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Antone's Picks: A Book of Birds

A Book of Birds by Stephen Gill

Japanese publisher Super Labo has been on somewhat of a roll in the later part of 2010. Putting out titles by photographers such as Joel Meyerowitz, Todd Hido and Alec Soth is a big achievement from a publisher who has only been around for several years. These limited edition books have been modest in construction and content and, as a photography book collector, they didn’t initially catch my eye. On my first day back from a week long vacation, I noticed a new Stephen Gill book sitting on our counter. The title A Book of Birds grabbed my attention and I have since picked this little softbound up several more times to contemplate the photographs inside.

from the book A Book of Birds
Gill’s study of how birds have adapted their lives to fit around ours is a revisitation to a subject he photographed as a child. Once interested in how birds interacted in his family garden, Gill now has taken to the streets of East London and surrounding areas. The photographs offer depictions of a variety of birds, sometimes these birds standout as the subject of the image, while at others it becomes hard to determine where the birds fit into the landscape. The game of finding the birds in itself becomes an enjoyable part of the viewing process.

from the book A Book of Birds

from the book A Book of Birds

Like previous Super Labo titles, A Book of Birds is modest, only containing 15 photographs… 15 well edited and sequenced photographs. Some of the images are truly beautiful, a testament to however small and simple a project may be, it still has the potential to suck the viewer into a deep visual meditation. The simplicity of the content in this book works perfectly with the modest design aesthetic Super Labo has become known for. This book is a great achievement for this new up-and-coming publisher and has made me excited to see the projects they come up with in 2011.

For purchasing information, click here.

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