Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book review: Beyond Casual Vision by Merg Ross

 A wonderful surprise greeted me when I opened up my mail box this past week and found a book sent to me by my friend and fine art photographer Merg Ross called "Beyond Casual Vision." Ross who hails from the San Francisco Bay area has put together his first monograph featuring 63 duotone images from 1953-2016 spread over 144 pages.

 For those of you that may have not heard of this fine photographer, Ross has been photographing for over 60 years and has rubbed shoulders with many of the most famous photographers of the 20th century — Edward and Brett Weston, Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan and the list goes on. In the book Ross will tell you about his close friendship with Brett Weston and what it meant to him and how Brett influenced his work.

 The beautifully printed book is packed with insights into the lives of other famous photographers he has met along the way, including when Edward Weston reviewed his portfolio as a teenager in 1956. Ross's story about his cross country trip across the USA and Canada soon after he graduated from high school is an unbelievable adventure of meeting some of the biggest names in photography in the

 Most importantly Ross showcases his beautiful and thoughtful black and white photographs, using everything from 8 x 10 view cameras to medium format film cameras incorporating traditional photographic darkroom methods. Ross's unique eye for seeing abstract forms is evidently displayed throughout the book, seeing everyday objects in his own unique way, a book that any lover of the arts and especially photography will cherish to have in his or her book collection.

 The softcover book is printed in Canada by LensWork Publishing of Anacortes, Washington and is available for $30 per copy, includes shipping by USPS Media Mail to US destinations. For Canadians the book is US$40 and includes postage.

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