Elmo Tide $60
Enigmatic photographer Elmo Tide has photographed odd and intriguing characters of late-night revelry for the past decade. Preferring to remain completely anonymous in order to keep the focus on his work and not on himself, he publishes his photographs under his arbitrarily invented pseudonym of bizarre misdirection. Tide works usually under the cover of nightfall, composing high-contrast black-and-white mise-en-scènes that appear almost as if they're from a different era, as if “Robert Frank and Fellini [went] to the carnival” (NPR). The images often include vestiges of old Americana, yet they’re shot entirely in Los Angeles, revealing a different, darker side of the city than most people may be used to seeing. The cinematic, decisive moments he captures on the streets of Hollywood and in dimly lit theaters of Los Angeles focus on a wide variety of individuals and archetypes, including wrestlers, dwarfs, strippers, policemen, and cowboys, many of whom range in age from the very young to the very old. His pictures are a testament to what can be accomplished solely with 35mm film, a normal lens, and practical lighting. He achieves a mysterious chiaroscuro and highlights people in surreal situations, which sometimes appear even stranger than reality—yet they’re all captured, documented moments from the real world, and nothing is staged. Truly one of the most unique voices to emerge in street photography, AMMO Books is proud to release his eponymous first monograph.