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The Unseen: An Atlas of Infrared Plates Hardcover – 23 May 2016
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"What s perhaps most striking about this photo book is how diverse each chapter and series of photographs is not just in subject matter, but also in aesthetic it is easy to mistake the book for an anthology featuring the work of several photographers, when it is in fact one artist s triumphant homage to the medium of colour infrared film photography." --https://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2016/july/the-unseen-infrared-photographs-of-the-invisible/
The Unseen can be read as a work of visual science fiction, a critique of the Anthropocene, this era in which humans are the most significant influences on geologic changes on Earth. Apiaries and melting glaciers explore the effects that humans have had on biology and geology. The beekeepers look like astronauts on a foreign planet and the naked humans look like aliens. The nebulae and our internal organs provide a framing context. We humans are stranger than we know, and so is our world, when its unseen realities are revealed. Thompson s photography speculates a kind of time travel: the present is seen from an imagined past as an imagined future. The antiquarian appearance of the book with its Jules Verne epigram from Journey to the Centre of the Earth suggests that this is all something we might have imagined a hundred years ago as some horrific future. And yet, here we are. --http://www.fractionmagazine.com/the-unseen
"I've collected quite a few books of infrared photography and The Unseen is part of a tiny group specialising in false-colour infrared. It definitely deserves its place in a photographic library and in the history of the medium: whatever your reason for liking infrared photography, there will be images here to amaze you."
Andy Finney, Infrared100 --http://www.infrared100.org/2016/09/edward-thompson-unseen.html
From the Inside Flap
Inspired by the scientific uses of infrared film throughout history, The Unseen - An Atlas of Infrared Plates pushes the purposes and properties of the rarest photographic film on the planet to its scientific and conceptual limits. British documentary photographer, Edward Thompson, set out to explore the boundaries of perception, whether they were things outside our visual spectrum or events that went unnoticed or unreported. From researching the original Kodak advertisements, expert interviews and scientific journals, Thompson has gathered an extensive archive and used some of the last 46 dead-stock rolls ofKodak Aerochrome Infrared film in existence to reveal the unseen. The project comprises ten chapters: In The Red Forest (2012), infrared film is used to document the condition of the most radioactive forest in the world and in turn re-imagines the Ukraine in deep Soviet burgundy, something that has become eerily prophetic since 2012. In The Vein (2014), forgotten medical photography techniques are used to reveal the superficial veins beneath the skin. In The Flood (2012), one of the original purposes of the film, the documentation of crops post-flood via aerial photography, is ignored in favour of making portraits of families who have been affected on the ground. In The City (2014), infrared film is used to document one of the world's most polluted cities, London. In The War (2015), the film is used to photograph military paintings, simultaneously manipulating the film's historical military application of uncovering camouflage and also revealing hidden charcoal under-drawing. In The Village (2012), the film was used to attempt to document supernatural beings in the most haunted village in the U.K. There are no ghosts to be found. The photographs instead depict a 'sci-fi disruption of the green and pleasant lands of the garden of England' akin to H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds. Bees and beekeepers are documented in The Apiary (2015), Gross specimen photography in The Gross Specimen (2015) and Astrophotography in The Past (2015). The final chapter is yet to be revealed. Thompson has created a swan song to the medium of infrared photography, of which this book itself has also become an artefact, a part of its history.See all Product description
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The second problem is that Mr Thompson is not a good writer, and as such the book is riddled with run-on sentences and punctuation errors. "The role pollinator's play is of vital importance to our food security." How does a sentence like that get past an editor and a proof-reader? Or "One by one the people ahead of me started to disappear, the entrance to the ice cave wasn't a cave but a hole in the snow." This is a classic example of a comma splice or "run-on sentence". The book is full of them.
In summary this is a nice idea for a book but it's been let down by poor execution.
The author makes reference to exhaustive research trips to the British Library. I suppose he was trying to give the impression that the knowledge about how and why to use this film stock is something rare and arcane. This really is not the case. The author simply has a go at all of the techniques described in two widely available Kodak publications on the subject of infrared film. As such, this book is essentially an unacknowledged re-hash of these two Kodak publications, with a couple of pointlessly added chapters (no really – ghost hunting? Was the author expecting there to be any infrared energy present in ice caves?).
Also, the book is frustratingly riddled with basic errors, for example referring repeatedly to "120mm film".
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