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357 at dusk -- Mark Klett

We are pleased to announce an new portfolio of images from photo-eye Gallery photographer Mark Klett. Time Studies is Klett's experimentation with photography and the passage of time. The beautiful toned silver gelatin prints in this series are strangely surreal -- at once crisp and blurry, the sun often appearing in multiple locations. The images are the result of long exposures, capturing time as it elapses in front of the lens. Klett was kind enough to tell us a bit more about the work.

"In 2004 I began making a small group of photos that I thought of as 'time and space equations.' The work was based on some simple questions: how long is a 'moment' in time, and how do photographs express duration, or lengths of time?

"In practice the moment of any photograph is a fixed length of time corresponding to the camera’s exposure. Usually this is instantaneous, often faster than the eye can see. But the camera is also capable of describing events that occur too slowly for the eye to see; and photographs can show us a world that exists virtually unobserved within conventional experience. In the world of the camera, a period of long duration or multiple points in time may exist side by side as the expression of one moment on a single sheet of film.

Mid day suns -- Mark Klett

"Most of these pictures result from exposures ranging from 10 minutes to two days. They may represent the length of time it took for an everyday event to occur, or the combination of making multiple gazes at a changing event or object, or the slow awareness of the normal passing of a celestial day or night. In these cases the experience of time passing takes place in ways that are different than how time is measured by the methodical movements of a clock or the linear regime of a calendar. That change of perception is what ultimately interests me." -- Mark Klett

Overnight -- Mark Klett

See Mark Klett's portfolios here.

Numerous books of Klett's photographs have been published, the most recent are The Half-Life of History. The Atomic Bomb and Wendover Air Base from Radius Books and Reconstructing the View. The Grand Canyon Photographs of Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe from University of California Press. See all of Klett's books here.

For additional information about Mark Klett or to acquire a photograph, please contact the gallery at (505) 988-5152 x202 or by email.
In video #4 of our In-Print Photobook series, Erin Azouz shares with us A New American Picture by Doug Rickard published by Aperture.

In-Print Photobook Video #4: A New American Picture by Doug Rickard from photo-eye

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A Possible Life. By Ben Krewinkel.
Published by f0.23, 2012.
A Possible Life
Reviewed by Colin Pantall

A Possible Life
By Ben Krewinkel.
f0.23 publishers, 2012. Softcover. 80 pp., color illustrations throughout, 8-1/4x11-3/4".

A Possible Life is a book about an illegal immigrant to the Netherlands. His name is Gualbert and with the photographer Ben Krewinkel, he's the co-author of the book. Gualbert comes from Nigeria and has lived in the Netherlands for the last 10 years. Maybe. Or perhaps he comes from Niger because that's what all his papers are stamped with. Or perhaps his name isn't Gualbert and he's not a migrant because Krewinkel says that reading the book ' a non-fictional and objective story purely, might be considered naive.' Instead Krewinkel regards the book is a partly fictitious account of an illegal immigrant’s life, one told through a collection of personal photographs, letters, conversations and official documents.

The real/fictional play is possibly the least interesting part of A Possible Life, so for the purpose of this review I'll ignore it. I'll take the naive path and view the book as non-fictional. It starts on the inside cover with an insight into how the project started and the editing process employed by both Krewinkel and Gualbert. In one email, Gualbert asks to be described as from Nigeria, not Niger. He asks for his face to be disguised in photographed, then calls for God's blessing on the project before asking for help with his children’s school fees, something Krewinkel can't help him with. Then the book starts proper with a series of copies of Gualbert's papers; his passport, his resume, bank transactions.

A Possible Life, by Ben Krewinkel. Published by f0.23 publishers, 2012.

Papers slip from the banality of officialdom to the tragedy of the personal. There's a picture of a young woman next to a transcribed comment from a recording Krewinkel made on his sister's death from AIDS. 'In Africa, when you have aids some accept you, but mostly they reject you, you are being marginalized.'

Gualbert's marriage certificate is shown next to snapshots from the family album and more transcribed comments on the dilemma he faces. In the Netherlands, Gualbert is a nobody, but back home in Niger he is regarded as wealthy, a pocket to turn to when medical bills or school fees need paying.

A Possible Life, by Ben Krewinkel. Published by f0.23 publishers, 2012.

And that's the Catch-22 Gualbert faces. As Krewinkel writes, '...Gualbert has come to realise that, without proper documents or a working permit, there is no real future ahead in the Netherlands. He obviously aspires to join his family, but lacks the money for a return without losing face.... Many friends and relatives would be disappointed if Gualbert returned empty-handed.'

