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Book Review: Retrospective. Phil Cosker

Photographer: Phil Cosker
Book title: Retrospective

Size: 250mm X 210mm X 18mm (Landscape format)
Images: 128 pictures each sized 210mm X 140mm
Weight: 906g
Dust cover?: No
Boxed?: No
Loose Print included?: No
ISBN: 978-1-36-726937-8

Purchase price: £45.00.

Described as a ‘retrospective’, Phil’s new book spans a 50 year period up to the present day. Beautifully observed pictures from a half-century of looking.

The images in the book currently (Late 2016) form a series of exhibitions throughout Lincolnshire; some grouped together, like the ’Snaps’ Exhibition at the Sam Scorer gallery in Lincoln, and others on their own, printed large, very large even and exhibited in churchyards around the county.

Phil’s work comprises both black and white and colour  images derived from film and digital cameras, though the landscape pictures were made with an  old half plate camera using glass plates, demonstrating  the detail you would expect from that medium.

I visited the exhibition in Lincoln and have so far been to 3 churchyards to see the landscape images.

The landscape images when rendered in the book have a different, and for my eye, a better and more appealing contrast than the large physical images in the churchyards, striking though those are. I particularly like the picture of a semi-derelict greenhouse taken in Welton West Yorkshire.

But for me, the images which comprise the ‘snaps’ exhibition, and a section of this book, are where my preferences lay. Phil has made images in this 50 year period which cover a number of photographic styles and yet there remains a homogeneity and continuity in the book that isn’t easy to achieve.

This photo-book is up there amongst the best  I’ve seen this year. There’s so much in this book to admire, aspire to even. And so much to learn.

You can discover more about Phil on his website here…

PD Barton, October 2016

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