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A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart

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A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart Cover

ISBN13: 9781568987842
ISBN10: 1568987846
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The morning hours before the hustle and bustle of the day commences is the perfect time to pause and enjoy a sense ofrenewal and vitality. On the morning of December 7, 2006, Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes eachtook a digital photo of everyday objects randomly arranged on their kitchen tables and, unbeknownst to one another,uploaded them to the website Flickr. Noticing a remarkable similarity between their images, they agreed to documenttheir mornings by posting one photo to a shared blog every weekday for a year. Their site, 3191 ( after the distance in miles between their homes in Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregonquickly acquired a worldwide following of devotees fascinated by the magical coincidences and pictorial synchronicity of their photographic pairings.

A Year of Mornings collects 236 imagesalways taken before 10 am without discussion between the two womenfrom this uniquely 21st-century artistic collaboration. The intimacy of these photographsdiscarded clothing, a view of a snowy day from the window, a tableclothcombined with their striking similarities in color and composition defies the reality of their long-distance collaboration. While clearly kindred spirits, the two women have met in person only once. Their friendship is maintained solely online, sustained by a shared love for moments of serenity, solitude, and peacefulness. The annotated photographs in A Year of Mornings radiate an aura of sweetness and lightthe promise of a new day.

About the Author

Maria Alexandra Vettese is an artist, letterpress printer, and graphic designer in Portland, Maine.

Stephanie Congdon Barnes is an artist and toymaker in Portland, Oregon.

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

abwx, May 16, 2010 (view all comments by abwx)
A few weeks ago I spotted "A Year of Mornings" on the spine of a book at a bookstore, and immediately was reminded of those photo sequences which show the same scene repeated over and over again in different seasons, different lighting, different moods.

As soon as I pulled it out, I knew that that was not at all what the book was, both from the images on the cover and from the subtitle "3191 Miles Apart." But in many ways, the book is better and more substantial than I had hoped, and better and more substantial than one might think from a first glance.

The book gives us 236 diptychs (paired photographs) taken by two different - but very compatible - women who live 3191 driving miles apart, and set themselves a task of each taking an early morning photograph without consulting on the subject matter, then sharing them, inspired by how a pair of photographs they had coincidentally posted online the same day worked so well together.

They shared them not only with each other, but with the Internet world via a blog, and found they were striking a note with a wide readership. The book deserves an even wider readership.

That would be visual readership, since there is no text in the main body of the book, only in the forward, introduction, and index. The latter being the photographs repeated as thumbnails, and occasionally accompanied by comments from the blog readers. I wish there were more of the latter, and some comments by the authors as well.

One wonders about the circa 130 missing days. Some are explained as a necessary break for family reasons. If the others are explained, I either missed it or my mind lost that memory. Did they work badly together? I would have liked to have seen all the pairs, even the bad ones, included in the index.

The main body of the book probably works better with just the selection. That main body certainly is an esthetic pleasure, with the pairs presented in various sizes and numbers per page spread, unaccompanied by text, having a very quiet, misting morning effect, both from the content and from the desaturated color of photographs well-printed on uncoated paper. A very effective antidote to the over-saturated color of so many photographs published nowadays.

The title had also resonated for me with my favorite movie, Krzysztof Zanussi's "A Year of the Quiet Sun," and perhaps there is also some compatibly in visual character.

I think it is possible that this book is changing my life: I immediately begin taking early morning photographs every day. A first image from my early misconception of our back yard from our back door - it took a few days to achieve the best framing, but since then has only varied by the anomalies of a casual hand-held camera. Then something more along the line of what is in the book: quiet everyday still-lifes, selective views of routine parts of our everyday living spaces. Everyday some everydays.

As I get older, I lose confidence in my ability to overcome my mental disabilities. I no longer can make day-trips by myself into the mountains or across to the dryland canyons and sage steppes. Someday, perhaps sooner perhaps later, I will not be able to drive myself to nearby parks or beaches. This book will continue to remind me that I won't need to depend on the assistance of others to find simple pleasures.

Simple pleasures are close to home.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)
Pryzunka, November 5, 2008 (view all comments by Pryzunka)
I`m from Ukraine and realy upset that in my country I`ve no chance to buy this positive book(
I sow a little bit picture in Ukrainian art magazine and I fall in love!
Thank you girls!
You make me smile!
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(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
CindiCC, October 29, 2008 (view all comments by CindiCC)
Full disclosure: this is a book by a friend. But that said, I honestly find it lovely. I'm a book in hand person, not ready yet to go only for screen images so I was glad this book (based on a popular web site) was created. I received my copy during a difficult time and I found great comfort and distraction in the peaceful images. Both photographers have a fresh outlook and wonderful hand at simplicity and nuance. I got ideas about room decoration, hand made crafts while at the same time basic reminders of the cycles of life. This is a book I will return to for quiet times and times when I need creative inspiration. My only wish was that the book was a larger format. I am giving it as a present this year (so if you are my sister or my childrens' teacher, forget you read this part).
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(8 of 11 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes
Princeton Architectural Press
Vettese, Maria Alexandra
Barnes, Stephanie Congdon
Vettese, Maria Alexandra
Vettese, Maria
Vattese, Maria
Barnes, Stephanie Congdon
Photography, Artistic
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions
Design - General
Photoessays & Documentaries
Collections, Catalogs, Exhibitions - General
Photography - Oregon - Portland
Photography-Anthologies and History
General Photography
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 13 up to 17
8 x 6 x 0.75 in 0.93 lb
Age Level:
from 18 up to 99

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Annuals
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Anthologies and History
Arts and Entertainment » Photography » Photographers

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