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Author Topic: The library  (Read 5094 times)


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The library
« on: June 04, 2013, 02:39:29 AM »
I didn't see any discussion on that topic so I'll start it.

I was just getting myself some photography litterature (namely the new Winogrand, collections of Lewis Hines and Andre Kertesz and an exhibition catalogue of O Zhang) and I was rethinking about comments on "photography litteracy".

Actually the more I get social with other photographers, the more I can see the difference in approach between people with "references"and people without. (no judgment there, both approach are valid as creation process ... but maybe less as discussion base ;) )

So please share your "photography readings". Can be famous photog books, can be "how to's", whatever you think helps you shoot better!

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The library
« on: June 04, 2013, 02:39:29 AM »


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Re: The library
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2013, 07:10:26 AM »
Good idea - great topic.

Not that I am reading a lot on phtography, but I will mention especially one book that is really inspirational, emotionally moving and simply great to open when at rest with a good cup of coffee:

*  'The Family of Man', a book with photos from an exhibition at MoMA in New York City in 1955. (A portrait of the whole humanity)

One more specialized book, that I have enjoyed much, too, is:

* 'Still Life : Irving Penn Photographs, 1938-2000'

Besides I do read now and then books on how to make photos. No specific recommendations here, as I tend to use the web more and more, as I can direct my searches in specific directions as needed.

I look forward to more good ideas coming out in response to this topic.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 07:44:16 AM by PKinDenmark »
Enjoying photography very much - and that includes the technicalities as well as the planning, shooting and post-processing. Equipment is centered around a Canon 6D.


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Re: The library
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2013, 09:04:04 AM »
When I started to go digital I bought the Canon camera Book of Christian Haasz. It's outdated now but was great as starter.
I bought, read and still reading
- the Speedliters Handbook of Syl Arena
- Book of practice / Bird photography (Dutch)
- Book of practice / Landscape photography (Dutch)
- Digital photography Nature by Johan W. Elzenga

Further I have subscriptions on 2 photography magazines that also come with special editions (like B&W photography, Portraits, Landscape, The Big photography Handbook (giving all in and outs of the techniques)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 09:07:42 AM by candyman »
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Re: The library
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2013, 09:36:47 AM »
Only one thing I can think off right away: Light, Science & Magic


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Re: The library
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2013, 10:43:36 PM »
If you are interested in critical thinking about photography there are a handful of excellent books that you can read very quickly, but which that you can come back to time after time and always learn something new.

My short list is: John Szarkowski's "The Photographer's Eye" (not to be confused with the Michael Freeman book of the same title); “The Nature of Photographs” by Stephen Shore; “Beauty in Photography” by Robert Adams; Roland Barthes’ “Camera Lucida” and Susan Sontag’s “On Photography.”

A person could spend almost an entire life just absorbing and learning from what these authors have to say.
Of course there are tons of nice monographs covering great photographers and it really just depends on whom you happen to be interested in. But, no serious photographer should be without Robert Frank’s “The Americans” – which is unquestionably the most influential photographic essay of the 20th century.
It used to be that if you wanted to read a history of photography, Beaumont Newhall was about the only choice available. Now there are a whole host of good histories. Newhall remains a classic, but his vision is a bit dated and rigid. Keep in mind that Newhall originally wrote his history to accompany a show at the Museum of Modern Art and his clear intent was to cement MOMA’s place as the center of photographic art. As such, his history focused on images that were in the collection of the museum and excluded images and artists that were not represented in the museum collection. He was an ally of Ansel Adams and together they worked to advance “straight” photography and exclude from photography’s history those artists that they disapproved of (William Mortensen, for example).

I think Naomi Rosenblum’s “A World History of Photography” is probably a better, more current and more inclusive history.

I recently finished Geoff Dyer’s “The Ongoing Moment” which is a delightful and thoughtful book. It won the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award for writing on Photography.

As far as “how to” books, I think the best approach is to pick them up as you feel the need to improve upon specific skills. There are a lot of good ones out there. All of them can teach you techniques. None of them can teach you vision.


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Re: The library
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2013, 11:08:37 PM »
OK good start, keep them coming!

In the OP, I was talking of my last order but here is some I'm always going back to :
The Americans - Robert Frank (of course)
England and Scotland 1960 - Bruce Davidson
Dream Street: W. Eugene Smith's Pittsburgh Project
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century


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Re: The library
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 09:29:51 AM »
I found these three books from Michael Freeman very useful, especially for for beginners (as I am :) )
Photographer's Eye
Photographer's Mind
Perfect Exposure

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Re: The library
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2013, 09:29:51 AM »


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Re: The library
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 09:47:04 AM »
5000 days. (inspirational world around us)

Magnum: Magnum.  (the zenith of the art)

The genius of Photography (BBC book and DVD)

The Kodak Encyclopedia of Practical Photogprahy (multi volume, I had the old 70's 80's series.  Invaluable)

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Re: The library
« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2013, 09:47:04 AM »