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The Pleasures of Good Photographs (Aperture Ideas) Paperback – June 30, 2010


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Product Details

  • Series: Aperture Ideas
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Aperture (June 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597111392
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597111393
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm always amazed that a visual medium like photography sometimes requires a verbal explanation to understand. I suppose that's because image literacy is not innate but learned.

"The Pleasures of Good Photographs" contains photography criticism by Gerry Badger, who is a critic, photographer and curator as well as the author of the introductions to many image collections. Although it is organized into separate essays, rather than precisely-linked chapters, the book develops several of Badger's favorite themes, like the difference between subject and subject matter. (The former is what the image shows; the latter what the image is about.) The author starts with old masters like Eugene Atget and Walker Evens and moves on to more recent photographers like Anna Fox and Susan Lipper. Along the way he visits topics like feminist photography and whether photography is an art. He favors the documentary image and the photo book. He writes clearly and avoids most of the mumbo-jumbo of critical theory. Because he covers so much ground in terms of the history of photography and the practitioners, the work will resonate less with readers without an extensive background in that history, particularly since the essays are usually illustrated with a single image, or at most two, except for a short section where Badger explores 16 images having to do with paths and roadways.

The author most values documentary content in photographs. Unfortunately the expression of this view, shared by many critics of photography, often seems to be either a lengthy version of "these pictures are really good" or a bit of art history rather than an exploration of the work.

I must acknowledge some personal disappointment because the author favors content over form.
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