Photography Zines and Books No: 41
It’s great to see the zine game is still going strong as we get a chance to run through some of the goodies that make their way to JCH HQ recently. It always puts a smile on my face seeing the passion and care that goes in everyone’s work so without further ado let’s dive into the latest batch.
I never get tired of seeing great new work and sharing it with all of you. But I need you all to keep on sending them in. Keep them coming by following this link. I love all of the books and zines and they are all proudly displayed on the shelves in my office.
Enter the City by Tatsuo Suzuki/ Tadashi Onishi
- 100 pages / B5 size (257×182mm) [Tatsuo Suzuki 50 pages/ Tadashi Onishi 50 pages]
- 1st edition of 200 copies
This book exemplifies Japanese street photography now. Composed of black-and-white photos taken throughout Tokyo’s bustling wards, Enter the City is divided into two parts. One half is taken by Tatsuo Suzuki and the flip side is shot by Tadashi Onishi, both member of the street photography collective Void Tokyo.
In his half of the book, Tatsuo Suzuki captures the frenetic energy of the chaos that is Tokyo through richly toned black and whites. His images are moody and chaotic yet with humor thrown in as well. It kinda reminds me of a more modern digital Moriyama if you will in tone.
His fascination with Shibuya is apparent and the majority of the shots were taken there. He mixes in street portraits with the scenery to make the city more fascinating. After all it is the relationship between the two that draws out the charm of this city.
Tatsuo Suzuki’s use of long exposures and high contrast serve to emphasize the overwhelming experience of navigating a massive urban environment. While scenes like Shibuya crossing and packed trains are rather mundane, he manages to add his own style and provide interesting shots that you wished you had taken.
The other half of Enter the City by Tadashi Onishi and replicates the theme of unexpected meaning and beauty in the mundane. In contrast however i find his approach more simplified graphically and emphasizes lines and textures. Tadashi has a knack to shoot objects more than people, giving it a more diverse view of the streets.
He shoots the street every morning and every night in Shinjuku on his way to and from work. Love his sharp eyes and how he spots peculiar random items and the hilarious sequencing. The cut pineapple on the ground and the wigs in a basket is a nice example of this.
The book is printed very well and has a slight gloss to the paper. It works for these type of photos as the reflective blacks in the shadows suits the mood and tone. The grain in the midtones too are sharp and not muddled. The book is sold out in most outlets but is available on Tadashi’s website.
- International/ 20 Euro + shipping
- Domestic(Japan)/ 2000 yen + Shipping 400 yen
To check out more of their work:
India One / Italy One by Aziz Ansari
A pair of a zines by actor/director/writer/standup comic Aziz Ansari. If you hadn’t already known, Aziz is quite the photography enthusiast and has decided to make a couple small zines to reflect that passion. This one obviously features photos from his time in India.
The images featured in the zines were shot on a Makina 67. The stellar lens and huge negatives are on full display as you peruse the every day scenes. I particularly liked the shot with the kids on their motorbikes and the woman opening the door on the left.
The second of the twin zines features shots taken from a trip to Italy and what seems to be mostly in Naples. While India One had some portraits thrown into the editing, Italy One is comprised entirely of street candids. As such it’s less engaging and gives a voyeuristic feel to the zine.
As with the first one, the print quality is pretty good for a paper zine. The matte paper feels good to touch and maintains the rich colors and textures of the Tyrrhenian Sea. The sunlight colors come out nicely as well.
To pick them up yourselves, head over to the publisher Dashwood Books website here.
Beyond the Square by Dominique Pierre-Nina
Beyond the Square is self-published by Mauritian/Australian photographer Dominique Pierre-Nina. He chose the 6×6 ratio for his second book because this framing draws the eye towards the subject without peripheral distraction. It compresses the viewer’s attention more intensely on the specific subject and invites contemplation of it.
The compilation of images were shot on Ilford film and taken on a Hasselblad 500cm and Fujifilm GF670 in Switzerland, Sri Lanka, London, Japan, Iceland, the Arctic and Australia.
I like the choice of black and white as the book is a study of form and composition. I’ve always found the square format difficult to work with in terms of storytelling so the relationships between juxtaposed images is done well.
I enjoyed the layout of these pages above here. It gives a nostalgic feeling for old family road trips to the mountains.
To check out a copy for yourself go here
Fragments of Obsession by Benn Murhaaya
The follow up to his previous book Forms of Obsession, Fragments of Obsession contains a mix of photographs that he wasn’t able to include previously with new work. It’s meant as an “evolution” of his observations. The print quality is excellent and the glossy choice of paper complements S&M latex accordingly.
Again it’s all analog black and white photos and organized chronologically so it is meant as a sort of diary. It too is a thick and slick book with the same format, similar themes of latex, high heels and concrete.
All the pages on the left are blank, emphasizing the chosen frame on the right and making the book deceptively big. While the BTS style candid shots add a documentary style feel, it is the portraits with the film frame borders that i find most intimate and fascinating. The inclusion of some torn prints is a nice touch.
To see more, there’s a video of him leafing through the book on his site. Purchases can be made there as well.
Ben Murhaaya’s IG
Thanks to all the guests for their submissions, it is a really cool thing to be able to share them all with you. And remember, this is open to everyone, all you need to do is send one to me. If you would like to have your zines or books featured then all you have to do is mail me. Hopefully there will be plenty more of you who want to get your books and zines out there to the world. Another installment will be coming soon.