With their book Forensic Foraging: Photography to Unlock the Unseen, William C. Crawford & Jim Provencher unlock and open a doorway that I was thrilled and delighted to pass through.
Billed as "an intimate glimpse into the souls of two contrarian ex-GIs who thrive on doing things with their personal, creative fulfillment as the goal" the book delivers on this. Lavishly illustrated with photographic and textual evidence, the book explores what the authors refer to as "forensic foraging" -- or "elevating everyday subject matter by manipulating contrast, light, coloration and mood." And we see all of this in the photographs and the brief accompanying textual commentaries.
In addition to Crawford's short pithy "riffs" on the photographs (in color and b&W), Jim Provencher has supplied a series of crisply delineated poems from his long-awaited new work THE BORDERLINE ELEGIES. Supplementing this are poems by David Cappella and interviews with and essays about some of the photographers' influences (Stephen Shore, Saul Leiter, etc.).
The book is a rich and intriguing assemblage for the eye and for the mind. I read it in the Kindle edition and am now going to get the print edition to put on my coffee table to invite guests to savor the offerings within.
Forensic Foraging is a shooting approach that can add some much-needed, creative options to modern digital photography. This volume suggests basic, minimalist techniques that help to unlock the unseen in our everyday, visual world. The throwback principles showcased here serve as signposts for the digital shooter who is trying to step back a bit from today’s techno-driven, computer enhanced images.The authors—both lifelong, wandering shooters—share compelling photos that chronicle both their throwback techniques and their ever-driven wanderlust. They also present prose and poetry that offers keen insight into their travels as experienced lensmen. They are not self-described artists, but rather they are simply itinerant shooters.But this book is much more than these descriptions. It is a tour de force revealing a creative friendship that spans the decades since the Vietnam War. It offers the reader an intimate glimpse into the souls of two contrarian ex-GIs who thrive on doing things with their personal, creative fulfillment as the goal. They shoot and write mainly for themselves, allowing others to view their work in a purely flexible, egalitarian manner.