Photographer Martien Coppens has made over sixty photobooks, by preference doing the layout himself. He has always been interested in photobooks as a phenomenon, writing about their form and content and involving himself with the printing processes.
Actually you could say that Bezielde Beelden isn’t a photobook at all. It’s a biography of a Dutch photographer about whom there is a lot to be told. Certainly the book contains hundreds of photographs, but they are not
displayed for the sake of display. There is only the occasional short photographic essay or full-page bled-off image.
A nice balance has been achieved between text and image. Of necessity the text is printed small, and apart from the exceptions just mentioned the images are there to support the writing. More space is gained by setting the captions in topical heads. By contrast, the large quotations printed sideways in the margin look superfluous and come across as slightly forced, as if their inclusion was an afterthought.
The grey of the cover returns in the book’s interior. Bezielde Beelden may not be a photographic work in the conventional sense, but these small photos are all printed in uncompromising duotone. At the same time the way bold and lean type have been used gives the impression that the text too has been printed in two colours.