"The meat of Take Me To The River is, of course, the photographs themselves. Presented dramatically with dreamy bright orthochromatic skies, they look quite beautiful in this large scale book. Kolster photographed from a variety of perspectives with varying amounts of human influence. Some images show Edenic natural settings. Some — generally downstream — are quite industrial. A few show actual humans, blurred toward indistinction by the slow exposure process. The range of expressions that a single river can take on is quite extraordinary. One of Kolster's favorite techniques is to combine several photographs of a site horizontally into a panoramic sequence."
—Blake Andrews, photo-eye (read the full article here)
"Kolster's photographs are magical. To see them is to slip in time between past and present, to know rivers as products of natural and cultural forces, to reflect on the place of rivers in American culture, and to appreciate how photographs can transform understanding. Take Me to the River is required reading for all who care about photography, landscape, and the presence of history."
—Anne Whiston Spirn, Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning at MIT and author of The Eye Is a Door: Landscape, Photography, and the Art of Discovery and The Language of Landscape
"The medium is perfectly suited to the message in this beautiful and thought-provoking book. The light- sensitive emulsions flowing over the polished glass of Kolster's gorgeous ambrotype plates evoke the river water he stops dead still with his camera. Images and rivers, both, possess a serenity that belies their complex industrial histories. By using a slow and laborious nineteenth-century process, Kolster makes us pause to wonder how we can find unexpected glimpses of beauty in our own lives and to think hard about historical change, never a one-way street."
—Martha A. Sandweiss, Professor of History at Princeton University and author of Laura Gilpin: An Enduring Grace and Print the Legend: Photography and the American West
"Kolster's ambrotype photos are like rivers. They testify to the past, present, and future—here, a couple of centuries of industrial history and the twenty-first century efforts to clean it all up—while remaining irresistibly beautiful."
—Jenny Price, author of Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America
"Michael Kolster's book is one of beautifully realized images and great writing by the artist, curator Alison Nordström, and historian Matthew Klingle. It is an unforgettable collection of downstream images, memories, and aspirations where the river will always be saved."
—Christopher James, author of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes