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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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I'm surprised how many one, two and three star reviews there are on US Amazon for this excellent photo book. On any level it really can't be faulted. Blank pages in a photo book are quite common though here the confusion was probably caused by having them very close to each other and repeated as such throughout the pages. Book designers would normally space a few blanks roughly evenly between all the photos. The printing by Asia Pacific is comparable to any other quality printed art book (and it costs less than quality printing in Europe or the US). The duotones use a 200 screen on a very acceptable 157gsm matt art with perfect register. The slight black/ochre feel to these photos, I thought, was a wise colour choice.

As to Vivian Maier's photos, the 106 in the book are quite stunning. In particular the framing is just prefect and I think this separates her work from other well known street photographers especially those classed as the New York School who go for a more emotional style of imagery. The photos reveal everyday street scenes in Chicago and New York and work so well because they always pull you into the composition without any distractions about what to look at first. The pacing helps here too, close-up portraits merge into medium shots and then, perhaps, a long shot saturated with detail. The more I looked through these pages the more the sequencing added to the photos.

If I have a criticism it is that there is really nothing about Vivian Maier. Her named website gives some background and I think it would have been helpful to the reader to have included some of this material

John Maloof, the book's editor, is to be congratulated on finding and preserving a treasure trove of photos by an unknown photographer who had such a remarkable eye. I'm hoping this will be the first of many books revealing Ms Maier's creative vision.

>>>LOOK AT SOME INSIDE PAGES by clicking 'customer images' under the cover.
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22 comments| 53 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
.... yes.

I read a review of this book in B&W and bought it because of the storey around the finding of the photos. I am so pleased I did as this is a purely amateur photographer out with her Rolleiflex in the 40-90's recording every day New York life. Its surreal and its fantastic. Now I love Henri cartier Bresson and The Decisive Moment, and I took ages to get a copy of Robert Franks Americans, but they are "professional". Their eye is somewhat different to Vivian Maier. They work for profit, she works to provide Art and there is a wealth of difference in their approaches.

I am amazed at this woman's courage. remember this is a lady with a camera in what could be an aggressive environment. She hasn't got a small inconspicuous leics a, she has a Rolleiflex which is not conspicuous at all. yet she get close up to people who clearly see her including down and outs, drunks and Police situations. She also loves mirror images of herself and others and there must by 6-8 in this book alone.

The book states that there are 10,000 negatives found when she died. This therefore is only the tip of the iceberg and I hope there is more to come.

I am sure there are many more great amateurs out there doing similar work and I so wish I could see that too.

If you want a great, timeless, book on black an white street photography. this is it!!
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on 5 August 2013
Like most, I came across Vivian's work a few years back, and as an admirer of her photography, I decided to buy this book.
It is a great insight as to what Vivian got up to in her spare time during her life, and her photography is up there with the best.

This book (which I think I have a 1st edition) is sadly produced in sepia. Although, this gives a warm tone to her photos, I do feel that it doesn't need it, simple black and white would have been I guess how Vivian may have wanted her work to be seen. I also feel that the blank pages were not essential to the impact and design of the book.

Apparently, there are 150,000 photos by Vivian Maier, this book only scratches the surface and no doubt there will be a lot more books to come from this.

The sad story is that none of the profit from her body of work will go to good causes. I understand the two owners who bought her work want to make a profit, but wouldn't it be good if they set up a foundation or charity under Vivian's name. This could be for photographers / artists who like Vivian, had to have a day job to survive. There are so many talented artists out there that do not get any help or recognition, I think Vivian would surely approve.
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VINE VOICEon 25 November 2012
Few photographers have inspired me enough to want to buy their book, but Vivian Maier is the exception. After seeing her images appear on the BBC news website a couple of years ago I've been in awe. Her collection is only now being discovered, but this book represents the best of what they have so far.

The book itself provides an engaging collection of images of which there are over 100 pages worth, plus some self-portraits thrown in for good measure. There's very little text to speak of, mainly because very little was known of her. Maloof did a good job of filling two pages in the foreword at the beginning, but in all honesty, Maier was a bit of a mystery. Beyond the foreword, it's pretty much all photographs right up until the back cover.

Whether you like street photography or not, this book gives an incredible insight into US city life during the 60s & 70s. I love it and I keep it on my desk to dip into whenever the mood takes me.
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on 26 November 2012
One of those moments in the 20th century where someone's been creating beautiful imagery, by herself, for herself and nobody knew. Until now.
I'm so very glad Vivian's work has been brought out into the public, because it's beautiful. Very few books and photographers make me want to pick up the camera and go and shoot, but this is one.
Or some days, it makes me want to give up, because I'll never be this good!
Bought it, love it, recommended.
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on 11 January 2016
This is a well presented collection of Vivian Maier's work. The hardback is well bound, using satisfyingly heavy, glossy paper.

I'm not overly familiar with the entire breadth of her work, but there are some (on the surface, at least) odd inclusions to this collection. The other strange thing is the blank pages...about 15-20 of them, scattered throughout the book. I could almost understand if they were all at the start or end, but they seem randomly placed (and they're also numbered). Surely, extra images could have been added to fill these? Weird.

Overall, a great collection of similarly great shots.
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on 23 August 2013
Some background - I am an amateur photographer, many years experience some works published in books, mags and newspapers. I still use film cameras, scan films and post process in my digital darkroom. Like many photographers, I have attempted street photography and have a strong interest in this activity. Since reading this book I now think VM was one of the best exponents of this type of photography I have ever seen. To put things in perspective she was a governess (nanny) who was keen on photography and ended up producing over 100,000 negatives in her lifetime! She wandered the streets of (Mainly) New York and Chicago with her twin lens reflex, observing life with a critical eye and a cloak of invisibility. Yet no one knew about her work which was discovered accidentally. These images are striking, the quality is excellent, the lighting very good. How she managed to get so close to her subjects is amazing. The quality of the reproduction is very good and her eye for evolving photo-opportunities is remarkable. If you like atreet photography buy this book.
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on 8 September 2015
Bought after watching a very good documentary on her life featuring many of the same photographs. Excellent book and a fitting tribute for her work. We enjoyed it so much that we sent one to a keen photographer friend who was very pleased. It is a record of life around her as she always took her camera. Sometimes, the subject is contrived but not edited. The great sadness is that she was cruelly treated and had issues in later life in her role as Nanny. However, her work is a tribute by the author and has the quality of a truly gifted mind.
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on 30 July 2015
Probably first came out as an enigma. Now Vivian Maier is recognised as one of the most important street photographer in the 21st century. Really happy to able to see her work through publications, as I have learned about her a bit too late, and missed the exhibition about her in London. Her story really inspired me. Being a photographer and has been working with a DSLR camera for all these years, she made me picked up a film SLR camera again! Her work is fantastic! I'm only a bit disappointed there is this photograph I really liked that is shown on her official website but not in the book. I suppose I will have to buy the print instead... I hope whoever now own her copyrights, can establish her prints in the UK too, to make it easier for purchasing.
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on 22 August 2013
Loved this book, bought a s a present for my nieces graduation could not help having a sneaky peak and now I need to buy my own copy. What an inspiration this woman is, her use of shadows, own reflection in photos gives added dimension. Her subject matters are raw and gritty and have brought back my passion for black and white you can not beat it for portrait shots. Thank heavens they were found and shared with us.
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