Book Reviews – February 2011

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Photographs by William Christenberry
Essay by Richard B. Woodword
Aperture Foundation
Street: 12.10.10
It’s not often that a photographer’s work is categorized by the type of film that was used, but in the case of this William Christenberry book, that’s exactly what happened. Kodachrome, for those unaware, is a film that Kodak produced for 74 years. It was the first widely produced color film available and was discontinued in 2009. I’m sure you can still find rolls of it on eBay, but don’t bother buying it. For the last several years, Duane’s Photo in Kansas has been the only place on earth that still processed Kodachrome and they stopped on December 31, 2010. What does any of this have to do with this book? A hell of a lot, actually. Kodachrome has a legendary status among photographers as being the best film of all time. It’s the subject of a song by Paul Simon, as well as the name of a National Park right here in Utah. This film is the most archival photography method known to man. It retains its color for years beyond other films and I’m pretty sure Christenberry’s Kodachrome slides from the ‘60s featured in this book will still look great long after all our hard drives crash from overuse. As far as the actual content of the book, it is the 40-year documentation of landscapes (manmade intermingling with natural) in a small section of Tennessee and Alabama. If you’re familiar with William Eggleston, this book is for you. Christenberry is one of those photographers who uses color to his advantage, sometimes even using color as content to make a photograph. This book is a culmination of 400 years of work with a film that was a legend in its own right. That being said, the film was used by a very skilled photographer to make a book that is accessible to most photographers, regardless of personal tastes.  –Sam Milianta

Winter’s Children
Jim Mangan
powerHouse Books
Street: 01.04
Take a moment to think of a few of your favorite things. Are snowboarding and boobs pretty high on that list? If so, you should definitely check out Winter’s Children. Everyone always talks about taking the last run of the season in the buff, but hardly anyone actually has the balls. Photographer Jim Mangan rallied a group of particularly free-spirited shredders to trade their outerwear for vibrantly colored Mexican blankets and strap into some seriously vintage boards—all while he documented their nude adventure on 35mm film. Winter’s Children will surely freak out the future children of everyone involved, but it captures a way of thought that has long since left the snowboarding industry. By stripping down, these riders brought snowboarding back to its roots—before lift-line fashion and energy drink sponsors were an integral part of the sport. Mangan has had a heavy hand in the snowboarding industry for a hot minute—first as a pro, then as the park director for PCMR and finally as a talented filmer and photographer. Winter’s Children is Mangan’s final project of his more-than-decade-long career in the industry. His photos capture the attitude and passion that made him, and many others, fall in love with snowboarding in the first place. This book is a perfect closing statement for a man who has influenced the way we see snowboarding for so many years. With a foreward written by the legendary and always funny Peter Line, tons of amazing images and a few marginally risqué quotes by the riders, Winter’s Children is a must-have for any snowboarder who’s looking for a throwback to the old days.
–Katie Panzer