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Interactive Essay
Book of the Week
by Alec Soth
The images in photographer Alec Soth’s Niagara are less about natural wonder than about human desire. "I went to Niagara for the same reason as the honeymooners and suicide jumpers," says Soth. "[T]he relentless thunder of the falls just calls for big passion." While the subject may be intense, these are quiet pictures. Using a large-format 8-by-10 camera, the photographs are rigorously composed and richly detailed. Working over the course of two years, on both the American and Canadian sides of the falls, Soth captures newlyweds and naked lovers, motel parking lots and pawnshop wedding rings, as well as a collection of discarded love letters. His pictures offer a remarkable portrayal of modern love and its aftermath. (Note: This gallery contains some nudity.)
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The photograph is completely abstracted from life, yet it looks like life. That is what has always excited me about photography.
Richard Kalvar
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