Harald Mante‘s Photography Unplugged is not much more than a book of photography, with a foreword and blurb on the back cover offering very little copy. I personally like to read more than look at photography, so this is disappointing, but the premise of the book beyond featuring Harald’s images is a very intriguing one. Given the fact that practically every image published today is retouched to perfection, Photography Unplugged presents photography in its raw Kodachrome state by a film photographer from Germany, “one of the prominent contemporary photographers in Germany today” according to the dust jacket.
The photography itself is candid and beautiful, showing a refined taste and judgment on the part of the photographer. Much photography shown in books by Scott Kelby and others who revolve around him are often commercial and/or focused on people, so it’s jarring to see very few people in Photography Unplugged. Most images reveal everyday objects and places in the more exotic places in Europe, the kind of material one might expect from art photography. This makes Photography Unplugged a refreshing volume.
At almost US$50, this is an expensive book but art books often are. Film photography fans and especially Kodachrome fans will enjoy the book a lot: Kodachrome was discontinued just before this book went to press, and Harald considers it his final paean to the film stock that helped produce the bulk of his work.