This review is written by Robin Benson.
The streets are alive
New York delivers yet again. Even before the Photo League, Weegee, Berenice Abbott and her 1939 masterpiece 'Changing New York' the city has bought out the creative best in so many photographers. This book confirms that Robert Herman has felt the cities vibrancy and produced some wonderful photos.
What I liked about so many of these images is the color. An ordinary street scene suddenly comes alive because Herman has seen the richness of a yellow wall with red graphics (page thirteen) or red brick building with green painted ironwork with the addition of a large piece of cloth falling to the road (page forty-seven). The book's cover has elements of this color richness: the green car with a red building and green window frames seen through the car's windows and to make it even more interesting two passerby and the reflection of another vehicle.
Like the best photobooks the flow of images as the pages are turned works so well. Long shots, medium distance shots and portaits of individuals (plus the occasional blank page) blend together seamlessly. The book's format also helps, the eighty-eight photos are mostly same size landscape shots centered on the page plus wide margins and printed on good matt art with a 175 screen.
Most of the photos are from the eighties but they all have a rather timeless feel and I think they'll look just as fresh next year or in ten years time.
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One of sort of shots that always work, strong foreground but in the distance rich detail that pulls the eye around the composition.
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