photography, U of Wisconsin, Madison

Alexandra Bramstadt



Alexandra Bramstadt
Art 576: Advanced Photography
Digital Prints; 8.5″ x 11″

The overall concept I have been working with this semester is the destruction of books. I am trying to somewhat tie in the way the book is destroyed to the content of the book. So far I have burnt books, submerged books, frozen books and I will be cooking some as well as burying some.​

18 thoughts on “Alexandra Bramstadt”

  1. These images are striking and reveal an “in the moment” type of feel. These images feel almost secretive, as if only the viewer and the burner of these books know that these books are being destroyed. Interesting concept.

  2. I really like what you’ve done here! I love working with light and dark and you’ve done a fantastic job at finding a good contrast between the two. The only suggestion i would make is to find a way to make your message more clear. I feel as if you’re trying to say something but i can’t quite decipher what that is. Great job though, keep it up!

  3. I really enjoy your concept. I think it has a lot of room to grow and flourish as time goes on. I would be interested to see more. I love the idea of destroying books through ways which tie into the book’s content– very clever!

  4. Your topic is really neat. I love the rich blacks you have been able to pull out. I also think the movement you have captured in the fire is very beautiful and intriguing!

  5. I really like the exposure that you’ve set. It blocks out all other distractions and my focus is on the fire and the object it’s burning. I think fire is extremely destructive and gets rid of all evidence. It’s funny to think of destroying books as evidence, as if they’ve done something people might know. I really want to see the other sets of photos that you’ve shot while destroying books!

  6. Photographing at night is difficult, but these are incredible! I love the fire capture a burning bubble of light and that there is a lot of texture to these images, which adds to their sense of emotion.

  7. I enjoy the idea of this series and I think as images alone these are very well exposed and are very strong graphically. One thing I wish was that since you are tying the way you destroy the book to the content of the book, we as viewers will never know how that ties because we cannot tell what the book is/what its content is.

  8. I really enjoy the bottom image, shooting down on the burning book. It appears as if I just set the pages to fire and now watch what happens from above. I can build many narratives around why this book is burning which I think makes it interesting in that we don’t know why or how this book is burning. The viewer can decide what the book may be about or reasons as to why it is on fire..I’m interested to see some of the other techniques used to destroy the books.

  9. Greetings from Michigan!

    I enjoy these two images, due to the lighting and the high contrast I see. I like how there is pure darkness around your focal point.

    Questions I have for you are,
    Are you just picking random books?
    Is there a meaning behind the book you are burning?

    I think that if you had a meaning or reason behind a book you are burning, the viewers will engage into your pictures.

  10. These images are absolutely gorgeous. I love that you chose to take them at night rather than during the day where the light coming from the fire wouldn’t be as intense or make nearly as much of an impact on the images.
    Your exposure time is well done as well, the flames stand out even more against the black and we aren’t distracted by things in the background.
    Chances are I didn’t see these images in crit because I wasn’t around, so I may just be stating obvious things.
    BUT it would wonderful to see these images presented with close ups of the pages so we can see how the fire not only is burning, but illuminating them. Seeing what words and passages it is that are being illuminated.
    And even close ups of the parts of the pages that are meeting the flames, turning to embers, then ash.
    Also images of the ashened book would be powerful as well and something interesting to explore. (With little to no flames left)

  11. Great concept, I don’t like books so these bring great pleasure to me. Definitely play with more angles and depth of field while pursuing your full series.

  12. These are very interesting! Very well lit and good contrast throughout the photos. Although, I am confused on what the concept is…
    Is there a meaning behind the books you are burning?

  13. The lighting is super dramatic in these shots and you captured the fire very crisply. I am curious to the reasoning behind the destruction of books, what the symbolism can mean. The dark background and the fire suggest a burning of something negative which could maybe rebirth a positive. Whatever the reason, the limited color palette, crisp clarity, and strong chiaroscuro lighting create a very dramatic imagery for the viewer.

  14. Your concept is interesting and I like that you connected the destruction of the book to the content in the book–makes the images more powerful. You successfully captured the light of the fire, which makes the destruction more dramatic, especially in the first image. I would definitely like to see more.

  15. These are done wonderfully in a technical and conceptual sense. I think I’ve commented on your other series of you putting books in dirt, but they’re just so aesthetically wonderful, I almost forget that my heart hurts seeing literature being destroyed. Truly wonderful images, even if they are a tad heartbreaking.

  16. Wow these images are striking! The concept of destroying books is so random but really resonates with me. I plan on burning any text books i don’t end up selling so I’m all for this. Its rebellious and very reflective.

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