Book: Klem Loskot Emotional Landscapes
20th Jul 2006
Klem Loskot is perhaps best known for his bouldering and deep water soloing antics, in particular the double dyno way, way above the crashing sea in Psicobloc. Well it turns out that he also has an eye for artistic design as is evident in his new book 'Emotional Landscapes'.
My first impression of the book was one of surprise. I had been expecting another coffee table size glossy affair full of shots of Klem looking burly. Not so. It is a very small format: just 7 by 5 inches. The cover is a soft material, not paper, and the image is a fold out panorama of a hillside and meadow full of yellow flowers. My interest was instantly piqued. Inside is a series of unconnected images, taken not by Klem, but by a series of friends and family members. Whilst plenty of the shots are of Klem himself there are more than enough that aren't to stop the project being a self indulgent biography. The photos range from bouldering and deep water soloing to skiing and surfing, with plenty of random land and urbanscapes, not to mention a smattering of people shots.
I guess what sets the book apart is the manipulation of the images. There is hardly a picture in there that is fully in focus. In a similar fashion to the French aerial photographer who is churning out 'The World From The Air' books Klem has cleverly used a blurring filter to throw out of focus some areas of the images, tricking the eye into thinking the in-focus areas are the true focus of the original image. The result is a series of images that appear almost model like. In others he has saturated selected parts of the image, whilst toning down the rest - a couple of red canoes on a white rocky coastline for example.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a book full of some Photoshop Geek's experiments. On the whole he has pulled off the effects admirably to present a book that is both unusual and inspiring.
My main concern is the captions that accompany many of the pages. Klem has made it clear that he didn't want to give the locations away, saving others to find their own special places - or in his words: 'the locations lack names because I don't want to take somebody's creative freedom for living in their own dream'. That said the captions that he has included are at best confusing. I rather hope that something has been lost in translation, in which case they are kind of fun, but if not they are more than a little bamboozling! I shan't give any examples - go get a copy and see for yourselves.
In a nutshell I liked it because it inspired me to want to go travelling. Some of the shots have really captured the perfect moment of a trip. At 19.95 Euros plus postage and packing it will make a great, if slightly unusual Christmas present.
Also included with the book is a CD of many of the images in DVD slideshow form.