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This review is from: Bruce Davidson: Subway (Hardcover)
This book contains some superb images but not enough. The less is more argument fits here as 30% of the images could have been dumped, way too much filler. Davidsons technique ( lack of it) means everything is underexposed and light is literally blotted out and flattened. Even the outdoor shots are heavy and without air, after a while I began to feel claustrophobia, natural light is trodden on, his approach is prescriptive and without feel for form or light, rather like Martin Parr, bang in yer face up yer nose commando photography.
However arguably the technique gives a griminess which fits the filth of the subway, but is heavily overdone in my opinion. His technical management of balancing flash with daylight is poor and he could do with opening up his mental and mechanical aperture and allow some light in.
The blacks he achieves are truly black and there is not one single image that does not have this 'charcoal light' even the broad daylight images. At times a beautiful and at times just dull cerebrally and photographically.
Buy this book for the bravery of his approach in a dangerous environment, despite my crticism a valuable documentary with a few awesome images.