Book Review: The Quiet Hours: City Photographs

Commotion free

I had never heard of Mike Melman until I saw I reference to this book in Kelly Povo's excellent 'Roadsides: Images of the American Landscape' and so I bought a copy and I'm pleased I did.

The title is correct, these are probably the quietest photos you'll ever see. Melman had the neat idea of capturing the pre-dawn hours of the Minnesota, Twin Cities. No people, no vehicles, and no activity that you expect to see and hear during daylight. Many of the photos are given an extra twist because they were taken in wintertime and the visual presence of snow creates an additional awareness of silence in the viewer.

Of the seventy photos twenty-nine are interiors and as such I don't think they quite have the impact of the exteriors but they still carry the theme of the book. Many of the outside ones work so well using the brightness of security lights (and don't forget the snow) of industry or sometimes just streetlights creating shapes of buildings yet still revealing plenty of detail.

The book is fortunately in the formal photobook style: landscape, one photo per page (in 175dpi on quality paper) generous margins with a location and date caption. Simple and elegant, it lets these quiet images capture your thoughts.

The Quiet Hours: City Photographs is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN)

The Quiet Hours: City Photographs - 01
Typical spread

The Quiet Hours: City Photographs - 02

The Quiet Hours: City Photographs - 03

The Quiet Hours: City Photographs - 04

The Quiet Hours: City Photographs - 05
These two photos are typical of the outside photos. You can almost see the quietness.

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