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Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art Paperback – Illustrated, March 1, 2009
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- Item Weight : 2.4 pounds
- Paperback : 216 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0870705156
- ISBN-13 : 978-0870705151
- Product Dimensions : 8.9 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
- Publisher : The Museum of Modern Art, New York (March 1, 2009)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #197,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This book discusses 100 photographers (100 shots with no artist twice). They are in approximately chronological order. The author discusses why the shots are the way they are in terms of technological limits, expectations/assumptions/conventions of the time, and composition; though not often all three for a single photo.
Following up on each photographer via wikipedia and image search was my roll-my-own version of a History of Photography. (but only up to 1969, which is the date of the last photo in this book.)
When I started, I didn't know that this was what I wanted, but it was.
The subjects of the discussion of each image is not identical for each one. In most discussions we learn about the history of the photographer. More words are probably used to discuss each photographer's history than anything else. The curator's discussion of why the image is significant, why it works etc, is less even with some images getting a greater discussion about this than others.
If indeed I had had a long private tour of these images with Mr. Szarkowski I would have asked more questions about why the individual images "worked" than what the author covered in his discussions. OTOH, since I'm somewhat lazy about visiting museums (and I live in NYC!) reading this book is equal or better than a long day trip to the museum. I certainly came away knowing more than when I started this book.
If you are serious about photography, get this book. If you want to understand more about photography, get this book. If you know a photo lover, get this book!
One page is the image, the opposing page is a short essay on what is critically imporant about this photographer/image/style.
Really - if you are thinking about it and going so far as to read these comments, you should just go ahead and buy this book.