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Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image (The Photography Workshop Series) Paperback – 27 May 2014
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As a reading experience, the books feel more like monographs with expansive captions than generic how-to guides. "Eye Magazine" "
As a reading experience, the books feel more like monographs with expansive captions than generic how-to guides. Eye Magazine"
About the Author
Alex Webb (born in San Francisco, 1952) is best known for his vibrant and complex color photography, often made in Latin America and the Caribbean. He has published eleven books, including Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (with Rebecca Norris Webb) and The Suffering of Light, a collection of thirty years of his color work. Alex became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1979. His work has been shown widely, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. He s received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, National Geographic, and GEO, among other publications.
Rebecca Norris Webb (born in Rushville, Indiana, 1956), originally a poet, has published three photography books that explore the complicated relationship between people and the natural world: The Glass Between Us, Violet Isle: A Duet of Photographs from Cuba (with Alex Webb), and My Dakota. Her fourth book, Memory City (with Alex Webb), is a meditation on film, time, and the city of Rochester, New York, in what may be the last days of film as we know it. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; George Eastman House, Rochester, New York; Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York; and Robert Klein Gallery, Boston. Her work
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I really like the 'spareness' of this book - this is the essence of a photographic approach in text and images - there's no long and complicated theorising - just the core ideas, clear and to the point - in a book that has high production values.
Alex Webb has done something very difficult in the modern photographic environment - created a unique personal style - and he explains and illustrates the evolution of his approach and the core of his thought-processes extremely well - such as the 'crowded frame'. There's a fundamental honesty here - street photography is 99.9 percent failure. Webb's images are so different and challenging that they take some looking at - always a good thing in itself. Bland they are not; they stand out from the crowd. Some of his images are just brilliant and always stimulating and provoking. The juxtaposition of text and images with Rebecca Norris Webb works well as a device - although personally I would have probably preferred a full volume of Alex Webb.
I think there's some fundamental 'practical' advice embodied here -but you need to discover it for yourself.
The authors' often exquisitely layered, ambiguous images leave ample space for interpretation and pondering; each viewer can find or impute meaning subjectively by connecting the dots, making associations in their own particular way. At the same time the photographs of Rebecca and Alex intimately represent and express their personal journey, their inner and outer explorations and their view of the world. I perceive each page of this book as indirect encouragement and invitation for the reader / viewer to experience the joy and meaning of a deeper exploration of their journey in the world through contemplation, and creative, intuitive visual expression.
On a more personal note, I have been trying to attend one of Alex and Rebecca's workshops for over two years now, but I work in education with no flexibility over my holidays and all workshops seem to be organised during term times. I was overjoyed, then, when I discovered this book and I can wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who wishes to be inspired and guided by two of the most recognised photographers and educators of our time.
The book is nicely printed and laid out. It is chock-full of photos by the Webbs and other greats, like Koudelka and Kertesz.
AW's photos alone are worth the ticket price.
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