am 17. Juni 2008
Kyle Cassidy got the inspiration for this fascinating book while at his vet's looking through a copy of `Hunting Dogs: a Photographic Tribute'. If Krause could publish that then they might publish his book, which was just an idea at that stage. I was very pleasantly surprised when I first flipped through it because the publishers are known for mostly doing books for collectors and hobbyists which don't have the same design criteria as art photo titles. The book looks the part with one large photo on each right-hand page, printed with 175 screen on matt art paper.
As other reviewers have noted Cassidy pushes no point-of-view with his photos and this, I think, is one of the strengths of the book. Here are average folk in their homes with their pets, books, furniture and guns. I doubt that the photos would have quite the same impact if they were taken outdoors, while the owners were hunting or at a target range because the interiors reflect the personalities of each person and this contributes another strength: these photos are a snapshot of how many Americans lived at the start of a new century.
The photos are taken in a no-nonsense style: no fancy angles, soft-focus or other techniques because it's just not necessary. The people and their homes have enough visual pull to grab you as the pages are turned and a nice extra, on each page facing the photo, are their views on firearms. Another neat idea, in so many of the photos, was to include family pets and Cassidy seems to have captured them as relaxed as their owners.
With 198 impressive colour photos I thought Armed America worked as a perfect photo book and it could turn out to be a classic as the years go by.