- Debra Schoenberger
I have always been fascinated by the sheer beauty and diversity in Indian culture. "Sensory overload in a glance" is an apt description of a country that is always in movement. To be able to stand still in the middle of all that movement allows me to really "see" her people and absorb the flow of life from birth to death.
From learning how to make yellow ink from cow urine to watching funeral pyres burn in Varanasi, I realized that I would have to spend a lifetime here to grasp the immense value of her art, stunning architecture, fascinating food and love of all that is beautiful.
Debra Schoenberger is a talented professional photographer who has found her calling by showcasing the world around us, the people in it and how we move through it. Her two previous books are Montreal (offering images of the city) and To Be A Child (offering images of children from ten countries). In this new offering, we follow her on an amazing trip to India.
Instead of posing people and setting up prepared ideas, Schoenberger has chosen to photograph what she saw as she saw it. Looking at the images in this book feels like we are there with her peering over her shoulder. There is no one theme - just a beautiful mix offering a look at people, architecture, animals in the street, nature, train stations, poverty, beauty and unusual bits that caught her eye. It's raw and very real.
There is a very small amount of written word as well - two quotes at the very beginning to set the tone - and then we are left with simply her intriguing images. They each speak to us in a different way offering mood, tone and insight. While I would love to have known where the images were taken included on the page with each image, their lack allows you to instead be drawn into the story they tell.
As I am not a photographer, I asked a friend who has a lot more camera experience to look at the book and give me a comment for this review from her perspective. It's perfect.
"The photos show India today, its people: families, work, food, clothing, going about their daily lives, rather than Bollywood posing. In that sense, the book is so respectful and a quiet, mindful look at the place and the society. Because the author is in the background, her observant eye brings to light all of the color, humanity, history, religion, and diverse geography,...She has a few famous tourist sights but manages to capture them at dusk, so reader's eye must fill in the details. It is almost like she is saying: Here is the outline, now go and find out the rest..." - Colleen Tsoukalas
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Meet the author / photographer:
Read a great author interview HERE!
"My dad always carried a camera under the seat of his car and was constantly taking pictures. I think that his example, together with pouring over National Geographic magazines as a child fuelled my curiosity for the world around me.
I am a documentary photographer and street photography is my passion. Some of my images have been chosen by National Geographic as editor's favourites and are on display in the National Geographic museum in Washington, DC. I also have an off-kilter sense of humour so I'm always looking for the unusual.
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