On top of that, there is the current climate of intolerance in the Netherlands that has led to people like '...Gualbert being more marginalised than ever before.'

So what to do. Krewinkel has produced a wonderful documentation of a migrant’s life, using multiple sources and a variety of perspectives. The bureaucratic vision of life gives way to the personal, of a life once lived, with family album snapshots of life in Niger playing against the Possible Life where Gualbert is photographed in some kind of Dutch Migrant’s Hostel. There he is cooking, sitting, and smiling in ever such an institutional manner.

A Possible Life, by Ben Krewinkel. Published by f0.23 publishers, 2012.

Except the book doesn't end there. It comes with instructions on how to view Krewinkel's own pictures of Gualbert; 'To fully view all the pages of this publication, please use a letter opener or another sharp object to open the Japanese bound book. Do be careful!'

So to see the book, you have to destroy the book. Infuriating but very clever. The process of cutting the book slows everything down. Cut then view, cut then view, cut then view; this builds up a narrative. Krewinkel's own portraits are ones of isolation, disappointment and squalor. Money worries come to the forefront as does the bleak loneliness of being so far from home, so powerless, so unwanted. And even when Gualbert is wanted, doubts and questions creep in. Wanted for what? As a husband, a father, a friend or as a bankroll, the man in Europe who is failing to cash in people's dreams.

A Possible Life, by Ben Krewinkel. Published by f0.23 publishers, 2012.

Beautifully designed and thought out, A Possible Life is a multifaceted book that makes a coherent whole out of a huge mix of materials. Krewinkel carves a life out of documents, letters, notes and photographs. That is no mean achievement. What elevates the book even further is the hidden element, that concealed subconscious you have to cut through, that world of sorrow and loneliness that lies beneath. Combining complexity and subtlety, Krewinkel has come up with a very human, and emotional documentation of what living in the limbo of an illegal immigrant means.

But still the question remains. Do you cut it or don't you cut it? And if you do, do you buy another copy to satisfy your collector's neurosis? I will.—COLIN PANTALL

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COLIN PANTALL is a UK-based writer, photographer and teacher - he is currently a visiting lecturer in Documentary Photography at the University of Wales. His work has been exhibited in London, Amsterdam, Manchester and Rome and his Sofa Portraits will be published as a handmade book early next year. Further thoughts of Colin Pantall can be found on his blog, which was listed as one of’s favourites earlier this year.
A Portrait of Ice. Photographs by Caleb Cain Marcus.
Published by MACK, 2012.
A Portrait of Ice
Reviewed by Tom Leininger

A Portrait of Ice
Photographs by Caleb Cain Marcus.
Damiani, 2012. Hardbound. 72 pp., color illustrations throughout, 12x14-1/2".

Space and silence occupy Caleb Cain Marcus' soul and he translates those ideas in photographs. His first book dealt with the city at night. His second book, A Portrait of Ice, examines glaciers and how ice translates space and silence.

For this book, Cain Marcus forgoes black and white and the urban for color and the ice deserts of Patagonia, Iceland, Alaska and Norway. At first glance, the landscapes seem to be one place. Going through the book a second or third time and examining the mostly vertical pictures, the differences in how the ice appears and how it was seen become clear.

The amazing blue tint that resides in some of the glaciers highlights the reasoning for the switch to color. There is also dirt, pollen and other elements in the ice that help to show the differences in the areas. At the end of the book notes about the glaciers and the trips Cain Marcus made provide a greater understanding of the locations. This is done succinctly and elegantly; those two words also describe the object of the book. Its clean design and larger size block out the modern world when examining the photographs up close, and the writings of Marvin Heiferman and Robin Bell bring clarity to his project and the importance of ice in our world.

A Portrait of Ice, by Caleb Cain Marcus. Published by Damiani, 2012.
A Portrait of Ice, by Caleb Cain Marcus. Published by Damiani, 2012.
Cain Marcus also writes a note on color and its meaning, which is interesting in this age where color is the dominant medium. The bright blue hue of the ice against nearly grey skies demands color, which is used deftly. Photography's power of description is in its fullest form with these pictures. Photography's power of visual trickery is also at work since the landscape is disorienting; a feeling of floating is present throughout the series. I am not sure if the camera is hovering or if Cain Marcus is constantly looking at the edge of an ice cliff. This idea is powerful.

