KL – Nikolaus Wachsman


This is the most comprehensive book I have ever read on the Nazi’s Final Solution and the concentration camps that were established.

It documents  the inception, the running and the demise of them and looks at individual stories of survivors and those who died, including Kapos and Nazis.

The amount of research done to complete this book must have been immense as Wachsman source list is lengthy.

In parts the book describes in detail the treatment of hundreds of victims from the gassing, to the vile experiments that such “people” like Mengele carried out.

72 photographs are added to the book in two places. They show a wide variety of KL related scenes and some are obviously very upsetting. The photographs themselves are simply incredible as a result of the fact that photography was banned in most places these we taken. They are a remarkable record of this shameful event in human history.

Of all the books I have read of the Holocaust this has surpassed all the others.

If anyone shares my interest on this subject, this is a must read.

Vivian Maier, Street Photographer.

Image photographed from the book

This is a beautiful book that presents solely black and white images. To me it has an Elliott Erwitt feel to it in some regards as there are many humorous images in there and some where the main subject are dogs.

It is apparent from this book that Maier was able to build up a good rapport with most people and was unafraid to photograph strangers. I imagine this to be very difficult given it was a man’s world she was living in. To me Maier is a pioneer for women photographers.

The title of the book gives the subjects away, but what is not clear is the natural ability she has for making what could be a boring image, become interesting. She clearly had a raw talent and one that understood basic photographic principles, without any formal training. How clever she was. There are a multitude of different photographic techniques in the book, which draw the viewer in, making you feel you are there, with the subject. Images portray humour, but also the hard nature of the life people around her had.

What I also like is that she does not stick to the white race. There are a number of photographers of the black population, at a time when the vile scurge of racism was still accepted as the norm in America. It is great to see her challenge the pure white photography issue. Very brave.

My favourite image from the book is included below.

Image taken from :- Maloof, J (2011) Vivian Maier, Street Photographer, USA: powerhouse books.

There are  number of reasons why I like this image. I will list them below.

  • symmetry within the frame
  • being in the right place at the right time
  • the cleaner’s shop being in the background, with the two large men cleaning up
  • there are two burly men, dealing with someone who appears to be smaller in stature
  • the faces of those watching in the background
  • the photographer is a lady in a man’s world
  • this is night time flash photography, which is somewhat unusual
  • the cigarette held in one of the men’s mouths
  • I have a number of questions around this about the man?
    • What had he done?
    • Was he drunk?
    • Had he been fighting?
    • Was he being treated fairly?
    • Was he picked on due to his size?
    • What was he wairing a suit?
    • What was his name?
    • What was his job?
    • Where did he live?
    • Did Maier know anyone in the image?
    • How did she know where the action would be?
    • Was she safe on her own in the dark back streets?
    • How did she feel?

I could go on with the questions, as the image raises more questions than answers.

I feel the book is well worth a look and a handy addition to my collection. Maier was new to me, and I have enjoyed her work and will return to it time and again.

References for part one

Akash, G (2014) Gmb Akash, Available at: http://www.gmb-akash.com/about.php (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Artnet (2017) André Lhote (French, 1885–1962), Available at: http://www.artnet.com/artists/andré-lhote/ (Accessed: 05/04/2017).

Artnet Worldwide Corporation (2017) Philip-Lorca diCorcia | art net, Available at: http://www.artnet.com/artists/philip-lorca-dicorcia/ (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

AtgetPhotography.com (Not known) Robert Frank / Biography, Available at: http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Robert-Frank.html (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

AtgetPhtography.com (2014) Helen Levitt / Biography & Images – Atget Photography.com, Available at: http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Helen-Levitt.html (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Bate, D (2016) ‘Documentary and Storytelling’, in Bate, D (ed.) The Key Concepts Photography. Great Britain: Bloomsbury, pp. 53-79.

Cascone, S (2017) GARRY WINOGRAND, Available at: https://fraenkelgallery.com/artists/garry-winogrand (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Casper, J (Not known) John Szarkowski Photographs Old and new photographs made by the legendary curator and critic., Available at: https://www.lensculture.com/articles/john-szarkowski-john-szarkowski-photographs (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Chillee (2009) photo from Omaha, Available at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/chilliee/3463378711 (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Columbia College Chicago (2017) Museum of Contemporary Photography, Available at: http://www.mocp.org/detail.php?type=related&kv=6860&t=people (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Dangerfield, M B (2015) Power to the People | Tate, Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/articles/power-to-the-people (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Dictionary.com (2017) Altrusim | Defintion, Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/altruism?s=t (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Dictionary.com (2017) Integrity | Defintion, Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/integrity (Accessed: 21/03.2017).

