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Vintage 80s: London Street Photography Paperback – 15 Sep 2011
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|Paperback, 15 Sep 2011||
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Johnny Stiletto has a wonderful body of candid street photography work, much of it shot in London during the 1980s. Some iconic moments are captured here; flickering glimpses from a turbulent time in our history. Eclectica The kind of photography book you can have on your lap, in bed or even in the bath, if you were so cavalier. There is something pleasantly intimate about the experience of possessing these images. Let Them Eat Cake An intriguing look at an often derided decade. Amateur Photographer A metropolitan rake's progress through the palpitating heart of a city around which a whole country, and culture, pivoted... This is a little gem of a photo book. Snap it up. Guardian
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Its a nice and quirky addition to my photography library and as a photographer who frequently shoots in London, it reminds me of why I love the city so much.
Johnny Stiletto's previous book, 'Shot From The Hip' is out of print [why?] and used copies sell for around £ on Amazon.[Ah! That's why!] and I wonder how many critics of the man have actually published their own books of photographs? A four year old can take passable pictures with a modern point 'n' shoot digital device but it takes a real adult to use 35mm cameras with panache.
Interesting to note that the Lomography movement now advocate shooting from the hip ... ie. without using the viewfinder ... as a creative expedient. They also encourage 35mm film photography.
A search engine will throw up numerous sites about this book ... his publisher and PR person sure did a good job on this ... so you have no excuse for not knowing what you are buying. I enjoyed and am enjoying it. I deducted one star 'cos I dislike people who hide behind pseudonyms suggesting that they lack the courage of their convictions or, they could be closet criminals. Love the name Johnny Stiletto 'tho - straight out of Micky Spillane, Hank Janson or even Ellery Queen. Ah, those were the days. They don't write 'em like that, or this, any more! If you are into retro, candid photography, buy it and then be inspired to go walkabout with your camera.
However, as a Street Photographer myself (and a bloody good one at that), take it from me that there is much to enjoy and learn from this book.
According to the 3 day-old embryo's that wrote many of the reviews (with their testicles yet to emerge and their chins that could still be described as 'baby soft'), street photographs should be sharp, in focus and composed by the 'rule of thirds'.
Popycock !!! Street Photography has no rules and if you strive to produce your own photographs by these 'rules', then you will only produce generic tat, as is common place these days.
Street Photography should record not just the subject but also the atmosphere of the environment that the subject existed in at the time. In this case, the photography of Johnny Stiletto delivers in spades.
Grit, dirt, movement, stench, filth, hope and despair are recalled and depicted with effortless skill by the author. Can't wait for my copy of Shots From The Hip by Mr Stiletto to arrive as well.
This author used to have a column in the Amateur Photographer at the time whereby they published one of his photos each week in the back cover as I recall. His camera was an Olympus OM-1 by the way.