A Portrait of Ice, by Caleb Cain Marcus. Published by Damiani, 2012.
A Portrait of Ice, by Caleb Cain Marcus. Published by Damiani, 2012.
The final pictures of the book hint at the present state of the glaciers, with a stream-like formation running through the images. Cain Marcus presents these exotic landscapes with an eye for disorienting beauty. He is not editorializing the land. Cain Marcus faces them squarely and describes what it is he sees and feels. It is the clarity of these spaces that makes mysterious pictures. He found a silent space worth exploring.—TOM LEININGER

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TOM LEININGER is a photographer and educator based in North Texas. More of his work can be found on his website.
cover of Al Campo and BazanCuba by Ernesto Bazan
Ernesto Bazan Booksigning and Artist Talk for Al Campo & BazanCuba

Where: photo-eye Gallery, 376 Garcia Street, Suite A Santa Fe, NM
When: Friday, October 26th 6:00-8:00pm, artist talk at 6:30pm
Contact: Melanie McWhorter
Phone: 505.988.5152 x 112

photo-eye is pleased to host Ernesto Bazan, author of Al Campo and BazanCuba for a booksigning and artist talk. In 2008, his publishing house BazanPhotos Publishing, released BazanCuba featuring work made during his fourteen years living on and photographing on the island. In May 2009, the book was awarded Best Book of the Year at the New York Photo Festival. In 2011 Bazan published Al Campo, an in-depth color exploration of life in the Cuban countryside.

Ernesto Bazan was born in Palermo on the island of Sicily in 1959. From 1992 to 2006, Bazan lived in and photographed the island of Cuba, documenting the unique time in Cuban history called the Special Period. This body of work has given him the privilege to win some of the world's most prestigious photographic awards, among them The W. Eugene Smith Grant; The Mother Jones Foundation for Photojournalism [Mother Jones International Fund for Documentary Photography], the Dorothea Lang - Paul Taylor prize at Duke University, North Carolina, the World Press Photo award and fellowships from the Alicia Patterson Foundation and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Can't make it to the book signing? Purchase a signed copy of Al Campo or BazanCuba.

cover of From Above and Below
Two of the photographers in our current group exhibition Solar, Sharon Harper and Chris McCaw, recently published their first books. Copies of both are now available.

Harper’s book, From Above and Below, published by Radius Books, is a selection of Harpers images that explore the night sky, perception and technology. The images range from photographs to video stills, shot with a variety of cameras, some of which Harper creates using a telescope as a lens. Though some of the images are still photographs, they are made with an interest in motion – such as the images from her series Sun/Moon (trying to see through a telescope) which are included in the Solar exhibit. All of the images present a new way of looking at the night sky and seek a new way of understanding. As Harper told the Pasatiempo in a recent interview, “I’m always looking to learn from photography that I can’t see with my eyes.”

Measuring 11x14", From Above and Below presents beautiful reproductions of over a decade of Harper's images of the sky and also some views of her notebooks. Last week Chris McCaw told us a little bit about his experience in book publishing and this week Sharon Harper shares hers. -- Anne Kelly

From Above and Below

Anne Kelly:     Tell us about your book.

Sharon Harper:     The book From Above and Below will be released by Radius Books next month, in November. The book brings together twelve years of photographs and video stills that use the sky as a site for images we can’t see without a camera. The photographs flow freely between projects and are sequenced to build an experimental, symbolic relationship between the camera, the image-maker and the natural world. Throughout the book, images of the moon, stars and sun bridge the medium’s ability to verify empirical evidence and to create poetic connections between our environment and ourselves.

From Above and Below

AK:     How does it feel to have a book of your photographs published?

SH:     It was a wonderful opportunity for me to revisit the past 12 years of my work and to generate connections between the projects. It really brought new life to the work by allowing me to think of the ways the work could be presented differently in the book form than it was on the gallery walls. The most creative and energizing part of the project was working with David Chickey at Radius—who is an incredibly talented, experienced and visually sophisticated person—on the concept, sequencing and design of the book. I never get to work with someone on the creative aspects of my work, and I loved it. It was fantastic to work with David on the book.

Sharon Harper with proof of From Above and Below
AK:     Tell us a little bit about the process.

From Above and Below on press
SH:     I created a maquette and shopped it to Radius. When they accepted the project, I sat down with David and Darius, who was at Frankael Gallery at the time but participated in the initial phase of the book, and we decided which photographs we'd like to include in the book. The difficulty was integrating the different visual styles of all the projects we wanted to include so that they could flow throughout a sequence. I didn't want the images to be sequenced chronologically and David immediately agreed that the work would be more dynamic if the connections and the ideas flowed primarily from a visual sequence. I felt strongly that I didn't want the titles of the works, which are an important part of the work and indeed a piece of the work itself, to be listed along side of the images. I proposed putting the titles of the works in the front of the book so viewers would at least glimpse the importance of the titles before immersing in the visual experience. It was amazing to sequence the work with David because we were very much in synch with our understanding of the work and how it should be presented. We hit a snag on how to integrate images that contained grids into the flow of the book and had to work that out. That work was key because it forced me to realize that I originally composited the images, and that I could re-composit them to fit the book. It opened up the way to give all of the work a new life in the book outside of the way I'd originally conceived of it for presentation as prints. It was great fun to work with David on this. We decided to add my notebooks to the end of the book to have a record of my process and a different kind of voice from the one in my photographs. Photography for me is all about trying to combine the various ways that it can communicate—technically, scientifically as evidence, and poetically—into one space.

