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  • By Tim Boddy
    Oct 15, 2009
    "A review by Timothy James Boddy Esquire" The Featherstone Locals is a look into the lives of youngsters evidently passionate about bmxing as documented by Richard Johnson. A sense of community and belonging is very visceral in the project as the photographer looks into the subculture. All of the photographs were taken in one location, at the Featherstone Skatepark hence the book title, possibly on the same day. Text plays an important part in the formation of the 26-page book. On the edge of every page (bar the two-page full-bleeds) are quotes from the very people that are being photographed. This adds an extra dimension to the photographs and enables one to get an even closer insight into the characters, you can almost hear the rich Yorkshire accent peeling off the page. Five main youngsters are focused on, as the five respective quotes are spread out throughout the book one by one. Each of the five quotes start out with the individuals photograph displayed next to them,... More > but for the rest of the text the quotes and photographs do not necessarily correspond to the particular individual. This is an interesting approach, as it enables a structured story to emerge on one hand, introducing the characters as we go along forming a narrative; effectively a sequence emerges. But on the other hand they are all interlinked, with all the characters involved appearing throughout the book at any given momentThis approach makes it feel like a group effort with a sense of community, yet still getting to see the individual, a clever piece of editing. The photographs themselves are a mixture of mainly unposed, action style of shots mixed in with a few shots of the youngsters looking into the camera. It is a perfect mixture balance wise, as one gets the feeling that the photographer really knows their subjects; the bmxers are relaxed around the camera, and a playful nature is visible. As for the layout, the photographs are all landscape, full-bleed on three sides, with sizeable room on the outside edge for the text, effectively a white strip. Two two-page full bleed spreads are used also, which helps to break the flow and the narrative. The two-page image of ‘Danny’ is particularly striking with the ‘No bmx’ sign contrasting strongly against the bmx bike and biker, as the look on the subjects face speaks volumes. Overall this photobook is one I would heartily recommend checking out. The photographer knows his subjects, the subjects happy to know the photographer, and a real sense of honest subculture is visible. As pure action shots they are fantastic I should add, so there is no excuse for the viewer to become disengaged on any level.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Richard Johnson
February 3, 2009
Saddle-stitch Paperback
Interior Ink
Full color
0.24 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
9 wide x 7 tall
Product ID
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