My Bookshelf – Alec Soth

In the “My Bookshelf” series, Better Moments founder Christian Nørgaard writes about photo books that have influenced him during his career.

Cover Dog Days Bogotá by Alec Soth

Stories told in pictures – also called reports – can, if the photographer is not talented and hasn’t fully focused on the story he or she wants to tell, be embarrassing and expose the photographer. They can reveal that he or she has no talent.

Photographer Alec Soth balances on the edge of being an extremely unique and groundbreaking photographer. But sometimes he slips, trips over the edge and falls into the abyss. He becomes a bit banal and predictable in his photographic and artistic expression. And that is exactly why he is probably one of the strongest reportage photographers of our time. Because you have to fail and get up again – and then do your job even better next time. By this, you extent your own and other’s boundaries.

So let’s talk more about Alec Soth – if you do not know him already.

Dog Days Bogotá by Alec Sot
| Photo of book by C. Nørgaard

A gift to his daughter

Alec Soth is a member of Magnum and has his own publishing company, Little Brown Mushroom. In short, Soth makes “large-scale American projects” featuring the midwestern United States. New York Times art critic Hilarie M. Sheets wrote that he has made a “photographic career out of finding chemistry with strangers” and photographs “loners and dreamers”.

To the point, my book rack and the book, Dog Days Bogotá by Alec Soth. The square-shaped book contains glimpses from Bogotá, Colombia, and is an intimate tale from the city and country from which Alec and his wife adopted their daughter, Carmen. Dog Days Bogotá consists of photographic vignettes and actually was a gift to their daughter.

Dog Days Bogotá by Alec Sot
| Photo of book by C. Nørgaard
Dog Days Bogotá by Alec Sot
| Photo of book by C. Nørgaard

A master of composition

Dog Days Bogotá has inspired me to accept and to appreciate, that portraits can be “just” short glimpses that together form an important narrative. In addition, Alec masters compositions to a degree that makes him stand out as one of our most important photographers of today – while sometimes crossing the line and becoming banal.

Enjoy this movie where Alec invites you inside his private office and shares his photo books – super cool.

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More about Christian Nørgaard? Click here!

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