Luftwaffe im Focus #1
from Start, in cooperation with Eagle Editions, LTD
Axel Urbanke editor and publisher
Reviewed by Steve Jantscher
This is a new bilingual production from Germany, in cooperation with those fine folks at Eagle Editions. A "photo book" for Luftwaffe enthusiasts, by enthusiasts (as the cover says), specializing in unpublished photographs. A 12x8.25 inch 40 page soft cover, extremely well printed and produced book.
The book is divided into sections covering a bit of all Luftwaffe subjects, in varying quantities of photographs. Fighters, Zerstöreren, Stuka, Reconnaissance, Bombers, Transports and Gliders. Special areas and subjects follow, aircraft tails, a color photo section (nine photos), documents, unknown emblems, portraits, pictures with stories, unusual, scenery, "fate" and Sea planes and Flying Boats. There is quite a full helping of varied subjects in this book, and this is it's strength and its weakness. In one book, one is almost assured of seeing something new, interesting and appealing to a Luftwaffe enthusiast, whatever your specific interest is. However, one is also assured of finding some or most of the book not being specifically targeted to your desires. One gets a lot of vegetables with the main course, whatever that may be.
That is not to say that this is a bad book format concept. All fighters or bombers, or any single subject would soon become stale and boring to all but the subject's devoted following. I can say without a doubt that the scatter shot approach to this publication will be a page turner to anyone interested in almost anything Luftwaffe. The reason I say that lies with the uniformly high quality of the included photographs and their presentation. By being a generalized subject type of publication, the editors can pick and choose from only the best photos available, and not be forced to include less than perfect examples in an attempt to be exhaustive in covering a more limited subject matter. Each of the over sixty photographs is of uniformly excellent quality, and appears to have been individually tweaked to bring as much sharp detail to the fore as possible. Many of the photographs are quite beautiful in their presentation on the fine semi gloss paper, (most measuring 7x4.5 inches). It is after all the pictures that will make this series, and this first edition is well on the way to cementing an enviable reputation for quality. Not to be forgotten though, is that each photograph has a substantial and detailed caption, placing the photograph in context.
Some readers have compared this to the old Flugzeug Foto Archive and Jet & Prop series of books in general layout. I must agree, with the provision that Im Focus takes that concept further on the quality of the photographs, if nothing else. Expeted to be published three times a year, I can't wait to see more issues come our way.
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