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Boris Spremo.

Toronto, McClelland and Stewart, c1983.
223pp, paper, $19.95.
ISBN 0-7710-8230-4.

Grades 5 and up.
Reviewed by Maurice G. Black.

Volume 12 Number 2
1984 March

A casual browsing through this book will soon reveal that Boris Spremo is a risk-taker and a very creative photographer. Among the 250 black-and-white photographs by one of Canada's top photo-journalists are a number of spine-chilling examples of war actions, street shoot-outs, firemen battling blazes, and crash scenes. Spremo was 452 metres above ground and swaying in the wind at the end of a powerful crane when he obtained his impressive view of the CN Tower during construction.

Since 1962 this photographer has been in the centre of world actions as staff photographer, first for the Globe and Mail and, since 1966, with the Toronto Star. During that time he has won 180 national and international awards including the prestigious First Prize Gold Medal at the World Press Photo Competition in The Hague in 1965.

Columnist Scott Young has provided an enlightening five-page introduction to Boris Spremo. "Why is he so good?," asks Young. Spremo states, "It's what is behind the camera that counts. You need the feeling for what you are seeing. In picket lines, wars, violent demonstrations, that kind of thing, you don't have time to plan, you just move along with the action, always trying for composition but having your reflexes ready for a particular moment which may be gone in two seconds."

These photographs, each with a brief caption, clearly prove .that this photo-journalist has indeed witnessed the joy and sorrow of the private person. Sports figures have their actions frozen on film at the critical moment. Government leaders and members of the Royal Family are immortalized signing the new Canadian Constitution, visiting foreign lands, and paying their last respects. The majority of photographs are of Canadian events offering national appeal.

This book is recommended for interesting viewing as well as resource material for history and photography classes. Many photographs could be used effectively to elicit discussion in English classes or as a basis for creative writing exercises. Recommended .

Maurice G. Black, Sir Winston Churchill C. V. I., Thunder Bay, ON.
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