October 19, 2013

Review: Humans of New York

Humans of New York
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The three stars is not for Stanton's HONY photographs, which are fascinating, gorgeous, heartbreaking, humbling, and yes, human. Rather the lower score is for the layout and format of this book. It seems like the designer had no idea how to present photographs, the publisher lost a battle over the format, and an editor cut the captions with too heavy a hand. Too many beautiful pictures are broken awkwardly over the gutter, destroying their impact, and the squat, vertical trim is all wrong for presenting photographs. Even the paper sucked up the colors which are often so dazzling online. Most hurtful, though, were the truncated captions, which often reduced the sentiment to jokes, or worse, mockery of the subject . . . which is something alien to the spirit of Humans of New York. So five stars for Brandon Stanton's photographs, and a mere three stars for their physical presentation. I sincerely hope their fix the issues in the next collection. (And meanwhile, I'm buying a few copies of this book to present to friends.)

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