A useful reference on using so-called toy cameras with emphasis on the Holga and Diana (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holga & http://en.wikipedA useful reference on using so-called toy cameras with emphasis on the Holga and Diana (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holga & http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_ca... for more information). Bates, who has used a Holga for the past 20 years, provides a good overview of the history and the work that can be created from these cheap, nearly entirely plastic cameras. As she notes in the introduction to this second edition, much has changed in the world of toy camera photography. More exhibitions and competitions have emerged as a result of the renewed interest in this family of cameras, and medium format film remains in production, despite the continued decline of film photography. "Plastic Cameras" distills much of the available advice online into a readable text. While Bates does cover many of the processes involved in film photography and film processing, do not expect technical discussions on f-stops, ISO, and the like. This book is aimed at anyone who owns a Holga and/or Diana camera and wants to learn more about their limitations, how to work around them, and how to use them for one's artistic ends....more
Quick points: - Easy to see how each story reflects Oates' personal history, which seems to influence her own writing - All worthwhile reads but here arQuick points: - Easy to see how each story reflects Oates' personal history, which seems to influence her own writing - All worthwhile reads but here are the stories that stick with me: "The Identity Club" by Richard Burgin; "Delmonico" by Daniel Handler; "Jack Duggan's Law" by George V. Higgins; "The Shooting of John Roy Worth" by Stuart M. Kaminsky; "Until Gwen" by Dennis Lehane; "The Shoeshine Man's Regrets" by Laura Lippman; "Case Closed" by Lou Manfredo; "Public Trouble" by Kent Nelson; "Officers Weep" by Daniel Orozco; "The Last Man I Killed" by David Rachel; "One Mississippi" by Joseph Raiche; "The Love of a Strong Man" by Oz Spies. - I'm not going to attempt to provide a summary and analysis of these stories. I mean, how do you compete with Oates? Especially when she takes Edmund Wilson (!) to task for his characterization of mystery stories as being overwrought and focused too intently on the plot. ...more
The majority of what's collected in this book are reviews, but they sometimes read like essays. Because of this, Bierut's writing refers to controversThe majority of what's collected in this book are reviews, but they sometimes read like essays. Because of this, Bierut's writing refers to controversies and hot topics at the time and they occasionally show their flaws in the light of the passing years. Some are remembrances of influential designers, artists, photographers, and creative persons who have recently passed away and played some role in shaping Bierut's life. But the best work comes in the form of the more recognizable essays, that is, the writings that transcend time while capturing it. A shining example of Bierut's congruent power of writing as a designer can be seen in "On (Design) Bullshit." Bierut recounts one of the major confrontations between architect Richard Meier and artist Robert Irwin in the 1997 documentary, "Concert of Wills," which chronicles the construction of the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He finishes the piece with an example from his years working as a designer with Massimo Vignelli. What is evident in reading these 79 articles is that designers are influenced by any and everything, even falling off a treadmill at the gym.
Given that this is a book on design written by a notable designer (Bierut is a partner in renowned international design agency Pentagram), the content and how it is packaged are presented in a clever manner: each article is presented in a different typeface, most of which is connected to or referenced in the article. (See "I Hate ITC Garamond.")...more
A collection of personal essays centered on design, Ilyin voices the doubts some of us have when we see a chair, fork, or table in a catalogue that loA collection of personal essays centered on design, Ilyin voices the doubts some of us have when we see a chair, fork, or table in a catalogue that looks perfectly designed with its clean lines, brushed stainless steel surface, and its hefty price tag. We see these items for their promises of a better life after we slide our plastic cards through the checkout line and bring back the haul into our homes. But these promises can often be nothing more than hollow and imbalanced, despite appearances. Even when we choose imperfection, as Ilyin notes with great insight, it's for the "right" type of imperfection.
"What will happen to us as a culture when we have been completely conditioned only to choose between options, rather than to come up with solutions?" Ilyin asks. It's a question that goes beyond the world of design....more