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“Meet the people with love” by Derren Brown – book review

Derren Brown’s book review is about his first book covering candid street photography during the period 2014-2018. It is presented as a hardback book with 105 pages of images and text by the rather interesting Derren, with a retail price of £25.

The pictures are all from shooting digital cameras, though Derren discusses shooting and owning film cameras (TLR + Mamiya) too.

Derren shares with us his interpretation of what street photography is and to the rear of the book he discusses techniques and processes used to attain the shots. 

Derren Brown - book review cover
Front cover

Background

Most people in the photography world would have never heard of Derren Brown as his lives in the entertainment world.  Found on stages around the UK with his stage illusion work, he produces a mix of magic, hypnotism, illusion, intelligence and showmanship!  I’m privileged to say I have witnessed his shows in person and he’s at the top of his field and so damn funny too.

Derren’s fame has meant you can see his work on DVDs and the likes of Netflix with his one-off shows. He is one of those exceptional people who are multi-gifted, as he’s a great painter too, so please check out his website for the latest commissions.

Imagery

The book is presented in both black/white and colour sections, which is nice.  Traditionalists might say it’s not street unless it’s black/white, but colour can also emphasize other elements in a picture (remember how strong red is).  His work is represented from selections of his travels all over the world, along with annotations to show the location. I believe this adds to the overall experience because its nice to see parts of the world in a true and honest street style.

Derren shows some real skill in some of his work, but like any artist, it’s all preference and open to interpretation.  The image of the seagull in the car park is especially pleasing, despite any absence of people, for me its still a street shot.  Another favourite is Santa using a temporary toilet in the streets of London.

Derren Brown - book review rear cover
Rear cover

Conclusion

As a lover of Derren’s artwork, previous books, his shows and personality, it is nice to see this foray into photography. I think all art books have an audience and the images will be loved or hated by some. This work shows some lovely composition along which are well thought out and some average shots too (we are all human). 

Personally I enjoyed the book, it will be nice to see the future and find out where his work has taken him.  With regards value, it’s a big and heavy hardback so it is reasonably priced. As a film enthusiast, it would be nice to see film shots too, as he often talks about his ongoing affliction with film, like many of us.

If you want to know more about Derren, check out his website here.

If you like street photography check out my new Facebook group here.

If you like podcasts then check out my street photography interview with John Hughes here.

*** all copyright belongs to Derren Brown ***


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