3.19.2012

A quirky, fun and thoroughly enjoyable book overtly and incidentally about the hobby and art of photography.

This book is fun, smart and sly.  Click to see the Amazon Page.

My mailbox seems to be a mythical, magical place.  One day I came home to find a box full of LEDs shoved into the tiny, metal, barrel-vault construction.  One day I came home and found $45,000 worth of Phase One equipment next to my door because it wouldn't fit in my mailbox.  No signature required... Sometimes I find letters from readers from exotic places...

But last week I came home and found a nondescript but bulky envelope that contained a smallish book and a note from one of my readers.  His name is K.D. Dixon.  He is a photographer for fun and a serious writer.

His note suggested that I might like his novel about photography and called it, "A quirky catalogue of imaginary photographs, it is an idiosyncratic mix of character study and meditation--a glimpse into the life of a peculiar photo-enthusiast named Michael Quick and a questioning, if somewhat cursory, examination of his private obsession (photography)."  The book is entitled: The Photo Album.

Now, first a quick warning to my obsessive compulsive mathematician friends and non-fiction readers:  There are no equipment reviews.  No "behind the scenes" set up descriptions or diagrams.  No teeth gnashing battles between the forces of light (Raw files) and the forces of darkness (Jpegs).   You won't find principled discussions of the role of social networking in marketing your photographic enterprise.  Nor, in this book will you find any real discussions of technique.  I would also point out that while there are no color illustrations.  I hope we didn't just look 90% of the audience...

What you will find are 130+ really incisive observations about life and photography that made me laugh and smile.  Some are encapsulated discussions of the very things we talk about here, such as "why take photographs?" or why people like to take photographs of some things but not others.  There is no story line, per se, but there is an arc to the work that strings the pages together.  It's the kind of book that you can pick up, read until the sun sets or your glass of wine becomes empty, then bookmark; knowing you'll pick it up again soon and that you needn't remember the precise plot points of a complex narrative to enjoy your next dip into smartly written and questioning vignettes of everyday life through the eyes of a photographer.

There are so few books like this.  And there are so few that are written as well for photographers of a certain age and experience.  If you like the Visual Science Lab it is my opinion that you will love this little book.

I have one problem with this book.  I want to keep it and come back to it again and again.  In fact, there is one page that I'm going to use to open a talk with on Thurs.  But I also want to give it to one of my good friends who is a photographer as well.  I think he'll really appreciate the feeling of commonality among enthusiasts that this book conveys.

Hey.  It's the price of a decent lunch.  Buy a copy and see for yourself.  It's on my "Recommended for Smart Photographer Who Like to Read list.  Check it out here.

7 comments:

Don said...

Time for Amazon to re-order. Bagged the last copy. So glad to see something like this and I cannot wait to get it in my hands.

Great find, Kirk.

kirk tuck said...

If Don bagged the last one do not despair, I'm sure Amazon will re-stock. In the meantime it is also available as a Kindle book and an e-pub book. Something for everyone.

Tony's Vision said...

The "photographs" come through just fine in the Kindle edition. Thanks for the tip. Faint echoes of Susan Sontag's, "On Photography" here ...

kirk tuck said...

But I think more accessible and nuanced. I hope you like it as much as I do.

kirk tuck said...

Wow. The response has been amazing. I would love to see some people post reviews on the Amazon when they finish reading.

Robert McArthur said...

Thanks Kirk for the notification - I've ordered through your link.

Bill Kongable said...

I downloaded the Kindle version and could not see the photographs. Amazon customer service tried to fix it but could not, so they gave me a refund. i was looking forward to reading this after your review.