In The Sky Book, Misrach divides his images into three sections: Skies, Heavenly Bodies, and Night Clouds. The skies read on the page as luminous color fields in a spectrum stretching from pale peach (Warrior Point at 5:25 a.m. in late June) to deep purple (El Centro at 5:07 a.m. in late March). The heavenly bodies group introduces more visual complexity, achieved in some instances by running an all-night exposure until dawn. A four-hour-long view of Polaris over Lake Mead coalesces on film as a pattern of delicate, pastel-colored concentric arcs against a black background. Night clouds are the least abstract of the images, their high-keyed reds and oranges reflecting city lights far below.
The atmospheric color and large visual fields in these photographs make them more effective when seen as individual prints hanging on a wall. Bound together in a book, they lose some of the immediate, experiential quality that is their great appeal. This otherwise attractive volume labors too hard to make a bigger case for this body of work, with a rambling essay by Rebecca Solnit and an appendix of geographic locations and star names. The only words that really matter here are the photographer's own laconic descriptions of his working methods. --Cathy Curtis
Publisher: Arena Editions
Hardcover : 144 pages