Book Review–Things Come Apart a Teardown for Modern Living

Page from “Things Come Apart”

The new book Things Come Apart: A Teardown Manual for Modern Living is unique in that it presents images from a photographer who isn’t Leibovitz or Avadon, but just a regular guy from the “golden wheat fields of Saskatchewan.”

He takes his photography into the twenty-first century by gathering his photos from a video source–a technique that you’ve probably never seen before in a coffee table book. Photos from video? Yes, that’s the concept and since its done in an exemplary way, the result is both stunning and educational. 

You don’t have to go farther than examining a page of this book to imagine how meticulous the “videographer” had to be in shooting the components included in each page of images.

In the page to your left, Todd McLellan, illustrates the intricate parts of an old Mac Classic computer. He misses nothing–every component of the computer is there in some of the sharpest shots you’ll see of such small objects. From the individual keys of the keyboard that scatter in rows across the bottom of the page to the pieces of hardware on the left, the images are relentless in their capacity to mesmerize the viewer.

You could look at the images for hours–a jigsaw puzzle that the mind naturally gravitates toward solving. After all if the photographer took the machine apart, it would be only natural for the viewer to try to put it back together–a job that’s well worth the $21.43 that the book costs.

About the author

Matthew Bamberg

Matthew Bamberg has provided photographs and written articles for various Southern California newspapers and magazines, including The Desert Sun and The Press-Enterprise. More recently, Matt has been teaching at UC Riverside while also authoring several books like the Quick and Easy Secrets book series (Cengage), Killer Photos with Your iPhone (with Kris Krug and Greg Ketchum, Cengage), the 50 Greatest Photo Opportunities in San Francisco (Cengage) and Digital Art Photography For Dummies (Wiley).