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Photographs Not Taken [Paperback]

Lyle Rexer , Nina Berman , Roger Ballen , Will Steacy
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.95
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Photographs Not Taken + Photography Changes Everything + Core Curriculum: Writings on Photography (Aperture Ideas)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: Daylight Community Arts Foundation; 2nd edition (29 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0983231613
  • ISBN-13: 978-0983231615
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 333,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars different view of photography 25 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Though not my cup of tea, it certainly makes you look photography different angle, as always we talk for those we took means we see, but surely it's worth maybe talked for those not taken maybe in imaginary form as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book about absence 24 Dec 2012
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So how do you make a book about NOT taking a photograph so interesting? By listening to different photographs describe instances when for a multitude of reasons they didn't make the image.. So out of respect, some out of distraction, others for any number of various reasons. Fascinating for anyone who takes mages. We've al been there..walked away knowing an amazing photograph was there but lost or maybe sometimes surrendered... This is a great read... Any student of photography should have this.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars only read if your a huge photography fan 28 Feb 2013
By nexus6
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was given this book as a book club choice, not my thing , i sure if your into photography you would love this book , but i just found the essays to much of the same theme :(
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wisdom for all photographers 30 April 2012
By Andrew Ilachinski - Published on
The book is a collection of short essays - by a wide range of photographers - about moments in space and time that never became photographs! Oh, how well I (as all photographers can, at one time or another) resonate with those moments. Maybe we've forgotten our camera, or our tripod, or filter; maybe our camera froze at an inopportune moment; maybe the subject of our gaze shifted its position, or flew away, as we were preparing to take the picture; maybe a gust of wind blew that perfectly composed image into the mists of time, or that sudden burst of sun from behind a cloud ruined the perfect exposure.

As a photographer myself, the book made me think of many of my own "Photographs Not Taken" moments; when, even though I was in the right state of mind and soul, and had perfectly well functioning camera and gear by my side, the photograph I wanted to take - the photograph I needed to take - I did not take, and is now gone forever. I vividly recall one particular series of photographs I could easily have taken and never did. It happened between 25 and 30 years ago, when my dad (an art restorer / artist) was still in his prime and worked at home in his upstairs studio. Except for one precious photograph, captured more by accident than design, I do not have any other visual record of my dad working as an art restorer in his studio! This represents the single greatest regret in my life as a photographer (thus far); namely, that I had never trained my eye and camera on my dad while he was still alive and worked in his studio.

Photographs Not Taken contains many stories similar to mine, that range from whimsical, to personal, to tragic. Of course, the book contains no photographs (at least of the conventional variety ;-) and even the typesetting is kept to a bare minimum, the focus being squarely on the stories themselves. But collectively, these wonderful stories teach us what we must do to become better photographers. They remind us that we are - in each and every moment of our lives - immersed in an infinite field of ever-changing extraordinary and timeless images; and the fact that we have or have not a camera, or want or do not want or cannot use it, hardly even matters. Just look, revel in what you feel, and remember.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and thought-provoking 14 May 2012
By In The Loupe - Published on
This book really allows you to let your imagination hold hands with these A list photographers as they each eloquently describe a photograph not taken. Simply being out of film, not knowing how to get into the action, respecting a subject's privacy or their own, every essay is a little gem and an insight to the realities and practicalities of this art. Sylvia Plachy's words haunt me: "Diane Arbus would have done it."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What happens to a photo untaken? 29 April 2012
By evaB - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
OK so if a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a picture untaken worth? This brisk but captivating collection answers that just question. In thoughtful, short vignettes accomplished photographers recall That Unsnapped Moment in their careers or lives. This book reports on how a photo that never happened occupies the imagination, how it is developed by memory, and rendered in writing. There is some magical imagery and sentence-ing in these collections and it's probably magical because it reminds us that any picture that presumes to capture the "now" becomes instantly elegiac (see Instagram, which fetishizes that transformation). So the perfectly composed moment remembered through the lens of relinquishment becomes even more haunted. It's also fascinating to browse through all the reasons that seasoned photographers miss or choose to miss the perfect shot. I was surprised how different all the disclosures are from each other, and yet how touchingly personal, whether an author is attending the birth of his child or chasing news in Syria.

The writing of some of these compact, punchy essays is so evocative I am encouraged to check out the work of these photographers to see if their snapped photos match the keeness of their observations. Here is Laurel Nagadate: "There is a beauty in not being enough. Sometimes, photographs live in our hearts as unborn ghosts and we survive not because their shadows find a permanence there, but because that thing that is larger than us, larger than the things we can point to, remember, and claim, escorts us from dark into light, we emerge from the flames with no one in our arms, and we never unpack the camera." This collection is a potent tribute to not unpacking the camera but taking the moment anyway. Highly recommended if you take photography or memory at all seriously.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Photographs Not Taken 20 Mar 2012
By Bgrax - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Nice concept and a good read. Journal of Delacroix, Vincent van Gogh The Letters, Edward Weston Daybooks and all of Anne Truitt's books are good introspectives on what it's like to be creative. This book is in the direction of the above mention titles and a great read for new photographers. (Just get past the politically bigoted first bit by Dave Anderson and the rest is quite good)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small Simple & Elegant 23 Jan 2013
By Stuart Murdoch - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The production values in this book are delightful, very minimal and spares but eminently readable as a consequence. The essay a short and perfunctory, some soulful and reflective others a tad abstract, I've enjoyed most of them so far, still reading of course, but a nice little book to read in the small quiet times, when you aren't in the moo for a bigger read or don't have the time. I am a little disappointed by the lack of depth in some of the essays, still few photographers are writers, Emmet Gowin being the exception in this book.
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