From Above and Below

AK:     Do you have any advice for photographers who would like to have a book of their work published?

SH:     Have lots of patience and roll with the process. It will be longer, more expensive, and possibly more rewarding than you can imagine.

Saint Lucy has a longer interview with Sharon Harper that can be found here
View Sharon Harper's work at photo-eye Gallery

A selection of Harper's work can currently be seen as part of Solar on exhibit at photo-eye through the end of November and features the work of seven photographers. A portfolio of work from the show can be viewed here.

For additional information about Sharon Harper or to acquire a photograph, please contact the gallery at (505) 988-5152 x202 or by email.
Elementary Calculus. Photographs by J Carrier.
Published by MACK, 2012.
Elementary Calculus
Reviewed by Adam Bell

Elementary Calculus
Photographs by J Carrier
MACK, 2012. Hardbound. 128 pp., 74 color illustrations, 9-1/4x7-3/4".

From the decentralized production and exchange of commodities to radical shifts in migration, globalization has transformed the world in numerous ways. What is often lost in these abstract discussions is the effect these changes have on people throughout the world. Shuttled and tossed about, lost amidst the shuffle, and driven by new economic opportunities, or the lack thereof, they are forced to survive and find a new place in environments that are often foreign to their own. In Israel, the seemingly endless Israeli-Palestinian conflict not only defines our perceptions of the region, but also masks our recognition of its own demographic and social transformation in the face of globalization. Shot in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, Elementary Calculus, J Carrier's new book explores the unseen and unspoken consequences of migration, exile and displacement in the region with intelligence and sophistication.

Elementary Calculus, by J Carrier. Published by MACK, 2012.

Captured in a loose style and muted tones, the book is full of reoccurring motifs. Telephones and telephone wires, pigeons, stray cats, fruit, flowers and migrants fill the pages. Carrier's landscape is also filled with symbols and signs. Hearts and Stars of David appear as graffiti on walls and in the designs of wrought iron fence. Posters and flyers advertise housing and products in multiple languages. The central characters in the book are migrants from Africa, South Asia and East Asia. Clutching their cell-phones, they seem to wander bewildered through a landscape and city foreign to their own. Alone or in pairs, they crouch and huddle in phone booths or carry groceries home to their apartments. Strangers in a strange land, the phones offer links home, small oases, and connections to loved ones far away.

Elementary Calculus, by J Carrier. Published by MACK, 2012.

Although there is a narrow range of images and subjects, the book's focus and edit creates a powerful narrative of displacement and longing. In one image pairing, miscellaneous cell-phone parts strewn across the sidewalk for sale are juxtaposed with another sidewalk full of pigeons – two opposing technologies of communication. The cellphone parts offer the hope to repair and fix existing and/or outmoded technology, while the pigeons suggest that some old technologies never truly disappear – they just get pushed aside. In addition to the repeated subjects, image sequences of successive frames pepper the book. One such sequence shows a crane operated vending machine filled with money. Like the fraught circumstances of their existence, it teases the imagined players with money that is so close, yet just out of reach. Fortunately, the repetition and limited subjects never becomes tiresome, but gives the book a rhythmic pace. The gaps and blank pages function like pauses or line breaks. The image sequences build, reflect and expand upon Carrier's themes like rhyming stanzas in a poem.

Elementary Calculus, by J Carrier. Published by MACK, 2012.
Elementary Calculus, by J Carrier. Published by MACK, 2012.

The book is almost text free, but opens with a quotation from Mahmoud Darwish, a Palestinian poet. Although Darwish was a passionate advocate for Palestinian self-determination, it is his eloquent words about the anguish of exile, rather than his politics, that matter here. The only other text is three words that appear on two discarded cigarette packs and a polyester jersey. TIME, DISTANCE and INFINITY – three words that define and shape the lives of the individuals in the book. The oxymoronic title also touches on the complexities of being a foreigner in the Holy Land – simple in theory, but much more complex in lived reality or practice. Never truly a part of the region's political, religious and cultural history, and denied the possibility of full assimilation, the migrants hover and float at a distance, co-existing on the margins, like the cats and pigeons that fill the book and streets.

