Out of Focus Published

Out of Focus Published

Six of my photographs are included in a beautiful new book just released by the Swiss art publisher Niggli Verlag. Out of Focus: Pinhole Photography and Photographs is by Peter Olpe, a long-time teacher at the famed Basel School of Design in Basel, Switzerland. The 432 page heavily illustrated book is a document of Olpe’s work with pinhole cameras and pinhole photography, and is gorgeous in the way only a Swiss author and publisher can pull off. Niggli’s books have won numerous design awards, including for “The Most Beautiful Swiss Books“ and “The Most Beautiful Books Worldwide.“

Out of Focus includes a half dozen of my pinhole photos (New York City bridges and area beaches), as well as images by 35 other international photographers, including Georg Aerni, Eric Renner/Nancy Spencer, and Alec Soth. Olpe, with whom I studied in 2006 as part of a three-week design course, invited me to contribute to his book and, needless to say, I have been thrilled to be a part of the project.

An exhibit at the Swiss Camera Museum in Vevey, Switzerland, is timed to coincide with publication of the book and runs from September 8 to January 13, 2013. The exhibit includes select photos from the book, as well as many of the pinhole cameras Olpe has made.

Out of Focus is something of a companion volume to Olpe’s book Drawing as Design Process: Courses, Themes and Projects at the Basel School of Design, also published by Niggli, which documents his work at the Basel School of Design where he taught, alongside Wolfgang Weingart and others, for 35 years. You can see Olpe’s own work on his website.

From Niggli’s website: Peter Olpe has been manufacturing customized pinhole cameras since 1978. In 2012 he donated 90 of his cameras to the Swiss Camera Museum in Vevey where the collection will be exhibited. In images and texts the book Out of Focus presents these cameras and, in addition, tells the story of the author‘s ever-changing interests in pinhole photography – a written documentation of Peter Olpe’s work as a designer, photographer, illustrator and teacher. Furthermore, the creative work of 36 photographers is presented, all of whom Peter Olpe invited to take photos with one of his pinhole cameras in a kind of “art barter”. His offer was simple. If the resulting images were of a quality to be used in the book and the exhibition in Vevey, the camera would pass into the possession of the artist. During the project, Olpe designed many unique tailor-made cameras for the artists – and just as many diverse and surprising photographs were created using them. 432 pages, approx. 850 illustrations, 19,5 × 22,5 cm, hardcover, French / English / German, CHF 78.–, Euro (D) 62.–, Euro (A) 63.70, ISBN 978-3-7212-0851-1

Out of Focus is not yet available for sale in the US, but I’ll let you know when it arrives in bookstores.