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The Genius of Photography [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Gerry Badger
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
RRP: £14.99
Price: £10.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Mar 2011
Accompanying the first major television history of this ever more influential artform, this landmark book explores the key events and the key images that have marked the development of photography. At the heart of the book is a quest to understand what makes a truly great photograph. What is it that makes a photograph by Nan Goldin or Henri Cartier Bresson stand out among the millions of others taken by all of us every single day? "The Genius of Photography" examines the evolution of photography in its wider context: social, political, economic, technological and artistic. It brings a critical perspective and a strong aesthetic sense to the subject, but above all it is primarily a narrative history. It begins with the earliest days of the photograph in the 1840s and ends with an examination of the state of photography today and the effect that the 'digital revolution' will have, changing not only how we look at a photograph but what it is in a physical sense.This book examines all the different genres of photography from landscape and portraiture to news and reportage. It also tells the great stories behind many of the world's most iconic photographs and reveals the extraordinary characters - from Louis Daguerre and Cindy Sherman, Paul Strand and Robert Capa - who have made and defined this art form. Provocative and enlightening by turns, this is a major book for anyone who wants to know more about one of the most important art forms of the 21st century.

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The Genius of Photography + The Genius of Photography [DVD]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Quadrille Publishing Ltd; paperback edition (4 Mar 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844006093
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844006090
  • Product Dimensions: 29.5 x 22.9 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,983 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'A landmark book that tells the stories behind the world's most iconic images.' --The Booksellers Buyer's Guide, 1 August 2014 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Gerry Badger is a photographer, architect, curator and critic. He has written extensively for the photographic press, and among his recent books are Collecting Photography, The Photobook: A History (with Martin Parr), and the text to a major monograph of the Berlin work of John Gossage, Berlin in the Time of the Wall (2004). Amongst the exhibitions he has curated were Photographer as Printmaker: 140 Years of Photographic Printmaking, the Arts Council of Great Britain travelling exhibition, 1981-82, and Through the Looking Glass: Photographic Art in Great Britain 1945-1989, at the Barbican Art Gallery, 1989. His own work was included in The Garden in English Art at Tate Britain, London, in 2004. Author Location: London

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent cultural guide. 26 Feb 2008
This book is an excellent guide to the culture of photography, examining various significant photographers, mostly 20th century. There could be more actual photographs but the text is intelligently written, making interesting links between various movements and styles. It tends to jump around the timeline a bit but is all the more interesting for that. Overall, a very good, if possibly subjective, view of photographic history which does not become bogged down in academia.
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read 23 Jan 2008
I don't normally go for TV tie-in books but this book is an excellent read, and it makes you think about what photography all about.

The pictures are mainly the same as the TV series but photographs don't come over well on the box, far better to appreciate them reproduced properly and with time to see them properly.

It is a good introduction to many previously little known photographers and I was sorry when I had finished reading it as I would have liked more of the same!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Photographic Feast! 29 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If you are studying the history of the fascinating medium of photography this book is an absolute must. Everything set out in order from 1800 to the present day and unlike the DVD which it accompanies it also provides a clear, dated, timeline with a clearer explanation of changes in technology as well as photographic styles and genre. Entertainingly written by Gerry Badger and beautifully illustrated throughout. I bought both, but if had to choose between the book and the DVD, the book would be the winner.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent history of photography 19 Sep 2010
This book, made to accompany the BBC series of the same name, is a great primer in the history of photography, roughly divided into chapters that are part chronological, part subject-based.

The writing is not of the best quality - the syntax is clunky and there are plenty of howlers in here ("pour" over the archives, anyone?) - but the depth of coverage of all the major photographers and photographic styles is excellent. Flicking through the book it seems that every important image througout photographic history is reprinted here. Amateur photographers looking for examples of great work should look no further.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great historical overview 4 Mar 2012
Badger presents a history of photography (up to mid 2000s) in a friendly way, balancing text and photos so you keep turning the pages effortlessly.

His texts are mostly objective and descriptive, and somewhat loosely focus on the chronology of the medium from a technological point of view and on the discussions occurred throughout time about photography's status as art, its reliability in 'telling' the truth, different paradigms and schools, as well as ethical issues about different types of photography: portraits, documentary, abstract, fine art, war, etc.

Throughout the book a number of photographers are presented and selected examples of their work (one or two images usually) shown and briefly discussed, normally on a full page, sometimes in double page and others in half page.

A timeline and a glossary of print processes are useful references presented in the end of the book.

The design is pleasant and the paper / print quality good enough to appreciate the details of the images.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable supplement to the DVD 24 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is excellent in physical quality, and the pictures are large and well printed. I bought this book after buying and watching the DVD series with the same title. I thought it would be nice to be able to read about the many photographers in the series, and do more research on them using the internet.
The book has the same structure as the dvd episodes, but it also digresses enough from it to make it worthwhile. Some pictures from the series are missing in the book, and vice versa. This is in fact a good thing. To give one example: in a dvd episode, the American photographer Sally Mann gets lots of attention. In the book, she is mentioned in the text, but not a single photograph of her is in it. This may well be a disappointment to some, but at the same time, there are lots of pictures in the book that are not on the dvd. That way, the book is really an extension to the dvd.
The writing is quite personal and provocative (taking a stand), which gives it a modern feel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent and informative read 6 Feb 2012
I've bought this book after seeing the BBC documentary and I wasn't disappointed by my acquisition. The book is very well written, the author keeps a well balanced tone throughout the chapters by giving insightful information both on the technical aspects of photography - especially in the starting chapters - and also on the artistic value of the illustrated images.
The relatively large format of the book, helps on offering large and detailed reproductions of some of the most iconic images in the history of photography.
This work addresses both photography enthusiasts and also avid art readers willing to find out more about one of the 20th century's most influential arts.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb. 30 Oct 2011
The title says it all- this series was the first and perhaps only large-scale look at the history of photography. and is a must-have for anyone seriously interested in the subject.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book and good service by seller
Book arrived in good time, was as advertised and I'm very pleased with it.
Published 9 days ago by Andie Pandie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic book to go with documentary series
Published 29 days ago by miss s gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good quality for price!
Book is good for photojournalist students and people interested.
Published 2 months ago by Laura Davies
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent!!
Excellent book for the photography lovers! A serious and passionate journey into photography's history.

Must read it for sure!
Thank you
Published 7 months ago by Luis barbosa
5.0 out of 5 stars Education for everybody
This is a very good introduction to the world of photography for both beginners and professors. The pictures are linked with the history and it all makes a lot of sence.
Published 10 months ago by Anne Jensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book
A wonderful book, great source for interesting images and to understand what makes a good image. I recomend it for photography students, art students.
Published 12 months ago by Therry Rudin
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This book is great. If you want to learn about photography buy this book. You will not be disappointed, OK
Published 15 months ago by Deborah Guy
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic coffee table book
I've had the book for a couple of years now and still pick it up now and again to look through it. For anyone who is slightly interested in photography, its a must read. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Alec Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillian in depth overview of photography.
An excellent book and DVD. This provides an in depth coverage of the development of photography throughout the 20c. Read more
Published 19 months ago by will
5.0 out of 5 stars Companion the the BBS Series
The history of photography brought in context and sequence. Short, entertaining and educating.
A must have for everyone interested in the medium. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Thomas Bregulla
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