18 March 2009

Unseen - BPPA

For anyone remotely interested in photography, and especially photojournalism, this new book from the BPPA is very worth taking a look at. 

Unseen is a collection of pictures that for various reasons have never been published. Day in, day out photographers capture the world around us, but more often than not, their images are not published through lack of space, political side-lining or more 'interesting' news stories. The book showcases some of these images - the ones that the picture editors of the world's press passed by. 

I have a copy of the book and it is a hugely interesting body of work. The layout and design is sympathetic to the cause and really lets the images speak for themselves without words getting in the way - for at this level, the pictures are the most important part - they are what tells the story. In other words photojournalism as it's meant to be. 

I was chatting to friend the other day as he was flicking through my copy of the book. His thoughts were as follows:
"I'm glad to have seen the book as it is full of inspirational, depressing, interesting and motivating images. I'm not sure I'd have bought a copy on spec as some of the images may be a little disturbing but having seen a copy, I will buy one." 

Here's the BBPA's statement on the book...


In 2004 our ground-breaking retrospective book and exhibition Five Thousand Days underlined our commitment to bringing outstanding photography to the public. Since then we have been constantly working on new projects, and new ways to showcase our members’ work. UNSEEN is the culmination of one such project. It highlights one of the Association's every day frustrations: that huge numbers of brilliant pictures never see the light of day through too tight deadlines, design limitations or editorial indifference. The images in UNSEEN were selected by a jury of BPPA members, and offers a glimpse of the variety and extraordinarily high standard of the members work.

After spotting that the author Jilly Cooper had written a letter to The Times in June 2008 highlighting the lack of proper photographers bylines, the Association wrote to her to ask that she write a foreword for Unseen, and was delighted when she accepted. Here is an except:

"Thank goodness for Unseen. "The sweetest songs,” wrote Shelley, "'sing of the saddest thought", and these photographs are so beautiful yet compassionate that, despite their appalling images of death, loss, mutilation and destruction, one feels an overwhelming elation and relief that someone has drawn attention to such suffering. Without photographers invading the worse troublespots, armed only with their cameras, so much tyranny and brutality would go unrecorded."

Unseen - Photographs from The British Press Photographers' Association is published on 25th March by Skateboarding Duck and the project was sponsored by Canon.

It is a cloth bound 170x240mm book with 176 pages and 108 photographs (both colour and duotone) and was designed by Stuart Smith (Five Thousand Days - The BPPA, Personal Best - Elliot Erwitt, Inferno - James Nachtwey) the ISBN is 978-0-9561801-0-0 and has a RRP £19.95

So, go take a look at it, or even click the Amazon link below to place an order for it. 
At some point in the future we hope to get hold of a couple of copies which we'll give away as competition prizes. Stay tuned to find out when.....


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