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Hans Silvester and his Books – Triptych #2


If there is a photographer who has published an unimaginable number of books in all languages, it is Hans Silvester. If this could happen, it is, of course, because he sold a really fantastic quantity of books.

How is this possible in the very closed circle of publishing and when today there is a race to produce very bad books saturated with very bad photographs? The answer is very simple, Hans has always published with real professionals who make beautiful and good books with real photographs that appeal to the greatest number. Currently, the only winners of the publisher charade are the pseudo publishers who take money from the countless pseudo photographers who only pander to their ego by losing their feathers.

To understand the undeniable success of Hans’s books, it is useless to look for noon at two o’clock. “Let’s keep our feet on the ground”, as he often repeats. Hans’ books are without a magic recipe. A simple articulation on a neat professional layout (but this is also a real job that can be learned over many years), to highlight photographs that are self-sufficient. No superabundant text interferes with the message of the image.

And then there are his photographs to make a book and not a book full of photographs. Each photograph is installed in the right place; if it is not isolated from the reader’s gaze, the whole forms a harmony of composition and chromatic balance. From one page to another, the sequence flows naturally. In summary, each of the books is the manual for the success of a book that challenges with photographs.

Not just any photography! Each image is structured, composed, contrasted and displayed with the utmost care, taking great care to consider the format of the book, the paper used and the printing technique. It is out of the question that a photograph of Hans lost its “essence” by lying on a page.

When the color invites itself on the image, the chromatic masses settle in a total monochrome if they do not escape in uncertain multicolored mosaics. It is the options chosen that build the coherence that exults the message and amplifies its perception.

After years of numerous and varied publications of high quality, Hans Silvester tackled the publishing of books in the service of photography. It requires a perfect restitution of photographic images within a bookish complex. After ten multiple attempts, his bet seems won. It’s refined, it’s sensual, it’s the purity of the photographic image, without text or explanation as muddy as it is useless. This new marriage seems successful and the true lovers adhere, without reserve. Hans offers us – perhaps – a new future for real photographic works.

Thierry Maindrault

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