Paul Graham – ‘A1’

I found a first edition copy of Paul Graham’s A1: The Great North Road in a used book store in Kansas City. At the time, I was well aware of Paul Graham thanks to The Whiteness of the Whale, but hadn’t head much about his early, self published work. But the price was right ($7.50) so I jumped on it.

Moments later, out in the car, I looked it up on bookfinder and guess what? Yep. I made a great investment for my future. To this day I wonder if I should’ve taken in back in, returned it, and told the owners to sell it online or something for an appropriate price. I take solace in the fact that, yes, this is Capitalism, and their loss is my gain, and, still, I feel a bit bad about it. But only a bit…

Fast forward to 2020, and Mack started reprinting Graham’s early work and despite already having a first edition, I picked up a copy.

Continue reading “Paul Graham – ‘A1’”

Dawoud Bey – ‘Portraits 1975-1995’

Dawoud Bey’s large format polaroid diptych and multi-panel portraits absolutely knock me out. I learned of these from his excellent Aperture Photography Workshop Series title on Photographing People and Communities, and went on a hunt for a book of this work. The only one I could find was Portraits 1975-1995, the catalog from an exhibition that travelled around the US, starting at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 1995, and ending at The Newark Museum in July 1997.

Continue reading “Dawoud Bey – ‘Portraits 1975-1995’”

Morning Light

A couple of years ago, I picked up my beloved Niko 50mm f/1.8 E and found the focus ring unusably stiff. Within seconds, I was on the ‘bay to acquire another, but found prices outrageous. For about $20 more than the average price of a good, tested, guaranteed E-Series, I scored a Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 ai-s pancake, the all metal version of the E-Series that focuses closer and feels like a jewel. Score!

Sadly, the first few rolls left me flat: the Nikkor renders beautifully, and no question, but I want the sort of softness and color from the E-Series, and the Nikkor is simply a jewel. Some months ago, I shot a roll just to try to convince myself to be happy with the objectively better lens…

Continue reading “Morning Light”

The Beatles – ‘Get Back’

Get Back is largely the 2021 Peter Jackson film of same name in book form, featuring photographs from Linda McCartney and Ethan A. Russell, as well as frames from Michael Lindsay-Hogg & crew’s film footage, and a script put together from the audio recordings by John Harris. I mostly came for the pictures, and as a Beatles fanboy from way back—thank you Candy Flip—I’ve been on a bit of a binge recently, owing to the fiftieth anniversary of their albums. This copy is one of the Target Exclusive copies, and includes four “lobby cards” in an envelope at the back of the book.

Continue reading “The Beatles – ‘Get Back’”

Shomei Tomatsu – ‘Chewing Gum and Chocolate’

Chewing Gum and Chocolate is a collection of Shomei Tomatsu’s photographs made throughout Japan, and mostly in and around Okinawa, between 1959 and 1981, with the vast majority coming in the 1960s. It’s not really a greatest hits collection, and not really a proper, unified monograph either, and I probably came across it while working on my review of the Provoke book back in 2020.

Continue reading “Shomei Tomatsu – ‘Chewing Gum and Chocolate’”

Svema Color 125 in 120?

Many years ago, I acquired 3 rolls of Svema Color 125 from the good people at the FPP. I shot two of them straight—the first one, never shared, with many, many operator errors; the second beautifully, albeit with some processing errors—and a third redscaled, and almost pulled the trigger on a bulk roll a handful of times, only balking at the last second for unexplained reasons. Alas, when I finally determined to get a hundred feet of the stuff, it was suddenly out of stock. :sad face:

So when Michael Raso announced he and the team converted a big roll of 70mm Svema Color into 100 rolls of hand cut 120, I jumped on a roll. Had I been allowed more than a single roll, I probably would’ve bought 5 or 10. The idea, though, was to get the film into as many hands as possible, see how it fared, what the demand was, and maybe pressure Svema to produce more…

Continue reading “Svema Color 125 in 120?”

Joachim Brohm – ‘Ohio’

I learned of Brohm only thanks to a joint book he did with Alec Soth, Two Rivers, which I only learned of thanks to, well, I don’t recall. Ohio collects some of his available-light work from a Fulbright Scholarship he won that brought him to study at OSU at the same time that Allan Sekula was teaching there. The work reminds me for all the world of Joel Sternfeld’s American Prospects, with a bit of Stephen Shore’s Uncommon Places mixed in.

Continue reading “Joachim Brohm – ‘Ohio’”