5 Jan 2011

new year, new book

My collection of images I called The Distance Between Us came into being over a year ago. While revisiting my work, I began to saw a number of photographs with two figures interacting with one another through a gesture, eye contact or just being in close proximity to one another. Some of those interactions were obviously intended by both parties, others were not. What interested me was their record of moments that we are all party to, throughout our public lives on the streets. The effect of sharing public space with a random cross-section of others means we experience a level of intimacy that I think is worth cherishing.

I was content to let these pictures live together as a stack of prints. I'd just published two books and wanted to absorb the process and consequences of that. However at the end of last year I felt ready to think about how they could be presented on the printed page.
My original book loved; life; London follows the traditional approach of a monograph: same-size images sequentially presented as they'd appear on a white gallery wall. The second, Portrait of a Street Photographer, is an attempt to put the photographs into the context of why they were made. To reflect the street experience different layouts are used to give the book a rhythm and dissonance. My new book, The Distance Between Us, develops that approach and deliberately presents the images in a fractured way. It's not a printing error!
link to The Distance Between Us by Sean McDonnell
The decision to use this approach was influenced I confess by the new pocket book format that Blurb have released. It's not a friendly format for full frame 35mm street photography but using the dimensions of the pages to determine the crop and arrangement of the images felt natural and in tune with the ideas behind this particular collection.The paper stock is certainly not for the purist but, again, I feel it complements the nature of these pictures and they add up to something greater than the sum of the parts. Hey, I think I've another book title...

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