Picks and Pans Review: Eye of the Storm
by Ronald W. Wohlauer
This splendidly published portfolio of photographs is divided into three parts. The first, on Scotland, has a man perched on a tall, weird boulder in a surreal landscape of other tall rocks. Even on the streets of Edinburgh, the people are minor elements, the clean old buildings the main feature. Patterns of foam make up one semi-abstract shot, and a single park bench is dwarfed by the magnificence of trees that fill another photograph. The book's middle section, on women, focuses on nudes—slender young bodies arranged before the camera. Two self-portraits of another photographer, as a blurred image observing a carefully displayed female body, are included. The last section is titled "Landscapes," and these are the most spectacular pictures of all: a highway in California; a bridge in Colorado (where Wohlauer lives); stone barns and fences in Yorkshire; rock forms in Oregon. Wohlauer's work has a clarity of detail and a feeling of thoroughness in his selection of subject. The reproductions in this large-format volume are incredibly rich in their shades of grays, too. The printing is beautiful. Almost every photograph is made arresting by an encompassing sense of the pocket of clear air between Wohlauer's lens and his subjects. It's like a vacuum drawing a viewer into the scene. (Godine, $35; paperback, $25)
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