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An English Eye: The Photographs of James Ravilious Paperback – 14 Dec 2007
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Celebrated collection of photographs by leading British photographer of rural life.
Top customer reviews
One point that I think is important when looking at Mr Ravilious's work, is to look at how he constructs his photographs, they are not merely the recording of everyday events, they are works of art as well as the recording of events. This is what makes him a great photographer rather than just a good documentary maker.
I only wish he was alive today so he could continue and develop his work, I also wish more publishers would start printing quality books of his his photographs!
What is so unique about Ravilious's photographs of Devon is that they combine the lyricism of Cartier Bresson and the structure of Kertesz. In addition the photographs embody a certain English empathy that is more truly quintessential to this nation than many better known facets of this nation's character. The photographs are beautifully printed paying full respect to Ravilious's own special technique.
For anybody who wants to sit and look at truly beautiful, intimate photographs this is your book and for anybody who wants a key to the English psyche this is your book, too.
The term 'A great photographer' is an easily thrown around title, but in this case it is is richly deserved.
Few people will have heard of him compared to famous documentary photographers like Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, John Gay and others that anyone interested in photography will have heard of.
Unlike the previously mentioned photographers who liked to work un-noticed, it seems to me James Ravilious liked to be part of his own photos, not in them but involved with them, he lived in the community he was photographing, he knew many of the people he photographed, they look like they accepted him and his camera. It shows in the photos, just look at the photo of 'The French family watching the cup final' to see what I mean.
Not only did he take a 'good photo' but he processed them beautifully, look at the photo of Ashwell farm how the dog and the farm buildings stand out, just looked a some of Cartier-Bresson's photos, they are very different, but I have to say that the way JR printed his photos is much better.
He is a photographer who should be far better known and appreciated than he is.
This book not only has lots of photos in it but half of it contains a mixture of photos and text that tell you all about him, his life, how he went about taking photos and many other interesting facts.
As a photographer myself, books that are just full of photos are nice to look at but I do like to know more about the photographer and how and why they went about his business. This book does all that.
Don't hesitate for a moment longer, press the button to put it in your basket and when it arrives in a few days put a 'Do not disturb' sign on your sitting room door, settle in to a comfy chair and enjoy it.
As a traditional darkroom user, I particularly found the technical discussion about cameras, lenses, choice of films and processing of interest.
The photos give an insight of rural life which the photographer has recorded perfectly.