BASE ON A TRUE STORY - Signed Limited Edition


(based on a true story)

Signed Limited Edition, hardcover with slipcase

Right off the bat, we’re uncertain. A folio, held together with string and beads? Twenty-first Century digital imagery, presented in a Fifteenth Century publishing format; this is going to be good.

We understand the familiar spine-creak and fragrant, glossy pages of other photo books that line our shelves.  Images set off against white matting, each afforded a respectful moment, each making its unique statement.

This is the opposite of what (based on a true story) aspires to.

The prevailing ethos of photojournalism – as we have known it for the past 50 years – has been that the photographer should somehow be invisible, recording life with an objective, almost clinical dispassion. David Alan Harvey doesn’t do dispassion. He wants to get closer, forge a bond so tight that subject learns as much from photographer as photographer learns from subject.

(based on a true story) is a collection of spectacular, mysterious moments.  The story moves with fluidity and ease, all day and all night, through a city that is never named on a continent never specified. Is it journalism?  Is it “staged”?  As the poet said: partly truth partly fiction, a walking contradiction

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Published by BurnBooks June 2012

  • 66 full bleed photographs 9,64” x 14,17”

  • 1 poster 14,17 ” x 18,50 “

  • 1 roadmap for original re-assembling

  • 1 postcard with clues

  • Slipcase: double run color print on canvas ‘IRIS’

  • Cover: hardcover, color print on canvas ‘IRIS’

  • Contact sheet on inside cover, flap

  • Shipping box: cardboard, duo color printed

  • Paper: Fedrigoni Splendorgel Extra White 160 gr

  • Photographs: David Alan Harvey

  • Layout and Design: Bryan Harvey

  • Producer: Eva-Maria Kunz

  • Production: Andrea Barbato, Michael Courvoisier, Candy Pilar Godoy

  • Printing by EBS, Verona, Italy

• 2012 Lucie Award 

• Top 10 photo books of the year, Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards, 2012

• Nominated for the Kassel Photo Book Award 2013

• Best Photography Book Award 2013, POYi

• Listed as one of the Best Books of 2012 by The New Yorker


“(based on a true story) set a new standard for the photo book. Extraordinary photography and book design.”
— Teju Cole for The New Yorker

“(based on a true story) seems to be a random machine gun attack of a book, but it’s not. It’s held together by carefully (and very cleverly) calculated clues. External elements such as the postcard of clues and the ‘map’ (it’s a visual map – I found it in the end) of the book point you in one direction…you get a raucous, dynamic and thoroughly enjoyable ride around the hillsides of Rio de Janeiro, in a book where the text, design and layout is incisive, innovative and fun.” 
—COLIN PANTALL for photo-eye

“The power of the best ideas comes from the intuitive, the connections that come out of nowhere (or seem to) from sensual and emotional places...not from logical story lines.” 
— John Matthias Mitchum

"It takes its place as one of the best of the more extravagantly designed photobooks at a time when extravagant design is making a comeback."
—MARTIN PARR and GERRY BADGER, The Photobook: A History, Volume III

Selected pictures from (based on a true story)