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Glasgow
Glasgow
by Raymond Depardon
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £17.94

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tough yet tender, 19 Mar. 2016
This review is from: Glasgow (Hardcover)
Deprived areas of Glasgow in 1980: Dennistoun, Calton, Govan. Bruised skies and rainswept pavements. Soot-blackened tenements, shuttered shops, factory chimneys and shipyard cranes, graffiti and litter, rubble-strewn wastelands, high-rise flats, derelict industry. Watchful young mothers, wary old men, drunkards and down-and-outs. Unrelenting gloom illuminated by flashes of bright colour: a child's pink dress, a blue umbrella, blood-red paint on a betting-shop facade, the yellow and green livery of a passing bus. These are tremendously strong images, tough yet tender, made by one of the very finest documentary photographers working today. Highly recommended.


The Way To(o) Weard
The Way To(o) Weard
by Weard Roy
Edition: Paperback
Price: £14.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A Roller-Coaster Ride, 18 Jun. 2015
This review is from: The Way To(o) Weard (Paperback)
In this hugely entertaining memoir, Weard recounts his upbringing in the East End of London in the 1950s, his exploits as a uniquely theatrical vocalist in a succession of outlandish bands, and his long career as sound manager on international tours with some of the greatest - and most temperamental - rock stars. Unusually for a roller-coaster ride of this genre, Weard writes with an engagingly deft touch, weaving digressive narratives and sharp observations with compassion and humour. This is a social history of an era of upheaval - hippiedom, agit-prop, rampant commercialism - a rare insight into the back-stage world of musicians, and the story of one man's determination to come through it all, unscathed. Highly recommended.


Henry Wessel: Incidents
Henry Wessel: Incidents
by Henry Wessel
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £24.00

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Photographer's Photographer, 20 Sept. 2013
Henry Wessel is a thoroughly likeable man who taught as a professor at the San Francisco Art Institute; it's no surprise that he is deeply thoughtful about photographic art and is an enthusiastic communicator; there are clips of him talking on YouTube. One of his favourite maxims is that good photographs can be made anywhere, an ultimately democratic approach that extends to the content of his pictures, which forensically describe every bit of gravel, every patch of dirt in California's streets. Some of these photographs were shot out of his car window - kids scrapping on a front lawn, two black-suited businessmen standing outside an apartment block - others appear deceptively casual, almost off-hand.

The 27 images in 'Incidents' are presented on each right-hand page and unusually for Wessel are not varnished, so the reproductions do not have the sublime sheen of his prints. Wessel uses an unusual technique of over-exposing Tri-X film by two stops and under-developing by 25 per cent to produce negatives that contract the tonal range and can describe details in bright highlights and dark shadows. His prints are usually full of light and soft in contrast, though these images appear with greater contrast than usual.

Wessel's photographs never fail to raise conceptual questions about what is worth photographing. His work is often questing and exploratory, leaving ample room for the viewer's wonder and imagination. I don't claim to fully understand the specific appeal of every one of his images, but taken as a whole I find his oeuvre of sunny beaches and suburban bungalows deeply compelling. Wessel is a photographer's photographer whose pictures convey a slightly noirish atmosphere redolent of Hopper and Hitchcock, and I heartily recommend this book to his loyal band of followers.


Edwardian Chislehurst: Memories of the Village Baker
Edwardian Chislehurst: Memories of the Village Baker
by Arthur Battle
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Local history brilliantly described, 24 July 2013
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A beautifully written personal account of daily life in this interesting district - brimming with detail and anecdote about school and work; family ties and social conventions; the local landscape, architecture, and flora and fauna. Thoroughly recommended.


1970s London: Discovering the Capital
1970s London: Discovering the Capital
by Alec Forshaw
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.08

5.0 out of 5 stars Eloquent and Engaging, 29 May 2013
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A fascinating personal insight on a somewhat neglected decade of London's history. Forshaw is particularly informative on architecture, planning and environmental issues. Eloquently and engagingly written - a thoroughly good read.


Garry Winogrand (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
Garry Winogrand (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art)
by Leo Rubinfien
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £55.00

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour de Force, 17 May 2013
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With more than 400 photographs, this is a tour de force. There are several illuminating essays about Winogrand's life and work that are written with the depth and diligence that only American researchers and curators can achieve. As a long-time admirer of Winogrand I was especially interested in his last years in Los Angeles, where apparently he lost his mojo. This book, which includes plenty of previously unpublished pictures, gives a few pointers to the reasons why. Essential reading for any serious student of street photography.


Earth to Earth: True Story of the Lives and Violent Deaths of a Devon Farming Family
Earth to Earth: True Story of the Lives and Violent Deaths of a Devon Farming Family
by John Cornwell
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly Gripping, 11 April 2013
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Accounts written by journalists are usually good because their training prevents the story from flagging. John Cornwell does not disappoint. This is an utterly gripping page-turner: I devoured it in a single sitting. 'Earth to Earth' is brimming with detail and atmosphere - highly recommended.


From Bow to Biennale: Artists of the East London Group
From Bow to Biennale: Artists of the East London Group
by David Buckman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Aspect, 28 Mar. 2013
This is a meticulously researched and engagingly written history of a group of working-class realist painters from the East End of London who achieved phenomenal critical acclaim in the 1930s. David Buckman's lively text is accompanied by copious illustrations to provide a fascinating account of a unique and long-neglected aspect of British art history. Highly recommended.


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