This Equals That is a picture book designed for kids, but it’s also appealing to anyone interested in the language of photography. A collaboration between photographer Jason Fulford and designer Tamara Shopsin, the small, square book is made up of photo spreads bound between thick cardboard covers–the kind designed to resist mangling in the hands of preschoolers. The book is laid out in pairs of photos that have at least one thing in common–a shape, color, composition or subject. As you turn the pages, you see that the photo on the right-hand side of one spread reappears in the next spread on the left-hand page, across from a new photo that relates to it in a different way. The first photo in the book reappears on the last page, bringing the book full circle. The photos, shot by Fulford, range from still lifes to colorful street scenes to landscapes to abstract shots of everyday objects. How does one photo relate to another? That’s for each viewer—young or old—to ponder while looking through the sequence.
Fulford is the founder of J&L Books, a non-profit which has published art books by Ed Panar, Gregory Halpern, Mike Slack and Fulford himself, as well as fiction and non-fiction. This Equals That, published by Aperture, represents his latest experiment exploring what a photo book can be, and seeks to expand the potential audience for photography. —Holly Stuart Hughes