I've been following the photographic artistry of Norman Montifar for quite a while at Flickr and on his blog. Now he has produced his first book, self published through Blurb and entitled The Light Gatherer.
Most of Norman's pictures are made in and around New York City. Quite a few might be classed as street photography, but his scope is really wider than that. As he says in the book's introduction: "...It's an exercise in observation, studies of the nuances of natural light and capturing the unexpected when subjects turn up in totally unpredictably interesting ways."
All of Norman's work shows a great eye for composition, whether his subject is a pattern of shadows on a city street, or people playing, working or just being themselves in their neighborhoods. Throughout this urban tapestry, Norman always seems to find and portray a serenity that many other photographers of the City have missed. There is also a good deal of gentle humor to be found in his pictures of New Yorkers, but never of a kind that his subjects would find objectionable.
I am also particularly impressed with the level of craftsmanship which Norman brings to his work. Meticulous attention to the details of the craft is present in every picture in the book; it is a work that can instruct and inspire anyone regardless of experience and skill levels in photography.
Norman and I have exchanged a couple old cameras in the past, and I know from correspondence that the majority of the work in this book was done on film. Pro that he is, though, if digital suits his purpose that is what he will use, but you will see none of the over-saturated digital gimmickry here that so clutters today's visual experience for all of us. What you will find is classical technique attuned to the subtle rhythms of daily life in the City.