Sporadic light decoratesdouble page spreads, dancing amongst photographs of quiet value. Monotone in voice, the pictures act as sketches to the imposing light, forming yellows, greens, blueish hues to purple sightings. The photographs do not reek of independent gain, but curious moments similar to conscious thought. As each page flows with the alluring light, bleaching the moments in between pictures.
To take the photographs on individual merit is not possible, as their nature of sketches congeal with light exposure to make up a combination picture. A picture that would drown unless the safety of the light markings weren't there to rescue it. Its funny, I showed the book around a range of ages, from reluctant 16 year olds, excited 6 year olds and astute 50 year olds and everyone has been spellbound by the colour involved. The pictures become almost irrelevant.
Alas, these images are half the ingredient and although they do not stand as 'strong' images, and some may come across as quite 'nice' - they are sketches - to my mind.
As the title suggests, an analysis attempts to understand the wildlife. Their qualities as images reveal an investigation into our natural surroundings. Our familiarity with scenes of greenery, even if its not shown, stays thick in our minds. The countryside is potentially permanently printed into our minds and in fact foliage is so familiar we barely even acknowledge its presence. In the photograph taking a back seat, the life is put back into these scenes through photographic technique, beautiful dancing light surrounding everything, matching beautiful scenes that usually go unnoticed.
Where the analysis comes in is masked behind ambiguity. The dancing light might search for answers but whether anything is found remains to be seen. Their aesthetic entrances us and I'm not sure how much further it goes. Although this is not a bad thing and their questioning qualities get us thinking, aesthetically dancing like children in our youth helping re spark what we might have lost. The book kick starts us into a positive mindset, as their intrigue gets the mind rampant and our eyes are alert once again.
When photography seems pretty figured out, Bryan Graf comes along with a modest book, printed with care, smelling like a hard graft with the ambition to understand something new. A lot of this, I feel, is in the photographers head and does not always translate, but it cannot be denied that the work gets our minds racing. In a time where our minds are numbing from bombardment of repetitively similar imagery, he is offering something different. This is why it fills a place on my bookshelf.