Swimming and skateboarding aren’t just great ways to spend the summer – they’re the inspiration for three beautiful self-published photo books made with Blurb’s publishing platform. Jump in.
Beyond the Surface, into the Water by Patricia Ridenour
Seattle photographer Patricia Ridenour takes us below the surface to see the dreamlike world of synchronized swimmers. Legs twist, shoulders turn, and swimmers are caught for a moment poised between awkwardness and true beauty.
Ridenour’s work is based in realism yet impressionistic in nature; muted pastels and aqua blues swirl around the swimmers, all of whom are real women with real bodies (read: not finely sculpted Olympians). The result? A book of photographs with stunning two-page spreads that go far beyond the typical matching-swimming-cap-kitsch of synchronized swimming and into a deeply human, strangely poetic take on the sport.
Next up, another Seattle photographer, Nick Stevens, with a book that celebrates all the cement the city has to offer. Stevens admits he’s not the first person to call skateboarding “concrete surfing,” but his photographs do the term great justice, transforming the sport from a gritty, urban endeavor to a smooth flowing dance akin to a sailor gliding over water.
Stevens writes, “It is beautiful when the fluidity present in the waves manifests on rigid pavement. It’s all about the terrain and how the rider moves across it.” This book of elegantly composed photos explores the city of Seattle neighborhood by neighborhood and suggests to the reader ways to experience each one on four wheels. Take a look and get a tour of Seattle’s sidewalks, streets, and landscapes captured in unexpected ways – ways drivers and bikers miss – in shots of expert skaters turning a city into a playground.
Man on Diving Board – Revisited by Burkhard von Harder
Originally published in Germany under the title SWIMMERS, this book treats its subjects, from small children to senior citizens, with the somber dignity usually reserved for professional athletes. Shot by photographer Burkhard von Harder of the ABC Artist’s Books Cooperative in public indoor pools in Hamburg, Germany, these photographs engage the eye as their subjects return the gaze. Softly crumbling locker room walls and eerily-lit swimming pools provide haunting backdrops.
Flipping through it, you can feel the shock of the pre-dip cold water rinse, the moments of doubt before jumping off the high dive, and the equal-opportunity athleticism of public swimming pools, where ordinary people can dream of doing extraordinary things.
To flip through digital previews of the books, simply click on the book titles above. To learn more about how you can use Blurb to self-publish your masterpiece or to check out the Blurb Bookstore, visit Blurb.com.
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