Thursday, April 30, 2009

Photography and Cinema by David Campany

It is no secret that David Campany is a friend to Errata Editions since he contributed the essay to our study of Eugene Atget's Photographe de Paris so risking cries of cronyism I highly recommend his book by Reaktion called Photography and Cinema. This yet another title in the interesting Exposures series which is being edited by Mark Hayworth-Booth and Peter Hamilton.

Photography had been in existence for about sixty years when the Lumiere brothers were granted a patent on their movie camera and projection system. One of their early films from 1895, a static shot of the arrival of The Photographic Congress to Nueville-sur-Saone, records men walking down a gangplank and passing through the frame. One man pauses with a large plate camera, snaps a photograph and moves back into the flow. This act caught on film, whether a real image was made by the photographer or not, marks an interesting start for Campany's exploration of the multitude of points where these two mediums have cross paths.

For someone new to those crossroads to those familiar, this expanded dialogue covers the spectrum with an ease and intelligence that avoids being pedantic or dry. With photographers fascinated with film (Crewdson, Sherman, Klein) to film-makers fascinated with still images (Varda, Marker, Antonioni) Campany considers the various approaches and explores the nature of those relationships. In well over one hundred illustrations that provide complex examples which extend far beyond the expected, Campany assembles "the missing history in which photography and cinema have been each other's muse and inspiration for over a century."

By the way, if you don't trust my objectivity, Photography and Cinema just won the And/Or Moving Image Book Award (Kraszna-Krausz Award) which was just announced this past week. Congrats David!