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Documentary Photography (Library of Photography) Paperback – January, 1974

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Product Details

  • Series: Library of Photography
  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Time Life UK (January 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0705400360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0705400367
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,184,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robin Benson on April 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book mentioned in the bibliographies of a couple of books dealing with the history of American photography and I thought I would get a copy, though it is well out of print. It turned to be a sort of magical mystery tour of several versions probably because Time/Life published different books in their library collections but with the same title. I eventually found the original 1972 edition and varying in price from a few dollars to over fifty.

My copy is ten inches square with a silver cover and black and white photos throughout (I think later editions had color work) and I thought the contents rather impressive considering it was published for the mass market. The six chapters with more than a 190 photos from thirty-seven documentary photographers like Lartique, Atget and Riis up to Arbus and Freed in the late sixties. Each get a few prints to give an impression of their work. Chapter three about the Photo League, featuring fifteen photographers was fascinating. The League and its activities could well make an art book in itself.

Considering the book is over three decades old the presentation doesn't look dated. The layout is simple with page size photos and using Helvetica throughout but there is something about the printing that makes it look special. As far as I can tell the photos seem to be duotones printed with matt black and silver inks with 150 and 200dpi screens. This gives the images an unusual feeling of depth because the dark area are really black and yet the lighter parts (with the help of the silver) look much more dimensional. Nicely the printing technique gives familiar photos a new look.

If you can find an inexpensive copy of this 1972 edition you'll have a wonderful book of great documentary photos.

***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
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Format: Hardcover
An excellent reference for anyone interested in the history of documentary photography... It covers the time period of the mid-1800s all the way up to the time the book was written. The good thing about this particular book is that the photos take center stage, with large high quality images on nearly every page. When there is text, it is usually short and to the point, explaining the events surrounding each photograph, the artists interpretation or motivations. The photographs are allowed to speak for themselves... This is exactly as such a book should be in my opinion...

Some very joyous, moving and sometimes disturbing images are included in the book, such as scenes of wars, famines, depressions, child labour, poverty, etc, but in all cases the images are tastful and not exploitive in nature...

A great book to pick up and browse just might come away with a greater understanding of the world we live in
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