Dictionary.com (2017) Integrity | Defintion, Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/integrity (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Dictionary.com (2017) Objective | Define Objective at Dictionary.com, Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/objective (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Dictionary.com (2017) Subjective | Define Objective at Dictionary.com, Available at: http://www.dictionary.com/browse/subjective (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Eggleston, W (2017) WILLIAM EGGLESTON, Available at: http://www.egglestontrust.com (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Erwitt, E (2014) Personal Best , Kempen, Belgium: teNeues.

Gilden, B (Not known) Bruce Gilden, Available at: http://www.brucegilden.com (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Graham, P (2014) Paul Graham Photography Archive, Available at: http://www.paulgrahamarchive.com/index.html (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Hostetler, L (2017) Street Photography. in Oxford Art Online, Available at: http://www.oxfordartonline.com/public/page/GAO_free_Street_photography (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Howard Greenberg Gallery (2017) Joel Meyerowitz – Artists, Available at: http://www.howardgreenberg.com/artists/joel-meyerowitz (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Imperial War Museum (2014) Catalyst: Paul Seawright on Vimeo, Available at: https://vimeo.com/76940827 (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

International Centre of Photography (2017) Jacob Riis | International Centre of Photography, Available at: https://www.icp.org/browse/archive/constituents/jacob-riis?all/all/all/all/0 (Accessed: 22/03/2017).

J. Paul Getty Trust (Not known) Joel Sternfeld – Artists – Luring Augustine, Available at: http://www.luhringaugustine.com/artists/joel-sternfeld/bio (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Jardin, V (Not known) Valerie Jardin, Available at: http://valeriejardinphotography.com (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Jeff (2014) Oh, by the way, Available at: http://ohbythewayblog.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/victorian-ghost-photography.html (Accessed: 30/03/2017).

Kim, E (2017) 12 Lessons Joel Meyerowitz Has Taught Me About Street Photography, Available at: http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2014/01/22/12-lessons-joel-meyerowitz-has-taught-me-about-street-photography/ (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Kim, E (2017) Erik Kim, Available at: http://erickimphotography.com (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Lee, G (2014) 19 Delicious Examples of Irony In Photography, Available at: http://www.sickchirpse.com/irony-photographic-form/ (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Lee, G (2014) Helen Levitt / Biography & Images – Atget Photography.com, Available at: http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Helen-Levitt.html (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

LITERARY TERMS (Not known) Peripeteia, Available at: https://literaryterms.net/peripeteia/ (Accessed: 05/04/2017).

Magnum Photos (2014) Magnum Photos Photographer Portfolio – Elliott Erwitt, Available at: https://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=MAGO31_10_VForm&ERID=24KL53Z1OG (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Magnum Photos (2014) Magnum Photos Photographer Profile, Available at: https://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=MAGO31_9_VForm&ERID=24KL53ZWR0 (Accessed: 23/03/2017).

Magnum Photos (2017) The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and The Enigmatic Meaning of Their Dreams, Available at: https://www.magnumphotos.com/arts-culture/alessandra-sanguinetti-the-adventures-of-guille-and-belinda-and-the-enigmatic-meaning-of-their-dreams/ (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Meltzer, S (2014) The piercing eye of Brassai: the stunning work of a master French photographer, Available at: http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/01/07/the-piercing-eye-of-brassai-a-brief-history-of-a-master-photographer (Accessed: 22/03/2017).

Merriam-Webster, Incorporated (2017) Truth, Available at: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/truth (Accessed: 30/03/2017).

Meyerowitz, J (2015) JOEL MEYEROWITZ, Available at: http://www.joelmeyerowitz.com (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Meyorwitz, J (2015) JOEL MEYEROWITZ, Available at: http://www.joelmeyerowitz.com (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

MoMA (Not known) Mirrors and windows : American photography since 1960 John Szarkowski, Available at: MoMA (Not known) Mirrors andWindows FORIMMEDIATE RELEASE American Photography since 1960, Available at: http://www.moma.org/d/c/press_releases/W1siZiIsIjMyNzE1NCJdXQ.pdf?sha=d8119b413eb7ffaa (Accessed: 28/03/2017). (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Morgan, K (2004) Matthew Brady, Available at: http://www.mathewbrady.com (Accessed: 22/03/2017).

Open College of the Arts (2012) Decoding adverisements | OCA STUDENT, Available at: http://www.oca-student.com/photography-2-gesture-and-meaning-overview/decoding-advertisements (Accessed: 21/09/2017).

