5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Vintage 80s: London Street Photography (Paperback)
Need to give this a bit more time before deciding if it's a worthy addition to my bookshelf of if it's going back. First, there is no information about the photographer as he uses a pseudonym. Neither is there any technical information about the photographs. According to the recent Daily Telegraph review of this book, the photographer took around 100,000 images through the decade that was the 1980's. Presumably, these are the best of them. If I had accomplished a similar feat (and all credit to the photographer for doing so), I'd be disappointed. I love good street photography and enjoy the nostalgia of seeing how much has changed or disappeared altogether - fashion, transport, signage, shop fronts and so on. But it is, of course, capturing those fleeting, spontaneous moments that is the real art. This is not a large book, measuring about 8" x 7" and the reproduction quality is quite good. It's also true to say that the photographer has managed to capture some good images though I question the technical quality of many of them. Most of the photos seem to be 'grabbed' with little thought for planning or composition. Of course, street photography is often like that, but look at the work of a photographer who has really mastered this art and it's in another league. What perplexes me most about these images is the number of them that exhibit blur due to camera shake or are just out of focus. I'm not saying every good street photograph has to be razor sharp, far from it, but there are countless examples of great street photography by unpublished amateurs all over the web which can stand head and shoulders above this work, particularly if this represents the cream of 100,000 images. So well done for having the foresight and vision to go out and capture a decade on film, but it would have been much more enjoyable had the work been more skillfully executed. Check out the photographer's web site to see if you like the images before buying. The photographer could be David Bailey for all I know, but I doubt it.