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Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Speciality Blogs, Publications and the Velvet Cell

Crossing Over | Yanina Shevchenko

I always wonder why there aren't more speciality photography blogs such as Prison Photography, blogs that look with a certain intensity at mental health and photography, age and photography, crime and photography and so on.

Then I look again at Prison Photography and wonder at the consistency and amount of work it takes up, and it's not that much of a surprise. Still it would be nice to have a few more of those focussed blogs around - the kind of thing you have pinterest pages for, but not blogs with coherent added text that helps transform the sea of images into something more.

Or maybe those blogs do exist but I'm missing something.

Anyway, there is more to life than blogs. There are books. √Čanna de Freine The Velvet Cell sent me his two latest publications which show a particular interest in landscape.

Crossing Over by Yanina Shevchenko is a bijou book about the Trans -Siberian Railway and the Russian landscape. It's a quietly depressing book filled with bleak but evocative landscapes. It's how Siberia is supposed to look.

Accompanying the images is a short essay - it's informative and accessible but serious, a sign of what de Freine is trying to do with the Velvet Cell.

It's not a terribly complicated thing to do. It's very simple really. But the text puts history, identity and a certain amount of pain into the pictures. It adds something and brings the pictures out into a wider world.

Closed for Winter by Isidoro Ramirez also has a text which looks at the emptiness of resorts that have emptied for Winter and how once emptied, these places become sites for the viewer's inner architect to wander.

I'm not sure if I buy completely into that, but it's refreshing to see these ideas put down in small book form

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