Book pictures city from sprawl to slender

By Kathleen Myler, published in the Houston Chronicle, 1986

Herring Press, Inc.'s present to Houston on its birthday is Houston, A Self-Portrait, the latest book from the local fine arts publisher.

Houston, A Self-Portrait celebrates the city in 136 color photographs by 29 local shutter artists. The pictures depict the calm of sailing on Clear Lake, the violence of a rider being thrown from the mechanical bull at Gilley's, and the familiar splendor of Houston's skyline at dawn, dusk and in between.

The book was designed and edited by Jerry Herring, head of the 2-year-old Herring Press. The publisher's previous photographic books include Historic Galveston and Presence, The Transco Tower.

Douglas Milburn, executive editor of Houston City magazine and the author of a walking guide to Houston, introduces the pictures. "Every morning I get up and go out and the city takes me by the lapels and shakes me and says, look at this, and this, and this, isn't it extraordinary, have you ever seen anything like it?" he writes.

Portrait captures those images.


Love for city shows in new book of photos

By Betty Ewing, published in the Houston Chronicle, 1986

Question: If you are a photographer, professional or amateur, what's your favorite Houston subject?

There are probably as many answers as there are photographers. The Sam Houston statue in Hermann Park, Kathy Whitmire in the mayor's office, the ship channel, the Medical Center, the Rockets, the Oilers, the Astros, the slums, the mansions, the children, the rodeo, ad infinitum.

But Jerry Herring of Herring Press, whose latest success in the publishing business is titled Houston, A Self-Portait, can document his answer with figures.

He edited 5,000 photos taken by 50 photographers.

"It was interesting that every, and I mean every, photographer had in his or her portfolio a photo of the Houston skyline," said Jerry, who wound up using 136 stunning photos by 29 photographers and naming one section "Skyline."

The second most popular subject in the portfolios, said the designer and editor, was the Transco Tower. And Herring Press also published Presence, The Transco Tower, that continues to receive kudos in the publishing/design world. That book and Herring's Historic Galveston have been selected (413 pieces were in competition) to appear in the 1986 Communication Arts annual.

So much for figures. 

The recent reception was at the Innova Design Center in Greenway Plaza on the second floor where the American Institute of Architects-Houston Chapter's new library and Karl Kilian's Brazos Bookshop satellite are located.

It was a double opening — for the book and the library/bookshop.

Martha Murphree, executive director of the AIA-Houston chapter, Innova's Kris Scott and Kilian planned the party.

Kilian brought along a load of Houston, A Self-Portrait for signature seekers. Douglas Milburn, executive editor of Houston City magazine and the author of the text, was there as were a number of the photographers.

Jim Sims (his work includes fabulous shots of Sunfish sailing boats on Clear Lake and the Goodyear blimp at anchor) was just back from shooting gold mines in Nevada.

Ron Scott, who is into computer graphics, has been invited to speak on this red-hot subject at the International Conference pf Professional Photographers in New York on Sunday.

Robb Kendick has been invited to participate in A Day In the Life of America book series. Jerry Herring remembered meeting Robb for the first time at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. "He was taking pictures of cowboys," recalled Jerry. That makes sense. He's from Hereford, Texas, where champion bronc busters come from. Robb's cowboy pictures are champs, too.

Bob Gomel, who came here from New York to shoot some photos of Houston for Life magazine, said he was fascinated with the Olympic-sized swimming pool at the Shamrock Hilton hotel. His photo of a motorboat pulling water skiiers across it is a fabulous double-page photo in the leisure section, along with his shot of a party for the West Point Glee Club in Joanne King Herring (Mrs. Lloyd) Davis' ballroom at her home on Rivercrest.

Many of the beautiful sky photographs in the book were taken by George O. Jackson Jr. from his balcony at the Parkland.

Richard Payne, who also photographed Historic Galveston for Herring Press, was saying au revoir to his Texas compadres before taking off for a year in Paris on a grant from the American Center there.

Other photographers included Joe Baraban, Steve Brady, Jim Caldwell, Chris Kulhman, Jim Olive, Janice Rubin, Jacques De Selliers, F. Carter Smith, Ellis Vener and Mark Green.