“Photo Opportunities” – Book Review

“Photo Opportunities” by Madeline Yale and Corinne Vionnet (Kehrer Verlag)

corinnevionnet_photoopportunities_book01[1] corinnevionnet_photoopportunities_cover[1] corinnevionnet_photoopportunities_book02[1]Photo books are an intriguing corner of the publishing world. As the world glides toward the fully digital, a solid coffee table book still commands attention. But what of a slender paperback book of photographs? And what about one that is comprised of digital photos gathered from online photo sharing sites?

In the case of “Photo Opportunities” the concept works. Swiss artist Corinne Vionnet pored through myriad snapshots by tourists visiting iconic sites (the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Statue of Liberty, Stonehenge, St Mark’s Square, etc.). By layering the images she reveals that subtle variations can emerge. The result is an engrossing series of perspectives, echoing Monet’s impressionistic visions of his beloved water lilies. All crispness is lost, but a more dreamy atmosphere is created. Having lived in Kuala Lumpur while the Twin Towers were being erected, I am especially enamored of Vionnet’s treatment.

Intriguingly, this set of images would likely be effective as a slide show, slowly dissolving one to another in a darkened room with some ambient music by the likes of Brian Eno.

This photo book is a very clever blend of the analog and the digital worlds.

Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.