Book Review: Soviet Ghosts: The Soviet Union Abandoned: A Communist Empire in Decay

Urban Exploring (or UrbEx) is almost a cliched activity these days with some popular sites being overrun by photographers and left in a dissimilar state to that in which they were found.

I've not done a huge amount of Urban Exploring but what i've done i've loved.  Back in April I flew to Arkansas to look for abandoned churches which was great fun.

The first chapter detailed the scrapes the author got into in attempting to get the photos in the book.  After that it was more putting the photos into a historical context and whilst interesting i'd have far preferred more personal tales than reading what became a history book.

Some nice photos though.  For the price it's still worth getting.

 

Favourite books of 2014 - Part Two.

Just a reminder that this is a list of the favourite books that I got in 2014 rather than than books that were necessarily published in 2014.

 

Mike Brodie - a Period of Juvenile Prosperity
£48.50
Twin Palms Publishers

I think I connect so much with Mike Brodie's "A Period of Juvenile Prosperity" simply because it's an idea that i'd LOVE to do but know I never will.

To nab the product description;

"At 17 Mike Brodie hopped his first train close to his home in Pensacola, FL thinking he would visit a friend in Mobile, AL. Instead the train went in the opposite direction to Jacksonville, FL. Days later, Brodie rode the same train home, arriving back where he started. Nonetheless, it sparked something and Brodie began to wander across the U.S. by any means that were free - walking, hitchhiking and train hopping. Shortly after, Brodie found a Polaroid camera stuffed behind a carseat. With no training in photography, the instant camera was an opening for Brodie to document his experiences. As a way of staying in touch with his transient community, Brodie shared his pictures on various websites gaining the moniker "The Polaroid Kidd" [sic]. When the Polaroid film he used was discontinued, Brodie switched to 35mm film and a sturdy 1980's camera. Brodie spent years crisscrossing the U.S. amassing a collection, now appreciated as one of the most impressive archives of American travel photography. When asked about his approach to travel and photography Brodie has said "sometimes I take a train the wrong way or...whatever happens a photo will come out of it, so it doesn't really matter where I end up."

 

Magnum Contact Sheets
£29.25
By Kristen Lubben

A BEHEMOTH of a book this is actually what you'd imagine it is.  Containing the quality of photography you'd expect from Magnum photographers you get to see them within the context of the contact sheets (which, in the digital age, I really miss).

Book Review: The Open Road Photography and the American Road Trip By David Campany

This is a beast of a book.  I recommend both hands and a winch to pick it up.

Having been lucky enough to drive through some of Route 66 and have the wish to, one same, drive the whole route I have a great fondness for that part of America.  Left alone it feels like a piece of forgotten America and one which I hope remains unchanged for as long as is possible in the face of seemingly unstoppable progress.