Safe Distance

Book Review

2 min read by
A collection of 20 black and white images taken within a two mile radius of my home during the covid-19 pandemic.

I think it’s important that we do not forget the lessons we’ve learned — and are still learning — during the pandemic. Safe Distance by Steve Rydz does the job of reminding through black and white photographs of a suburban neighbourhood devoid of people. On my bookshelf, it stands in a row with a growing collection of printed works by indie photographers exploring their surroundings during the global health crisis. They are my version of newspaper cutouts — only beautiful and filled with artistic expressions rather than dry or sensational reporting.

Steve’s high-contrast monochrome photographs offer a view of the things that look slightly out of place — amongst the ordinary. There’s a tension on the pages of Safe Distance between the calming emptiness and the slightly unsettling subjects like pieces of trash, a forsaken toy with no kid in sight, and a hasty graffiti on a brick wall “BURN DOW.”

The book/zine is made with uncoated bright-white paper, approx. 60lb cover and ~40lb pages. It’s the size of a US Letter/A4 paper folded in half with 28 pages hosting 20 mostly landscape black and white photographs with ample margin.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to keep it for a long time. As of this writing, Safe Distance is available on Steve’s Big Cartel page for £6.