Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Focus Magazine

When running errands at Masonville I dropped into Chapters looking for photographic inspiration. The Masonville Chapters' photography section is right beside the washrooms ( I guess something has to be) and is in a run down much thumbed state with any interesting coffee table books with torn dust covers and looking not worth buying. I did flip through a copy of Helmut Newton's Sex and Landscapes and a soft cover reprint of Edward Weston's nudes however. The latter I have been eyeing for some time and if I ever see a good copy of it in hard or soft cover I might pick it up. His work is awesome in its simplicity and sensuality.

Nude, 1936 227N by Edward Weston

The section is scattered and misfiled with Diane Arbus beside Edward Weston alphabetically and so on. I spent some time seeing if there was anything wedged between two other unappealing volumes but no luck. Eventually, I went over to the photography magazines to see what was there. It was a bit better except for the guy who seemed intent on tearing open a shrink wrapped UK photo magazines, and making a mess and blocking the racks of that section yo the point I actually had to reach around him before he moved ever so slightly out of the way.

The highlight was seeing the once in a while collectors edition of Focus Magazine. It's a thick heavy fine art photography magazine and sometimes has little appeal (I dont like every type of photography after all) and other times is full of wow. This was the latter. There were interviews with the late Ruth Bernhard - whose 1971 Spanish Dancer image is awesome; Connie Imboden who has some very cool images that play with water and fire and etched mirrors; landscape photographer George Tice ( his Petit Mobil Station got me thinking about finding an out of the way gas station in the summer) and brilliant portrait photographer Arnold Newman - who sadly died about three months after the interview took place at the age of 88. He was one of the first recognized non studio photographers who preferred to shoot subjects in their surroundings and not in the sterile environment of a studio. You can see how he appeals to me. :) There were also some fantastic images as one page ads for individual photographers or galleries. Started the wheels turning for sure.

Spanish Dancer by Ruth Bernhard

Oh and original prints of George Tice's Petit Mobil Station - below, start at $7,000 for an 8x10. Can you imagine? :)


Mike Wood Photography

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