I’m a sucker for a good title, so when I first heard about Ted Orland’s classic photography book Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity I had to have a look, and quickly purchased a copy. The title continues on… The Photos and Writings of Ted Orland, so you know at least some text is involved, and there is plenty of text actually, but also enough interesting, beautiful, and often just plain funny photographs to keep the visual side of your brain engaged too.
Ted Orland’s book in my back yard…
The book is part memoir, part rambling art philosophy, and part photo album. Orland worked for years as a printer for Ansel Adams in the 1970’s, and doing so allowed him to meet a great number of the West Coast photographers of note. He recounts in some detail many of these meetings and outings, though the general impression is that he leaves a lot of detail for historians to figure out, likely a good thing. If he had called this book “The True Story of Ansel Adams’ Underpaid Printer from The Crazy 70’s” he might have sold a few more copies, but he likely would have had to deal with a little blowback from readers over accuracy, as I’ve noticed Sam Kashner has on Amazon for his similar young-guy-with-masters memoir, When I Was Cool.
Orland had the advantage of not hanging out with so many intravenous drug users, perhaps. The book is fun, and something I keep picking up and paging through even after a thorough read. Certainly worth adding to your bookshelf.
Ted Orland still maintains a site and has books and prints for sale there, autographed upon request.