The series of plates in Topologies by Portuguese photographer Edgar Martins is an eerily beautiful depiction of ordinary landscapes. From Iceland’s earthy colours or whiteouts and an almost deserted beach at night, to Portuguese forest fires and the exurban patterns of highways and airport runways, Martins teases out the charms hidden in the details. The introductory essay by John Beardsley provides excellent insight into Martins’ work and methods (large format camera, long exposure, lack of staging, etc.), and there is also an interview with the artist. An interesting note about the cover photo of a woman on the beach reveals that, in this series of objets trouvés, Martins came upon her by happenstance as part of someone else’s photo shoot and just snapped her from behind.
Hardcover, 128 pages. Aperture 2008. $36.50 at Amazon.