For my birthday last year my brother asked me what I would like and I told him to get me some nice photography/art books or magazines. He didn’t really know what to get me (and to be honest it’s still a pretty broad request) so I went with him to the book shop in Arnolfini to show him what kind of things I would like, It turned out just me choosing what he would get me. Anyway, this is slightly beside the point, What I wanted to say is that he (well, I did choose it) got me a book called “Tokyo Taxi”.
This is a book by the photographer Alexander James and it documents nearly all the vibrant taxi signs of Tokyo. To put in in perspective this book is about 6 inches across and 7 inches down which is a pretty nice size for a photography book seeing as it’s the same size as a medium format negative. Here are some examples of the images in the book.
It’s a really nice simple idea executed excellently, lots of nice close depth of field and small appatures producing some delicious bokeh (which is the photographic term for the blurred out background, “The term comes from the Japanese word boke (暈け or ボケ), which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji (ボケ味), the “blur quality”. The Japanese term boke is also used in the sense of a mental haze or senility.” – Wikipedia). Along side the nice images there are some interesting anecdotes from some of the drivers about their life as a taxi driver and different fares they have picked up.
Anyway, I just wanted to share with you what I think is a photography book done well. It’s not too serious yet it isn’t just a throwaway, plus it’s really nicely printed, for example in a lot of cheapish photography/art books (like this one as it’s only about a tenner) when there is a picture printed across a binding you can’t see the middle where as this lays flat to see the entire picture. And coming from someone who has received this as a present, I can recommend it. Thanks for reading!