Area 51 - A Book Review

Recently Jay Desind released his third book “Area 51,” but his first iBook of poems and illustrated with photographs, captured with a mobile iPhone. The eBook is divided up into four sections of forty poems, all of which are accompanied by a photograph and an audio track.

In Jay’s introduction explains that our hearts are like Area 51, an assemblage of “twisting underground corridors,” and that within each of us a “universe of feeling.” He goes on to say that despite ones despair, he eventually found the strength, “found the seed to grow yet again.”


iPad Screen Capture of “Area 51”

One of the very nice features that was incorporated into the eBook were audio tracks of Jay’s voice reading every poem in the eBook. This allows the reader to follow along, while experiencing Jay’s personal interpretation of his words. Unfortunately due to the design of the eBook, the audio track is cut off when you turn to the next page.

Another nice feature of “Area 51” are the hidden comments about each of the mobile photographs. Jay says “Writing and photography has taught me to see things in three dimensions,” and this theory is woven throughout the design of the eBook. To gain access to the hidden comments, a simple single tap on the photo will quickly reveal some background as to the photograph and in most cases its relationship to the poem. In some cases just make sure to also scroll the text since the pre-sized window may have hidden some of Jay’s remarks.


iPad Screen Capture of “Area 51”

Area 51” is a very personal book in which Jay lays bear his soul and emotions of the heart and that is not always an easy thing to do, especially when it is made public. Yet there are also poems that spring forth, on the spot, reflecting a sense of raw and unpolished thinking. 

While the book is not only about expressing ones feelings in words shaped into poetry, it is also about mobile iPhoneography.

As the poetry takes us to various parts of the earth, from different locations in Italy, where Jay currently lives, to Spain, Germany, and to his roots in the western states of America; so do his photographs that illustrate the poems. What all images have in common is that there is no continuity in style. For Jay may use the camera that is native to the iPhone or an alternative one like Hipstamatic, allowing for different lens and film combinations to capture a particular scene.

The scrapbook style like images simple relate the content of the book and while I may wish for more continuity in the visual results, in the end I am more concerned with the end results of the photography presented in “Area 51.”


iPad Screen Capture of “Area 51”

A number of the images are strikingly well captured and executed in post production and revealing a good eye, still I felt a little let down. When viewed as a whole collection, one will begin to notice that Desind’s skill as a mobile photographer is still a voice trying to find itself. As we delve deeper into “Area 51,” we do begin to see a shift in the style of his photographs.

This improved development in Jay’s mobile technique and post production is evident in his recent postings to his FaceBook page “The Unobtrusive Eye,” including the release of iBook version “Balance?” two weeks ago.

Area 51” is a good start for Jay’s entree into digital publishing of eBooks. The overall design and layout still needs improvement so the flow between the text and the imagery is better balanced and pleasing to the eye. Also the photographs were not optimised to be viewed larger then displayed.

While these points are minimal, it should not deter you from becoming a follower of author and photographer Jay Desind’s work and download his eBook.


          Retails for $7.99

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iPad, and with iTunes on your computer. Multi-touch books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iPad. Books with interactive features may work best on an iPad.

Area 51” at Apple iTunes Store

FaceBook fan Page “The Unobtrusive Eye

          Other books by Jay Desind:

Balance?” at Apple iTunes Store

The Imperfect Photo” at Amazon Store

Hotel Vidal” at Amazon Store

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...