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Author Topic: Photo books  (Read 1205 times)
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FreakAnimalFinland
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« on: January 18, 2022, 06:02:35 PM »

First thought to post this on "interesting website worth visiting" -topic, but might as well start a new one.

Aperture of course is classic high profile magazine and book publisher. Quite interesting translation from French art magazine:
https://aperture.org/editorial/has-the-photobook-become-more-interesting-than-photographs-themselves/

"John Szarkowski is one of the first to have anticipated the positive impact of digital images on the publishing of photobooks. In a televised interview on February 9, 2005, in response to a question regarding his thoughts on new technologies, he avoided the usual soundbites on the end of photographic truth and replied enthusiastically: “I think there is a terrific opportunity in the digital system for making books.” The digital system, he explained, allowed us to reduce the costs of making books in small print runs: “There are some great books that only 200 or 500 people need to have.” The future proved him very right."

Of course, being rather picky on what photobooks I buy, and vast majority being something I would not pay for, and often not items I would even take for free, it is still quite amusing to think how similar to noise this world is, while concept of photos and photographic art is obvious, while noise really ain't. Still plenty of good things where 200 copies, globally, is enough...

Too bad there are no dealers for Aperture magazine in Finland anymore. Years ago it was still possible to buy occasionally.

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MyrtleLake
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2022, 06:56:16 PM »

It is an interesting topic.
Photo books today are less "reproduction" than an "equivalent" medium. Transferring this to sound, for example, a CD is "equivalent" to a digital download in sound methodology. Whereas cassettes are more analogous to silver emulsion prints in photography.

There is a quality, texture and subtle expression in silver emulsion print photography which rarely, if ever, transfers to the modern digital print medium in person. A photo book is, then, in essence an exact medium to the original digital print. It only differs, in some cases, in gloss, physical size and context of presentation. But the book is an equal in communication due to layout, sequence, and graphic design to the originals.

The correlation breaks down, though, in music due to so few releases truly using magnetic tape as a *final product* in 2022 rather than just another--often inferior and ill-equipped--duplication medium. Much as film grain, processing thereof, printing paper quality, texture and tonality, the cassette can be a purposely produced and utilized physical medium. I rarely see it. Much as with print photography today.
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Lazrs3
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2022, 12:24:00 PM »

I think art books are great, my prize photo ones are Women In Surrealism (Whiney Chadwick), Hans Belmer, Cindy Sherman and Francesca Woodman. Having these is ace, reproductions do vary, but can never relace seeing something in a gallery show. In my city gallery situation was good, had a few that did good shows, but all closed to make one big gallery that has mediocre touring shows and stuff. Have to go to London to see bigger better shows of art. I am sure my partner used to get Apeture when she did photography.
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« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2022, 01:54:39 AM »

This is an excellent new topic and should draw some interest.

Interesting parallel in regards to editions and production between books and records. Personally, apart from thematical concept and a few other matters, I think there are very few concrete similarites between the medium of books and records. How we experience the world of sound and images are oppositional and in my book cannot be reconciled.

What Mikko said re the entrence of digital production is correct and actually an importat watershed. Since the exit of gravure printing (a very costly high quality printing mode) in commerical printing, digital offset is now pretty much the standard - at least here in Norway. The turn over for a printing job is today faster and less costlier for us.

The reduction in production expences came with a cost: A reduced printing quality. Tody's digital printing systems do not have the same technical capabilites as the bygone gravure printing. This is apparent, if we for intstance compare some of the recent re-printed photo books by Japanese photographer Daido Moriyama - with his 1970s originals. The new prints lack subtle tonality variations as wel as sharpness, and are usually printed with an inch more contrast. I should also point out that the paper used in commercial printing is phased out. The paper alone also affect how the image is presented. A comparison can also be done with 1960s-1970s Japanese photo magazines. These prints are of superior print quality than any contemporary re-print. Often printed using the gravure method. Before publishing his works in photo books, Moriyama presented several photo series in several photo magazines. If you are interested in the materialty of a product, or the photography medium in itself, this is an interesting and recommended study.

The photo book as a medium have its own parameters just as music, film or literature. A photo book can present meaning visually with a unique set of rules and applications. Personally, I think of it as an exhibition space within the social strata on the same level as a gallery space. The production of a photo book is a craft in itself. A well executed photo book may be a powerful visual experience. Furthermore, I think we can extend the concept of image editing as we see in photo books to published magazines within art, but also adult contents. A well made product is just that: A well made product.

If you are on instagram you may browse the Where frost reign book stream channel with the context above in mind. Available now are 1960s Japanese photo magazines, various photo books and SM magazines/photo books.

Book stream: https://www.instagram.com/where___frost___reign___8mm/





« Last Edit: January 29, 2022, 12:44:28 PM by online prowler » Logged
online prowler
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2022, 03:00:31 PM »

To those interested in photo books. If you visit the enclosed link you may freely stream the rare and close to 400 page cult classic Ultra Negative «No. 1 Vol. 2: The Popular Edition» tome, a selection of Too Negative books to Tsurisaki Kyiotaka's «Danse Macabre To The Hardcore Works» (1996):

https://www.instagram.com/where___frost___reign___8mm/

Enjoy.
« Last Edit: February 24, 2022, 03:05:38 PM by online prowler » Logged
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