I bought Alex Webb’s The Suffering of Light. The title is from Goethe: "Colours are the deeds and sufferings of light.” Be that as it may, they are very strong photographs, rich colours, deep shadows
and figures like in another world. He fills the frames, using the edge of the frame.
More to my taste overall, and a very impressive German production, is Fred Herzog, Modern Colour. Although it is advertised as a paperback, it is in fact a hardback. The printing is first class. Herzog shot with Kodachrome for his street photographs, – something more than ‘street’ and way beyond documentary. They are gently observed scenes and details of Vancouver, his adopted home, and elsewhere. The colour is not merely incidental. They are mostly full of light and space, carefully framed but some are a jumble of street colours. The more intense observations include a solitary anonymous arm reaching across the window between the gap in the curtains and the interiors of shops through their windows, cars stranded in back lanes or incongruously perfect in a rundown neighborhood driveway.
The accompanying essays are interesting. He liked to shoot from the hip to avoid the camera up to his eye and altering the behaviour of his subjects. How he kept the camera level for those shots on slide film is beyond me. One reason he used Kodachrome was his busy day job. He shoots a roll of film, puts it in its yellow envelope, into the post box, and a week later he has a box of 36 slides. No darkroom, chemicals and trays and dust and sleepless nights. Of course that consigned them to relative obscurity until they could be properly scanned in the modern era and made more accessible.
Given Book Depository offers free postage it was perverse to have both of these arrive at once. One at a time would have been more moderate.