ICONIC NEW YORK Book Review – Expansive!

Iconic New York

Take photo bites of the Big Apple— to the Core!

Iconic New York
Grand Central Terminal, 2018

After some sparse intro, we turn the page to see five—five!...spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty.  We then follow the photographer flying into Manhattan via a series of aerial photos from high-resolution cameras; then we ferry our way into the city, getting yet another view of Liberty through an Ellis Island window.  The colors (or tonalities for monochromatic photos) are spot on, in the opinion of this photographer.

Photographer Christopher Bliss works with large format cameras to create tack-sharp, carefully composed images of each New York City icon—and icons they are! Bliss has selected important sites, special both for NYC natives and visitors alike.

You will find Bliss’s works in museums.  This is his fourth book on the Big Apple— an expanded edition that includes 50 pages of new photography.  The images in this book are generally grand vistas of urban landscape, many of which are peopled.  This is not, however, a book about New Yorkers. The people are figures in the landscape, not individuals interacting in their neighborhoods.  The approach is expansive, not intimate.

Iconic New York
Times Square, 2018
Iconic New York
Central Park, 2017
Iconic New York
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Lower Manhattan, 2018

ICONIC NEW YORK is for natives and tourists alike

Bliss provides a brief, one-page preface, with translations into German and French, paying homage perhaps to the publisher teNeues’ German home office, and pointing directly to the European tourist as potential buyer. Bliss’s bio, and a facing portrait, take up all of two pages, at the back, with a last page colophon.  Production values—image editing, layout, production, decisions on how much copy to mix in with the images, etc. --  are excellent, in the view of this photographer and devotee of photography books.

You too, however, may find that the large number of photos is both a blessing and a bit of a problem. Some pages include as many as six photos, although most multi-photo pages have fewer, two to four.  Many of the larger images bleed right to the edge of the page, and many cover both left and right pages, cutting the photo in half in the book’s gutter.  Others may concur with this approach to book design; for this reviewer, it’s a little crowded. .  From the point of view of an American reader, a Spanish forward might also be appropriate, since it is the second most-spoken language in the United States.

This is an excellent book for both native New Yorkers and a great souvenir for the foot-sore tourist.  An ideal coffee-table book, it provides viewing pleasure to both the casual peruser and the more dedicated traveler looking for more thorough documentation.  Lovers of architecture and urban space will also love this book.

Iconic New York
Brooklyn Bridge, 2018

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Photo © 2019 Christopher Bliss. All rights reserved

© ICONIC NEW YORK Expanded Edition by Christopher Bliss, published by teNeues,

US$39.95

Visit the ICONIC NEW YORK page on the teNeues website for more information or to purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

Joe Barabe
Joe Barabe

About the Author:

Joe Barabe shares that he fell in love with photography when he bumped into The Family of Man exhibition catalog, and then studied photography under photojournalist Martin Huss in Mannheim Germany. He then ran a photo center for the US Army’s Recreational Services. Joe Barabe works as a Scientific Photographer and Research Microscopist specializing in art materials and documents analysis  (Barabe & Associates LLC) and now is focusing more on promoting his fine art photography, including the remarkable images you see here. and recently launched his photography website to promote his fine art photography. Please Visit Joe Barabe photography website.

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