Randal Ford’s Good Dog arrived just in time. Landing on shelves in the second half of 2020, when the world was racked with worry, drained and weary, looking for something beyond banana bread to lift its spirits. The book’s subject matter—unbeknownst to them—had assumed new, profound responsibilities during global lockdowns. They’d become the glue holding parts of us together. They’d become the stars of TikToks. They’d become a comforting source of calm and steadiness amid chaos. They were good dogs deserving of Ford’s hardback tribute.
Ford is renowned for the fierce clarity of his photography. His work possesses a hyper-real quality that draws you in and has you thinking ‘that can’t be real’. But it is, and it’s achieved through a gruelling process of precision, persistence, premium-quality equipment and “arduous” post-production:
“I focus on technical aspects such as precise lighting, colouring and captivating textures, working meticulously on studio lighting, composition and post-processing techniques.” It’s a method that draws each animal’s personality to the fore, like a veil has been lifted and the animal’s “true essence”, as Ford describes it, becomes unmissably obvious. Personalities shine through—mischievous, kind eyed, mysterious, poised, playful—crystal clear and captivating.
It feels deep. Like you’re absorbing, from one image, the multitude of lessons that dogs teach us. Ford’s own hound, Rosie, reminds him daily of life’s most valuable lessons: “Her personality is kind and gentle, reminding us to treat each other and those around us the same. Like many dogs, she is slow to anger and quick to forgive, something we should all aspire to be.”
Good Dog is published by Rizzoli and is available to purchase via Ford’s website and makes an unbeatably perfect gift for the dog lover in your life.
We are thrilled to introduce Dog-Friendly, a collection of city guides for dog-loving people, created together with our long-time contributor, photographer Winnie Au, and fellow enthusiasts, indie publisher Hoxton Mini Press. Available for purchase here.
August 25, 2021
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a celebration of pup and pop culture for music and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020