Open Walls Gallery (Not known) Street Photography . From early modernity to street art, Available at: https://openwallsgallery.com/street-art-photography/ (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Oxford Dictionaries (2017) Citizen Journalism , Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/citizen_journalism (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Oxford Dictionaries (2017) Context – defintion, Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/context21 (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Oxford Dictionaries (2017) empathy – definition, Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/empathy (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Oxford Dictionaries (2017) Narrative – defintion, Available at: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/narrative (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Palha, R (Not known) Rui Palha Photography, Available at: http://www.ruipalha.com (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Parr, M (2015) ‘All ‘, in Parr, M (ed.) Martin Parr. London: Phaidon, pp. All.

Phillips, S, S (2015) Martin Parr, 3rd edn., London : Phaidon.

Pickering, S (2016) Sarah Pickering, Available at: http://www.sarahpickering.co.uk/Works/Pulic-Order/workpg-20.html (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Ratcliff, C (2003) Cruel and Tender | Tate, Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/cruel-and-tender (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Ritchin, F (2014) Syrian Torture Archive : When photographs of atrocities don’t shock | Time.com, Available at: http://time.com/3426427/syrian-torture-archive-when-photographs-of-atrocities-dont-shock/ (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Robert Klein Gallery (2017) Triplets in Their Bedroom, 1963, Available at: https://www.artsy.net/artwork/diane-arbus-triplets-in-their-bedroom (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

Rosler, M (2014) In Around and Afterthoughts (on documentary photography), Available at: http://everydayarchive.org/awt/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/rosler-martha_in-around-afterthoughts.pdf (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

Schmid, J (2017) Joachim Schmid, Available at: https://schmid.wordpress.com (Accessed: 21/09/2017).

Science Museum (2008) Henry Mayhew 1812-87, Available at: http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/people/henrymayhew (Accessed: 22/03/2017).

Seawright, P (Not known) Sectarian Murder — Paul Seawright, Available at: http://www.paulseawright.com/sectarian/ (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Tate (2008) Street & Studio | Exhibition at Tate Modern | Tate, Available at: http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/street-studio (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Taylor, A (2016) Winners of the 2016 World Press Photo Contest, Available at: https://www.theatlantic.com/photo/2016/02/winners-of-the-2016-world-press-photo-contest/463431/ (Accessed: 21/03/2017).

The J. Paul Getty Museum (Not known) Lewis W. Hine | Getty Museum, Available at: http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/artists/1566/lewis-w-hine-american-1874-1940/ (Accessed: 23/03/2017).

The J. Paul Getty Museum (Not known) Walker Evans, Available at: http://www.getty.edu/art/collection/artists/1599/walker-evans-american-1903-1975/ (Accessed: 05/04/2017).

The Street Collective (Not known) Vineet Vohra – The Street Collective, Available at: http://www.thestreetcollective.com/vineet-vohra/ (Accessed: 28/03/2017).

The Sun (2017) SHE WAS HORRIFIED, Available at: https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3168904/london-terror-attack-photo-muslim-woman-trolled-truth/ (Accessed: 30/03/2017).

Unknown (2017) August Sander | The life, history and work of August Sander, Available at: http://augustsander.com (Accessed: 31/03/2017).

Vesprini, G (2016) Giacomo Vesprini’s Beautifully Surreal Street Photography, Available at: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/giacomo-vesprini-surreal-street-photography (Accessed: 27/03/2017).

Vintage Everyday (2012) vintage everyday , Available at: http://www.vintag.es/2012/09/life-through-kurt-huttons-cameras-lens.html (Accessed: 23/03/2017).

Martin Parr – Book Review

The first thing to comment on this book is the size of it. It is approximately 6 x 5 inches and not the best size when viewing images taken on a medium format camera.

There is a very interesting introduction talking about Parr’s life and his house moves from being born. It talks about how career, his studies, his family and his influences and chronicles his work. It is well written and with some new information coming out of this for me. BUT the rent is very small.

The book then starts with his black and white photographs moving into the colour ones. The images are all titled and come with some excellent commentary.  The majority of the images are on single pages but there are some double spreads too.

The images are Parr’s observations and are narratives in their own right. Some are part of a series, which are all coherent parts of that series. The comments and titles do give them captions which help place the image in the intended context, which is important for students such as myself. The image of the sausages does not make sense to a causal viewer, but with the commentary you can further understand what this is telling us.

I am glad I have bought this but, but let the buyer beware. The images/book are too small to gain a full appreciation of these documents. I have found using the book in conjunction with the book helps gaining a better sight of the images.