Elementary Calculus, by J Carrier. Published by MACK, 2012.

For the better part of the past decade, J Carrier has traveled from Ecuador to Africa to Israel. A self-described nomad himself, Carrier shares an affinity and affection for the men and women in his images. Tightly focused and smartly edited, Carrier has created a compassionate and thoughtful meditation on exile and migration. Two similar images of doves on a wall begin and end the book. Taken seconds apart, they transform the book into a loop and summarize its themes. The solitary doves, like the migrants, inhabit the fringes and cracks of the Holy Land. Nestled between historic landmarks and ancient walls, surrounded by symbols, hampered by economic and social restrictions, they are virtually invisible, yet always in plain sight.—ADAM BELL

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ADAM BELL is a photographer and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA from the School of Visual Arts, and his work has been exhibited and published internationally. He is the co-editor and co-author, with Charles H. Traub and Steve Heller, of The Education of a Photographer (Allworth Press, 2006). His writing has appeared in Foam Magazine, Lay Flat and Ahorn Magazine. He is currently on staff and faculty at the School of Visual Arts' MFA Photography, Video and Related Media Department. His website and blog are and
Classroom Portraits. Photographs by Julian Germain.
Published by Prestel, 2012.
Classroom Portraits
Reviewed by Karen Jenkins

Classroom Portraits
Photographs by Julian Germain.
Prestel, Lakewood, 2012. Hardbound. 208 pp., 110 color illustrations, 12x9".

As someone who has seldom faced a room full of students, I was seduced and a little startled by the (nearly) undivided attention Julian Germain elicited from pupils the world over in his series Classroom Portraits. This tenor of concentration seems to reflect his role not as stand-in for an absent instructor, but as stranger and interrupter of the norm. Their looks convey a tolerance and perhaps wary expectation, born not of hostility, but rather the students' collective ownership of these rooms and their protected reality within. All that these photographs echo of those standardized school portraits, full of orderly rows of classmates smiling on cue, is their deference to a collective rather than individual portrayal. Germain's images offer an intense survey of a shared experience, tapping into surprisingly universal elements of the classroom setting as well as inevitable idiosyncrasies of culture and locale.

Classroom Portraits, by Julian Germain. Published by Prestel, 2012.
Classroom Portraits, by Julian Germain. Published by Prestel, 2012.

The series foregrounds dress as a significant aspect of the classroom portrait, traversing a continuum from uniformity to a persistent self-expression. When clothing signals a change in activity, such as from studies to sport, it is also a telling measure of confidence and ease, or awkwardness and trepidation. Both broad commonalities and more subtle shared elements made some of my own sartorial preconceptions pop. The khaki and drab green uniforms of Yemeni boys conjured up a man's role as soldier, rather than a young scholar. Affixed to the t-shirts of eighth graders in St. Louis rather than politicians' lapels, small red AIDS ribbons seemed newly relevant and sincere. How clothing both obscures and amplifies personality and highlights the parameters of the portrait is seen with both a young Nigerian woman whose face is almost wholly obscured by her niqab and a Dutch girl, whose hands-on-hips, precocious self-awareness manifests in head to toe yellow.

Classroom Portraits, by Julian Germain. Published by Prestel, 2012.
Classroom Portraits, by Julian Germain. Published by Prestel, 2012.

While the reproductions contained in Classroom Portraits are richly wrought and enticing in their depth, the trade-off for including so many large, information-packed images is that the book sometimes feels a bit heavy and cumbersome to handle. A dense section of survey-derived statistics, collected in an attempt to synthesize the interests and aspirations of the students portrayed also follows the photographs. Comprised of a breath of information, both weighty and light, this section was somewhat opaque for me, never yielding the level of insight of the photographs that speak well for themselves. For many viewers whose education is far behind them, the classroom is symbolic of political negotiation, a fear of violence, or foreign aid to reinvigorated nations. Yet in so many ways, Germain's photographs speak to the simple power of being in the room, joining in with others, and the indelible expectations and experiences of those who do.—KAREN JENKINS

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KAREN JENKINS earned a Master's degree in Art History, specializing in the History of Photography from the University of Arizona. She has held curatorial positions at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ and the Demuth Museum in Lancaster, PA. Most recently she helped to debut a new arts project, Art in the Open Philadelphia, that challenges contemporary artists to reimagine the tradition of creating works of art en plein air for the 21st century.
cover of Sunburn
Two of the photographers in our current group exhibition Solar, Chris McCaw and Sharon Harper, have recently published books. Both turned out beautifully and are great compliments to the exhibition.

