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Focus: Found Faces [Book Review]

Focus - Found Faces 1.jpg

Next to pop-up books I like cut-out books… you know, the ones that have little holes cut into their covers and end pages. Oh and I don’t mind if the price is attractive as well.

Like this one!

This compact book is 19cm square; too large for the back pocket but just right for a backpack. It’s short on words but big on pictures, 245 of ’em, some full page, others two to a page.

Ninety photographers from 26 countries contributed to the book.

The premise is to encourage you to venture out in the big city or the great outdoors with ‘hungry eyes’, searching for picture opportunities “hunting snapshots of beauty, intrigue, or surprise amid the ordinary fodder of the everyday?”

Focus - Found Faces 2.jpg

Faces can appear in the most unexpected places: warehouse windows stare back at us with a grin; electrical outlets glare with a robotic expression; a road grader on a low loader has a determined expression, the visage composed of its tyres and cabin windows;
The book points out that humans are hard-wired to recognise patterns in everything: one of the reasons soldiers wear makeup is to break up the lines of their faces.

The faces are overwhelmingly derived from found objects: a blast furnace, garage door, bathroom basin, etc. Apart from shots of rock falls, a leaf, a tenement wall, very few are taken directly from nature, like cloudy skies etc. An opportunity for you?

Focus - Found Faces 3.jpg

One of my favourite pictures is that taken by Mattia Mionetto of a near-empty beer glass as the photographer recognised the face of Jack Skellington (1993 movie Nightmare Before Xmas) emerging from the foam of his beer. You can find faces everywhere!

The book is good fun and a wonderful jolter to encourage some imaginative image capture.

Senior Editor: N McConville.
Publisher: Lark Books.
Length: 180 pages.
ISBN: 978 1 60059 792 3.
Price: Get a price on Focus: Found Faces: Your World, Your Images at Amazon where it is currently 31% off.

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Barrie Smith
Barrie Smith

is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

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