Okay, Kant has one of the coolest names ever. EVER. No idea what it means or where it comes from but it sure beats the Hell out of my normal name. For this, I am forever jealous. Kant also made a very solid book about street photography.
Now, let’s get something straight. Regardless of how people view me, I am NOT a street photographer. Yesterday, I got another question about my “street work” and I had to remind the asker that I was not a street photographer. Yes, I’ve made photographs on the street before but always as part of a project, a long-term project. The simple truth is that I’m not very good a street work.
Kant on the other hand loves it and IS good at it. Let’s talk about his book. Perfect bound. Beautiful printing. Nice type treatment. Quote from famous photographer. Time element with nod to C19. Series of questions presented throughout book. Printed in the UK. Written, photographed, designed, and self-published by Kant himself. (Never shy away from the self-pub designation. Many of the best books being produced now are utilizing this methodology.)
But let’s talk about why I like this book. It’s a great size. 8×10 ish. Softcover. Smart, saves tons of money, and makes the book more approachable. I could leave this publication out, and in normal times, people would pick this up. It’s just got that easy to consume feel. Printing is excellent. Personally, I’m not really that focused on high-end or perfect printing. I am far more interested in an interesting book with photographs that show a recognizable style I can quickly identify. (Way easier to have great printing and crap work than great work and crap printing.)
I also like the type treatment. Just enough. Tells me the why and then makes me think about something beyond the images. It’s also got the right page count. Not TOO many images. I’ve not looked through the entire book in one sitting as my life is pure chaos, but I keep going back to it. THIS is the goal.
Finally, I believe Kant did a masterful job of showing what is NOT in the book. People. This is a book about isolation, a concept he pulls off nicely. Some of the locations are typically JAMMED with people and yet here we are as a newly isolated species, finding our way through a new world.
Finally, this is not an invasive set of photographs. So many of the young street photographers I see working are doing things that are truly horrible to the folks on the other end of the lens. Seemingly all wanting to be Bruce Gilden but not realizing Bruce Gilden already exists. Jumping out with flash to blast unsuspecting civilians. NOT cool. Kant’s book is the opposite. Intensely quiet. Spacious. Exposed well and composed well. He’s a hunter doing what hunters do.