Friday, 25 December 2015
This review means so much to me. Sincere thanks to Roger May and Walk Your Camera
Photographers’ Sketchbooks | Stephen McLaren and Bryan Formhals
Thames & Hudson, 2014, 320 pages.
The list of photographers the duo of McLaren and Formhals enlisted for this books is staggering: Roger Ballen, Jason Eskenazi, Stacy Kranitz, Susan Meiselas, and Alec Soth just to name a few. McLaren writes, “To explore the ‘photographic sketchbook’ in all its various forms is in one sense a legitimate return to photography’s earliest role in the fine arts.” He continues, “Photography may be having a bit of a Babel moment, so our intent here is to let the reader see how intelligent practitioners are cutting through the visual noise to make a compelling case for photography’s future relevance.” No small feat, right? But they offer a dizzying look into the minds and processes of some truly amazing photographers and they do it well. Robin Cracknell’s diaries – heartfelt, dark, and not about perfection – are worth the cost of the book alone. This is a book to own, to keep close at hand when you need some motivation, or to simply sit for a spell and say to yourself, “Damn.”