McCaw's book, Sunburn, published by Candela Books, features a beautiful selection of McCaw's one-of-a-kind sunburned, black & white zen landscapes produced with his handmade cameras. Using paper negatives instead of film, McCaw exposes his landscapes for a very long time, long enough for the negative image to solarize and turn into a positive, long enough for the heat of the sun to burn a hole into the photograph. When designing the book, special care was taken to reproduce the subtle nature of McCaw's work, the details that make his photographs so breathtaking and unique.

This week I have asked Chris McCaw to tell us a little more about his book publishing experience. --Anne Kelly

Opening image of Sunburn which is laser-cut to indicate where the sun burned a hole through the original print

Anne Kelly:     How does it feel to have a book of your photographs published?

Chris McCaw:     Really good. First one! It ended up being the right move to wait until I got the work to a point where I felt comfortable. Initially I was thinking of doing a book right away. The reality is that I am still experimenting and trying different aspects of this process. There is still learning happening. So it was difficult to know when to finally make the move and do it. But with the trips the Arctic Circle and the trip to the Equator under my belt, I felt my work was at a good spot. Also that eclipse last May really sealed the deal.

detail of cut image, font and back
AK:     Tell us a little bit about the process of making the book.

CM:     Well, this being my first book, I thought I was prepared... All the stories I have heard from fellow artists about the process over the past few decades, I thought I was well aware of all the possible issues. In the end I think I was well prepared, but there were still some bumps in the road and now I get the feeling no two books go off the same way.

I was lucky enough to be able to have Gordon Stettinius, my friend and publisher, have the book printed in the States and to make sure I was on press. My works are so weird and abstract and they could be interpreted in so many ways from screen to print. Signed off calibrated digital proofs are NOT ink on paper! They are completely different animals. As I realized this, I also realized the enormous cost of production -- with every change, there is lots of cost. But it was well worth it to be there as the pages get printed. If I hadn't been, it would have been and entirely different book.

from Sunburn

On the design end it was great to be able to work with just three people -- Gordon and Angeline and Charlie of Scout Design in Richmond, VA. Working with such an intimate group of thoughtful and detail oriented folks who help work through your ideas for the book is extremely important.
From what I have gathered from others experiences, I had a fairly rare experience. Also, with Gordon indulging me with all the bells and whistles in the book made for a mostly profitless endeavor, but also made something really special.

AK:     Do you have any advice for photographers who would like to have a book of their work published?

CM:     You will make no money from the book itself. Its purpose is to help get the work out there, hopefully gaining exhibitions and selling some work. My favorite question when I first mentioned doing my book was, "How much of an advance did the publisher give you?" I responded with laughter.

Printing a book is a big deal, not just in terms of the costs, but in terms of the importance of that body of work. Don't rush it. Wait till you have all the work that says what you want it to say. Be patient so it can be something you're really proud of.

from Sunburn

There will be some bodies of work people love, but publishers do not. They have to think about the work in a different way than you might. Also not everything needs to exist in book form. I came to terms with that a long time ago, hence a first book at 40.

The economics of a book are insane and don't take it personally if they shoot you down. Oh yeah, and they ARE going to shoot you down... many times. But that being said, you don't have to listen to the "experts" if they pass on your project. Best thing to do is to prove them wrong.
Prove everyone wrong if you can. That goes for most things in life.

from Sunburn

AK:     Anything extra you would like to add?

CM:     PLEASE do not buy my book through Amazon! Give your money to the folks at photo-eye and Candela Books and support the people who are supporting artists! And get back in the darkroom!

Preorder a singed copy of Sunburn

View Chris McCaw's work at photo-eye Gallery
Read the previous photo-eye Blog interview with McCaw where he discusses his homemade cameras

A selection of McCaw's work can currently be seen as part of Solar on exhibit at photo-eye through the end of November and features the work of seven photographers. A portfolio of work from the show can be viewed here.

For additional information about Chris McCaw or to acquire a photograph, please contact the gallery at (505) 988-5152 x202 or by email.

