Book Review: In a Landscape by Paul Osborne (Compound Eye)

Posted by thirtyfootscrew On April - 4 - 2009

ial_coverI’d been following Paul Osborne‘s photostream on Flickr (under the name Compound Eye) for some time before he released his book on Blurb and given that all of the photos are available online under Creative Commons you might ask why I’d buy the book in the first place. The answer is that books are nice, especially photography books – it’s just nice to have the book to leaf through, somehow it gives you a better sense of the photograph to see it there in the page and explore it with your eyes without feeling the need to click on anything.

The book is titled In a Landscape and aside from brief introduction it contains no significant text, there are over 100 individual shots broken into chapters by site. The book is printed and published by the print-to-order service Blurb and the price isn’t cheap (starting at £31.95) but the quality you get for the money is extremely good and there’s little to distinguish this from a commercially produced book as far as I can tell.

One of the main reasons I decided to purchase the book is that a lot of people I know just don’t ‘get’ what urban exploration is and what I mean when say that there’s beauty to be found in decay, I think being able to show them a copy of Paul’s book and they’ll instantly see what I mean. So if you fancy splashing out on a treat for yourself, or maybe for someone you know who’s into Urban Exploration then I recommend In a Landscape, I’ll leave you with a few of my favourite shots from the book…

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2 Responses to “Book Review: In a Landscape by Paul Osborne (Compound Eye)”

  1. Compound Eye says:

    Thanks for the review… I am pleased than you enjoyed my book.

    My primary objective was just to gather the best of last year’s work together as a collection – a slightly glossier ‘portfolio’ perhaps, rather than provide an archeological record for any of the sites in the book… Something that, as you have said, can be shown to people when they want to know what urbex photography is.

    Now that I have a better understanding of the Blurb process, I am also looking into publishing smaller, project/site based, volumes which – where possible – will include some historic and diagramatic content to turn them into more of a read and less of a ‘journey of consciousness’… [You would not believe the original and downright surreal observations people have made about my photographs]. At this point I do not know what these titles might be but I am keen to develop some of the themes and collections from ‘In a Landscape’, so watch this space!

    I’d agree with you about Blurb’s pricing appearing high compared to your high street book store, but given the astronomical costs other self publishing companies charge [Bob's Books would have been £100+ a copy for the same hardback option book I am retailing on Blurb for £45!], and the feedback I have had from customers so far, I am satisfied that Blurb represent an excellent opportunity for all artists to get their work printed and out into the world, whether it be 1 copy at a time, or 1000 copies at a time. In a Landscape contains 117 full colour/full page photographs within it’s 128 page count – 116 x 10″x8″ prints, and 1 x 20″x8″ panorama from as little as 27 pence [GBP] each! I do not get any commission for advertising Blurb, but I am quite astonished at what they can do for the price!

    Paul

  2. Esterhusen says:

    I always find his work to be extremely hit and miss, to be honest.
    Far too much bad HDR — that is, HDR which is used for effect, by cranking the dials up to 11, rather than to replicate the way the photographer’s eye saw the image in question, which is what it’s supposed to be used for.

    I find that sort of HDR extremely hard on the eyes and tends to ruin a good shot. Sadly it’s a band-aid for poor photographic skills which explains its widespread popularity.

    In Paul’s case, he’s clearly not a bad photographer — compositionally at least, so it’s a shame he feels the need to indulge in what is effectively the autotune of modern photography.

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If youre into Urbex or youre trying to find out what its all about you may find yourself needing some help finding out about the art of Urban Exploration.  Here at Sick Britain Im planning to put up original content like my What is Urbex? and Urbex Safety articles as well as posting links to other community sites such as 28 Days Later or Derelicte.

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