“The photographs here have been chosen because they reflect the mood of our eclectic times, or are heavy with significance, or are simply moving. But the reader whose eye drifts idly through this book and then sets it aside on a coffee table has not only cheated himself, he has also diminished himself” – William Manchester
It’s been a pretty intense month. However, my dissertation is out of the way at long last and all those things I had relegated to the back burner are being upgraded to front-of-stove status and can receive the attention they deserve. Notably, this small slice of blogosphere.
Over the past few days I have been basking in home comforts and perusing my parents’ library and fridge. I came across a book called In Our Time: The World as Seen by Magnum Photographers. It caught my eye not only because of the stunning images on its pages, but because I recognised the name Sebastião Salgado who was recently the subject of a brilliant Wim Wenders documentary called The Salt of the Earth. Go see it if you haven’t done so already, it’s pretty mind-blowing.
Magnum was an agency created in the 1947 by photographers Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Each member would retain the rights to the negatives of their photographs, thereby allowing them to make more money and embark on projects of their own. The book contains essays by William Manchester, Jean Lacoutre and Fred Ritchin, alongside an extensive sample of the work of Magnum photographers over the decades. The sheer range of places and people photographed, in times of peace and war, put much in perspective for me, similarly to the way the Wenders documentary did. In Our Time emphasises the importance of images in contemporary society. It explains that photographers encourage people not to be indifferent to world around them.
The summer months are amongst the happiest for me because I get to feast on my favourite fruit: peaches. I love them hot, cold, as a stand-alone snack or as components of other creations. I have developed a recent obsession with a recipe for upside down peach cake on Lucy’s blog. The recipe calls for ground almonds in the batter which lends the cake moisture and an almost Middle Eastern sweetness. The caramel on the cake encases the fruit making it dense and syrupy. I don’t want summer to end!