Palmwine & The Grass Cutter by Nick Neubeck, Photo Cubes by Erik Kessels and Good Rats by Niall O'Brien

Photobooks can be expensive. They're beautiful, collectible pieces of art in and of themselves, but collecting them avidly can get costly. I started working at photo-eye a few months ago and quickly fell in love with the beautiful books we sell and began going through the shelves and unearthing great little books to grow my photobook collection without breaking the bank. Here are some of my recent favorites — all $30 and under.

from Palmwine & The Grass Cutter
Palmwine & The Grass Cutter by Nick Neubeck $12
This wonderful little book containing 32 pages with a smyth-sewn binding, is filled with portraits taken in Ghana and handwritten captions by the photographer. The description states, "this book is a compilation of photos of people, you don't know them, and they're not famous and you will probably never meet them… The point is exploration of the unknown." The book is just that -- an exploration of an unknown people, interspersed with the author's witty hand-written captions. The captions make the book what it is. My personal favorite is a portrait of a smiling Ghanian woman wearing a San Francisco t-shirt with the caption "never heard of it." This book is charming, playful, and a bit mysterious -- just as Neubeck promises.

from Photo Cubes
Photo Cubes by Erik Kessels – original price $26 – on sale for $14.95
The photo cubes that Erik Kessels photographs in this book provide a visual meditation on understanding the kitsch and evolution of the family snapshot. The early 60s and 70s saw new approaches to production and display as photography became increasingly accessible to people all over the world and the dimensionality of the photo cube promised a “new concept in photo display.” The viewer is allowed to discover and create new stories with every turn of the photo cube – a snapshot of a little girl drinking juice is placed next to a photograph of a saddled horse; a portrait of a white haired bearded man sits next to a portrait of a white, furry poodle. The juxtapositions are seemingly endless and the ones presented here are also quite humorous. The stock photos that have been selected by the manufacturers of the photo cubes provide a deeper understanding of the family snapshot as a relic and its varied incarnations over time.

from Good Rats
Good Rats by Niall O’Brien $30 – signed
Niall O’Brien spent five years photographing a group of young British punks in this beautiful, simply stated softbound signed monograph. He captures the boys lounging, kicking holes in walls, fighting, drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and doing other troublesome things that young punks do. What makes this book more interesting however, is the camaraderie captured by O’Brien between the young boys. It is clear that the photographer spent quite a bit of time gaining trust from his subjects and that trust makes this book more than just a collection of photographs of people living on the fringe. It is also a poignant depiction of our shared humanity and desire for community – one that transcends the cultural barriers that these boys are rebelling against. -- Erin Azouz
Was Einem Heimat War. Photographs by Peter Granser.
Published by Bücher & Hefte Verlag, 2012.
Was Einem Heimat War: A Book Review and Fragments of a Conversation about Homeland by George Slade

Was Einem Heimat War
Photographs by Peter Granser
Bücher & Hefte Verlag, 2012. Hardbound. 80 pp., illustrated throughout, 6-3/4x9-1/2".

Was einem Heimat war is a conceptual work; the short letter at the beginning of the book is the emotional counterpart to the unspectacular photographs.—Peter Granser

The title of Peter Granser's newest book derives from that letter, written in 1937 by the Bürgermeister of a village in southern Germany. Translated (context-free by as "what was to a homeland" the phrase pulses at the heart of Mayor Schilling's valedictory epitaph for his town, which was being co-opted by the German army in order to expand its military training grounds. The rolling, open, agricultural landscape of Gruorn was tailor-made for infantry and artillery practice; despite vocal resistance, the villagers were removed, displaced, wiped off of the ground they had worked and sustained themselves from for generations.

Schilling's writing is eloquent and heart-rending. His original sentence, excerpted from the 1937 letter, reads as follows:
Das, woran man mit allen Fasern seines Herzens hängt, was einem Heimat und Existenz, ja in gewissem Sinn das Leben selbst war, hergeben zu müssen, das ist ein tragisches Schicksal, eine kaum vorstellbare Maßnahme. (It is a tragic fate, a barely imaginable measure to be forced to give up that which we cling to with all our hearts, our homeland and livelihoods, indeed in a certain sense life as we know it.)

Was Einem Heimat War, by Peter Granser. Published by Bücher & Hefte Verlag, 2012.

Clinging to—the instinctive, relentless attachment one has to place and person, to person as place and vice versa. Think, parents, of a child who doesn't want to be set down on the ground, in a bed, or a relative stranger's arms. What Granser describes in his modest book is this dative, transitive idiom of action upon or attachment to an object, and what remains in the wake of those actions.
I don't have a personal connection with the village, but as a half-German, half-Austrian of course I do with the German history. This former military training ground is only one hour away from where I live; over 100 years of German armed forces training took place there. PG

Was Einem Heimat War, by Peter Granser. Published by Bücher & Hefte Verlag, 2012.

I wondered, and asked the photographer if he had a specific tie to this place. His black-and-white views of the landscape have a denatured feel to them, as though the land itself has had all the color squeezed out of it and any photographic emulsion would record it accurately in monotone.

