Rafal Milach: In the Car with R

One of the best things about my job is I get to see a lot of work. Not only do I get to see actually photography, up close and in person, but I also get to see a lot of photography and art books. In fact, sometimes I feel like I see too much and find myself longing for padded rooms and isolation. Normally those times pass quickly and I’m right back in the mix. Sometimes I see a book, or body of work, that for whatever reason I respond to at a deep level. One such body of work is “In the Car With R” by Rafal Milach.

IN THE CAR WITH R from x on Vimeo.

Rafal is someone I’ve written about in the past, but I wanted to try and showcase another of his projects. His work is very different from my own, which is probably one of the reasons I love it so much. It’s more considered than my own, more structured and controlled, but we both are after a documentary style image.

For me, where this project really comes alive is in the book. I enjoy seeing the film and the ability to hear and see not just the images but the location itself, but the book is where my mind returns. I see a lot of photography books with good imagery, and I see others with very solid design, but occasionally you get lucky and find one that is a perfect blend of all the ingredients. I feel this book is a great example. Subtle, quiet yet by the end of the book you feel a real power. It is also a reminder that I have a lot to learn when it comes to design and the realities of blending multiple formats and ideas into one, well-executed, printed motion.

Rafal Milach: Black Sea of Concrete

As many of you know, the Blurb Photography Book Now Contest is open and running for 2011. I’m still somewhat amazed by the number of photographers who DON’T enter this contest. Yes, I work for Blurb, part-time, so factor that in if you wish, but this contest, in my humble opinion, is simply fantastic. The video below, which I found on the FlakPhoto Vimeo Channel, is of former winner Rafal Milach and his “Black Sea of Concrete.” This is the kind of work you are up against, and as important, the design you are up against. Take a look at the judges, the prizes and the potential and decide whether or not you have what it takes to give it a go. Remember, it isn’t a photography contest. This is a photography book contest. Big difference. Oh, and if you haven’t subscribed to FlakPhoto’s Vimeo page you should.

I’ve looked through this book dozens of times and find the images and design to be a near perfect match. There is a quiet feel to the design and photographs that reflect the location, the story and the photographer’s method. The tones and mood match the physical book. The cover makes me wonder and want to KNOW what is inside, and the photographs are as much like paintings as they are images. If you don’t have this book, might think of adding it to your collection.