I hope maybe to write something more later but for now just a quick review as Im so impressed with this book, which I just got for my birthday ( I requested it as it came up on Amazon's 'recommended' - the cover got me interested and as I already had his 'Istanbul' book which I found cheap whilst browsing in a bookshop - I got it ordered and eagerly looked forward to seeing whether it lived up to expectations)
It did!. :)
This has to be my all time favourite colour street photog book ever, maybe my all time favourite photo book ever ( and Ive got a few!). I have never enjoyed turning the pages of a photo book so much, the anticipation, excitement and ensuing smile and simple joy brought at the turn of nearly every page had me mentally jumping for joy and catching my breath at the physical sensuality of the rich colours and intricate, almost maze-like, compositions.
He reminds me of and is equal to Steve Mc Curry and William Eggleston for colour, is reminiscent of Ray K Metzker and Lee Friedlander for novel and intricate compositions, certainly equals HCB for decisive moments, and really shows Martin Parr up a treat ( eat your heart out Martin!), - absolutely great!, I have never seen better; in fact, never seen as good.
And thank fully the quality of the book is right up there with the best, the paper, cover, and the colour reproduction are top notch
It's such a treat to discover someone you really should have known a long time ago. Thanks go to Alex, for putting this book together:)
Superb book. Alex Webb is one of the best photojournalists of the last few decades, and this book provides a wonderful and very well-printed and well-presented illustration of why he is held in such high regard. If you're already familiar with his work, you'll know exactly why that is so. If not, let's just say that his use of colour and his extraordinary intricate compositions, filled with frames-within-frames and amazing depth, are a revelation and a challenge to photographers who want to see the world in a different way and present it in all its grand complexity.
We learn more here about seeing in colour, composition and timing than any one-on-one class could ever give us. This retrospective reveals Alex Webb to have operated on at least the same level as Cartier-Bresson, if not exceeding him in places by adding colour to the information he has mastered in each frame. When I selected a book to teach my young niece about what makes a great photograph, I reached for this first. A bargain and a treasure.
Before purchasing this book I've gone through its pages on Magnum website, so when I received the book and I opened it I was not expecting to be impressed like that. It's something that must be experienced, it's more than a photography book: it's a symphony of colors, each single photograph is a masterpiece and it invites the reader to a world that is pure art. But it's not just about colors, it's how Webb blended them with the human dimension and used these two elements to accomplish his mission,to create a unique artistic vision that will stay with us forever.
Alex Webb is a representative of a kind of documentary photography that, if not dominant, certainly has become a substantial sector of the genre in the past twenty or thirty years. Traditionally, the photojournalist would rock up to whatever world situation was of interest to the magazine and news publishing industry and provide a visual commentary that was supposed to illuminate the subject, often a subject that the photographer had limited experience of or cultural reference to. Alex Webb by comparison, is a photographer making work as a personal response to the situation; very visual, exploratory rather than explanatory. A photographer who uses atmosphere, extremes of light and edgy composition to provide a subjective impression that doesn't pretend to tell us 'what is happening' yet gives us a notion of what it was like to be Alex Webb in those situations: discovering the subject with its uncertainties and tensions, using the camera to tell us as much or as little as photography, with both its strengths and limitations, can.
A true colour stylist like fellow Magnum photographers Harry Gruyaert and Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Webb's book is a welcome addition to my bookshelf as I don't have the books that first enticed me (Under a Grudging Sun and Hot Light - Half-Made Worlds) into his visual world. A must-have for any appreciator of documentary photography.
Aperture produces beautiful photography books. This is one of them. Alex Webb is a stunningly good street photographer. Not only is his use of colour and light extraordinary, but he is able to create layers within many of his photographs which give them depth. It's difficult to explain in words. It has to be seen. The book is expensive but gorgeous.