exhibition at the Mannheimer Kunstverein.

The exhibition features a mix of black & white and color work, mostly of the Street variety (think: gestures, jokes, juxtapositions, quotes from the masters, etc.). A sharp break occurs in about 2010, when Bram switched from black & white to color, and and it’s close to 50/50,* but it’s a break more in technology than content, as the photography mostly remains the same until about 2016, when he switches to sorta moody landscapes, mostly featuring the Thames.

If the Street Photography is, well, Capital-S, Capital-P Street Photography—and, trust me, it is—then the landscapes are a bit of a miss, I think. I know from the Artist Statement (at the end of the book) that Bram began work on a series of landscape photographs made around the Thames in 2016, and so the inclusion of the 8 or 10 pictures makes sense, but they’re a much greater departure from his earlier work than even the shift from black & white (film) to color (digital, I think).

Overall, the book is a winner. The pacing is good, the photography is straight-ahead Street in the well-known and easily-digestible, if not at all easy to make, UPPhotographers (and, for that matter, In-Public) style, and I’m glad to have a signed copy.

Unrated.

You can find a copy yourself direct from Bram, or for much much more from various booksellers. If you’re a fan of real, honest-to-goodness, no-nonsense Capital-S, Capital-P Street Photography, do yourself a favor.


*The blurb about the book at the Mannheimer Kunstverein claims “55 Fotografien in Schwarz/Weiß und 45 in Farbe,” and I trust them… I didn’t count myself.

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