Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

Books On Books

Errata Editions had an interesting idea with their new 'Books On Books' series. They describe their series as an 'ongoing publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or expensive for most to experience'. I love photography books and thought this was a wonderful idea, so it was with great enthusiasm that I purchased Volume 1 Atget: Photographe de Paris, the newly released first book in the series.

Despite the fact that I was really looking forward to this series, I found myself quite disappointed when I received the book. The series plans, as Errata puts it, that ' Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study of the creation and meanings of these great works of art. Each volume in the series contains illustrations of every page in the original photobook....'. However, the majority of the images in the book are not even the size of a single page.....and the book size itself is quite small at approximately 10 x 7 inches. On many pages, the original Atget book is reproduced with four pages on the one page of the Errata Edition with images of the photographs measuring less than 2.5 x 3 inches.

I fully understand that the Errata Edition is not simply for photo enthusiasts, but was also meant for serious study, and that this would mean including every page so that a feel for the flow of the original could be appreciated. Nonetheless, the very small size of some of the images in the book markedly detracts from the ability to enjoy the photographs. The book would have been far more succesful, in my opinion, had they simply reproduced the Atget book at its original size, page for page, and added the original essays as well as the new essay for the Errata volume to it. I do understand the logic for producing it in the way they did, but, in my mind it simply doesn't hold up as a book that I want to own. The artifact was given far more importance than the artwork itself. Don't get me wrong, the current Errata edition might be the perfect presentation for some uses, but, to me, it does not hold up as a way to appreciate the artistry of the original.

by Howard

© Howard Grill