‘Where I Find Myself’ is the first major single book retrospective of one of America’s leading photographers. His work is in the collections of the International Center of Photography, Museum of Modern Art, and New York Public Library, all in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago.
Joel compared his work as a street photographer and as a view-camera photographer with two different musical languages - classical and jazz. The early years were like jazz: hectic, exciting and experimental; and the later work was classical: slower, thoughtful and more measured. We loved this analogy and used it as the basis for the design.
We split the book into two sections, each having a subtle change of grid to add pace but not to overpower the work. The Classical section has simple and meditative layouts, like ‘playing the cello very slowly’, and the Jazz section has energetic and fast-paced layouts, like ‘riffing on an alto sax’.
Our favourite section of the book was a body of work Joel started in 1965 when he began to carry two cameras every day; one loaded with colour film, one with black and white. He took two almost identical frames to question his preference for using colour photography when the serious world of photography opted for black and white.
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