Friday, January 28, 2011
Photography in Botany and in Horticulture Volume 1
By Emily Davies
This zine really reminds me of student presentations I sat through in university. It starts with an introduction as to what the zine is about ("the link between photography and the natural sciences"), has a bibliography, features quotes and source material from history to show how the photography of plants is seen and has evolved, discusses the pros and cons of various tools you can use in photography, and generally makes me feel as though Davies should be speaking to me and giving me more information about every page/slide that comes up. The pages seem more like starting points for Davies to discuss than complete pieces of information.
This isn't to say that the zine isn't informative, I learnt more about pressing and photographing plants than I ever knew before. It's just that it seems stuck between being a totally ground entry introduction to this topic, and being something more in depth. Sadly, I think it kind of fails on both accounts, though I'm not sure how interested I would be in reading a full length piece about the history and methods of plant photography.
I did like the pictures of the plants (both pressed and otherwise). I'm not generally someone who stops to smell (look at) the roses, so being "forced" to look at them is actually kind of fun.
It also has a fantastic back cover ("This is the back cover."), though the whole zine is stapled awkwardly. You know, that stapled through the whole thing near the spine, but not actually into the spine. If you don't have a long arm stapler it takes a bit longer to staple zines "properly", but I generally think it creates a better experience for the reader and is thus worth it.