Challenge Accepted

1 Facebook Post. 7 Days. 900 Photos. And Counting

Non-Fiction - Art/Photography
234 Pages
Reviewed on 03/12/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Challenge Accepted: 1 Facebook Post. 7 Days. 900 Photos. And Counting is a work of non-fiction in the photography subgenre that was created by Chris Maltby. As the title suggests, this unique work was inspired by a simple everyday post on Facebook. The author was inspired to use his creative eye to capture everyday life through the lens of a smartphone. Those efforts resulted in this book, which chronicles the day-to-day events of Chris’s life and seemingly dull visuals, bringing them to life through stunning black and white artistry. The photos are accompanied by witty commentary and musings to contextualize them.

If you’re seeking an abstract coffee table photography book that will bring about plenty of interesting conversation, then look no further than Challenge Accepted by Chris Maltby. I personally enjoyed the connection that Maltby made between his own ideas and thoughts and the images he’s captured, which make you look at them from multiple perspectives and begin to understand his viewpoint as an artist. The book is also gorgeously well presented and engrossing. You just don’t want to stop flipping pages. I also feel that this work would be very useful in inspiring young artists to develop their critical eye and show them that photographic art can be found and created everywhere they look. Overall, I would highly recommend Challenge Accepted to photography enthusiasts the world over who are looking to expand their style even if they don’t have anything more than a smartphone to use to start their artistic journey.

Asher Syed

Challenge Accepted: 1 Facebook Post. 7 Days. 900 Photos. And Counting by Chris Maltby is an artistic photography book that the author compiled following a social media challenge that took on a life of its own for him. Maltby’s compilation is in black and white, depicting still life scenes through the lens of a cellphone. Most of the photos appear to have been honed into dramatic, razor-sharp clarity to the degree that resembles gorgeous unsharp masking. Maltby prefaces each of the 102 published shots with a sequential photograph number, a title, a day number that is not chronological, and a brief description or anecdotal story behind the piece.

There’s a lot of traditional photographers out there who have determined that their craft as an art form is exclusive to the use of bulky, bazillion-dollar cameras, turning their noses up at the emerging phone artform. I agree with this a lot of the time, but every once in a while, someone comes along with an eye and a talent that eclipses these preconceptions. Today, that person is Chris Maltby. Simply put, the work in Challenge Accepted is absolutely gorgeous. Had I not been told these were taken with a camera phone, I would never have guessed so myself. It is hard not to be swept away with abstract depictions of the contemporary and already very abstract Cragg sculpture at the Uffizi. Still, the everyday photos of places like San Francisco’s City Hall take the cake for me. It also has a single-lined caption that pretty much sums up Maltby’s work as a whole: ”Stunning.”

Astrid Iustulin

Some challenges are worth accepting, especially those that can bring enormous satisfaction. The story of Chris Maltby's amazing book Challenge Accepted: 1 Facebook Post. 7 Days. 900 Photos. And Counting began some time ago with a photo challenge on Facebook. The challenge lasted only seven days, but Maltby has continued to post black-and-white photos on the social network ever since, and now some of them are collected in this spectacular book. Geometrics, shapes, and places are the protagonists of Challenge Accepted. Overall, Maltby has the talent to make them art.

I am a photography lover and an amateur photographer, so I was very intrigued by Challenge Accepted. What I like the most is that the book contains only black and white photographs. I find them charming and perfect to tell any story. I will not tell you how surprised I was to read that Maltby, too, prefers black and white photos to color ones. This statement made me even more interested in Challenge Accepted. I have to say that the photographs collected here are spectacular beyond all my expectations. Maltby captures shapes and places so that they "speak" for themselves, even if you do not read their descriptions (although I recommend you do). Each picture makes you admire the genius and talent of the photographer. To say that I am thrilled with Challenge Accepted is an understatement. I look forward to the next volume (which Maltby promises at the end of the book) to have another opportunity to be enchanted by the work of this extraordinary artist.