I love photo books but you’ll rarely catch me with my nose inside a book by a photographer. Then there are short bursts of frenetic reading interspersed throughout the literary vacuum. So when I’m trying to desperately get advanced copies of a 700-page book written by a photographer, something weird is going on.
I was fortunate to get a copy a few days back of Dan Winters’s new book “Road To Seeing”. I’ve read the first eight pages and it has blown my mind. This is barely even a book preview but it's so good in the opening, I can't even begin to explain how excited I am to read the rest of this thing.
Why has it got me frothing at the mouth in only a few pages? Dan, who is a superb photographer with a client list that kind of makes you salivate like a starved dog sat staring into the butcher shop window, seems to be a very interesting guy. I recently heard an interview about him on The Candid Frame where he mentions the book, which is well worth checking out.
In the first few pages of the book, he talks about the profound effect Cartier-Bresson’s image, “Behind La Gare Saint Lazare” had on him.
He wonders if he would ever have the wherewithal and opportunity to capture an image as striking, but rather than being despondent, realizes that actually there are moments like these happening all the time the world over, and they constantly go un-photographed.
“The world owes a great debt to all those who have, from a state of exceptional awareness, preserved stillness for us to hold.” Dan Winters
Instantly, Dan has you by the collars, sat up, attentive. He sets out a simple premise - to truly see, we must practice being totally still - and in some weird moment of zen-like clarity while talking about a rock both being a perfect example of stillness and at the same time being in constant motion at an atomic level, hits it out the park. Mind = blown.
I am certainly NOT going to recommend this book based purely on reading a few pages, that would be insane. The full review will come once I’m done, don't worry, but in the meantime, I just had to tell someone, anyone, how exciting I think this book will be, and put it on the watch list of those of you looking for something to check out and possibly get stuck in to. And for those of you not looking for anything to read, you might just want to check it out anyway.
You can see it out on Amazon. Preorders are sold out, but I think they intend to be back in stock soon. Watch this space for the full review...