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Photos on Pages Volume 5: Love by Ferdinand Protzman

As analogue lovers, there's no telling in how much we adore film photographs. Seeing one's shots on actual prints and compiled in a book brings visual elation and self-gratification. Photos on Pages is a series which features photo-books by great photographers. In this long overdue fifth volume, the spotlight is on the timeless works of several photographers who have captured love in different forms and various ways.

Featured Book: Love
Featured Photographers: Henri Cartier Bresson, Elliot Erwitt, Martin Parr, Davin Alan Harvey, Josef Koudelka, and others
Writer: Ferdinand Protzman
Category: love, romance, street photography, people, black and white photography, candid photography
Publication: National Geographic Society, 2008

Much of the world considers February as the month of love, owing to the fact that Valentine’s Day, a day most romantic for couples or reprehensible for singles, is celebrated on the 14th. But, whether you’re an ardent observer of this day of hearts or someone who dismisses it as a yearly Hallmark holiday, we nevertheless bring you a photobook fitting for the occasion.

Simply and aptly entitled Love, this 2008 photobook published by the National Geographic Society is a celebration in tangible form — not only of the many forms of love as seen, felt, and manifested by people from all walks of life, but also of the photographers whose masterful ways with their cameras yielded some of the most captivating images of love we can all see today.

The photobook, which is divided into four parts, features classic black and white and vivid color photos curated by award-winning author and cultural critic Ferdinand Protzman. Complementing the photos are his essays on love, life, human nature, and photography. Not another book on love, I can hear you say, followed by a groan. But, Protzman’s opening paragraph for the introduction alone may well be worth a second look, putting into words the universal truth we all know about love and its power over us all:

Love is a driving force of human existence, the root of our survival as a species, a common denominator of every culture, race, and religion, existing wherever people live. Politicians may govern nations but love rules everyone, with or without our consent, exercising immense power to bring goodness and joy, evil and sorrow, and everything in between, sometimes all at once. Love touches us from before we are born until we die. So great is love’s reach that its absence can be felt as acutely as its presence.

Leafing through the pages, you will find some familiar snaps by well-known names in photography, such as masters Henri Cartier Bresson, Robert Capa, Robert Doisneau, and Julia Margaret Cameron. The book, therefore, is not only rife with love stories encapsulated in photographs, but also of photographic skill and mastery that we can all draw inspiration from.

What do you think of these touching photos of love taken by some of the best photographers in history? Tell us what you think with a comment below! Also, we’d like to know if there are any photobooks on renowned portraitists that you’d like to get featured in in this ongoing series!

Read more Photos on Pages series right here on Lomography Magazine!

written by plasticpopsicle

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