Elsewhere Granser has titled these photographs of the Gruorn landscape Spuren—traces. Ironically, through counterpoint and collage his book seems to imply that all of the leached-out color has been absorbed into some oddly appealing though very deadly traces of the land's military past that would rudely interrupt a nostalgic wandering through the uprooted town.
Since 2005 the landscape has been a biosphere reserve and a transformation of the landscape is slowly taking place. A lot of rare species (fauna and flora) can be found, but the area is still contaminated with projectiles and unexploded ordnance and only some paths are open to the public. 
I took photos of the projectiles inspired by the work of biologists, who come to the biosphere reserve. Just as they archive rare butterflies I made an archive of projectiles, missiles, hand grenades, and so on. These objects have a disturbing beauty and I combined them with unemotional black and white landscapes that show the oddments of the people that once lived there and of the military. All of that will slowly be covered by nature. PG
Was Einem Heimat War, by Peter Granser. Published by Bücher & Hefte Verlag, 2012.

One could imagine looking down at one's feet and spotting these lethal, left-behind blooms amidst their grey surroundings. Granser's modus operandi in photographing the projectiles has more than a shade of Becher-ian typology, and perhaps a hint of Avedon's In the American West white-backgrounded catalogue of the exotic and unknowable. Yet the objects remain largely inscrutable, simultaneously mute and threatening, entrancing and repulsive as their violent intentions become apparent.

Pamphlet from Was Einem Heimat War
Inserted into the book is an accordion-folded pamphlet, illustrated with two panoramas. "Panorama II" offers that eyes-down view, what a sapper on his knees might see in the process of unearthing mines, though no blooms blast into view (fortunately). On the recto of this piece, "Panorama I" is a powerful hint about Granser's black-and-white landscapes, which in the book have an eye-level, pedestrian quality to them, as though someone were strolling through the ruins of a town, trying to triangulate familiar paths by feeling the topography, recreating what little rhythms there may have been between one sensed place and another. (Look up spatial mnemonics and the method of loci for related physical/psychological phenomena.) In "Panorama I" a horizontal slit across five panels of black ground reveals the rolling horizon line, in color. Though Granser doesn't state it overtly, this view could best be construed as that of a German Panzerkampfwagen commander, anticipating enemy approaches during tank maneuvers in the late 1930s. Tank as time machine.
In general I can say that my work became too predictable for myself. That's how the changes started. PG

Covers of Peter Granser 2000–2007SIGNSConey IslandAlzheimer and Sun City

Granser, a 2011 winner of the Talent Art Prize from the Helmut-Kraft-Stiftung zur Förderung der bildenden Kunst, has completed five books prior to Was einem Heimat war on a variety of topics in what one might expediently label a "traditional" vein of reportage. Peter Granser 2000–2007 (Super Labo, 2011) surveys his images of distinctive places like Sun City and Coney Island and his interests in Elvis, cowboys, and signs (the last being the subject of SIGNS, a monograph released by Hatje Cantz in conjunction with the 2008 exhibition This Land is Your Land at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College, Chicago).
In my work I am always interested in identity and the loss of it. In my newer projects (j'ai perdu ma tête that will be published by Kodoji in early 2013 and "Heaven in Clouds," a series I worked on between 2009 and 2012 in China) I am, beside identity, very much interested in "home" and its disappearance. This connects my three newest projects. 
Some people are a bit confused looking at my older work and now at Was einem Heimat war. I took a break in 2008 and started to develop my work further. For some time I have been interested in video and sound; I have started to combine these with my photographs for exhibitions. Installation of my work has become much more important. I try to find the right approach to translating a theme.

Even if it is more difficult to integrate sound and video in a book, I am still interested in publishing. In the case of this book the video and the music are present in the special edition, but it was important that the book function without those elements, too. PG
Was Einem Heimat War, by Peter Granser. Published by Bücher & Hefte Verlag, 2012.

Bürgermeister Schilling feared that Gruorn's name would vanish from the maps; he might have been reassured to know that Google Maps can still pinpoint it. More significantly, Peter Granser's imaging work insures that impressions of this disturbed place will remain, and its history will be known in ways Schilling could scarcely have imagined attached to the land he and his fellow residents clung to and called home, a motherland from whose womb, like MacDuff in Shakespeare's MacBeth, they were "untimely ripped."—GEORGE SLADE

[Comments by Granser obtained in email communications with the author on September 10 and 24, 2012.]

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GEORGE SLADE, a longtime contributor to photo-eye, is a photography writer, curator, historian and consultant based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He can be found on-line at