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Understanding a Photograph (Penguin on Design) [Paperback]

John Berger
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Nov 2013 Penguin on Design

John Berger's writings on photography are some of the most original of the twentieth century. This selection contains many groundbreaking essays and previously uncollected pieces written for exhibitions and catalogues in which Berger probes the work of photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith - and the lives of those photographed - with fierce engagement, intensity and tenderness.

The selection is made and introduced by Geoff Dyer, author of the award-winning The Ongoing Moment.

How do we see the world around us? This is one of a number of pivotal works by creative thinkers whose writings on art, design and the media have changed our vision for ever.

John Berger was born in London in 1926. His acclaimed works of both fiction and non-fiction include the seminal Ways of Seeing and the novel G., which won the Booker Prize in 1972. In 1962 he left Britain permanently, and he now lives in a small village in the French Alps.

Geoff Dyer is the author of four novels and several non-fiction books. Winner of the Lannan Literary Award, the International Centre of Photography's 2006 Infinity Award and the American Academy of Arts and Letters's E. M. Forster Award, Dyer is also a regular contributor to many publications in the UK and the US. He lives in London.


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Understanding a Photograph (Penguin on Design) + About Looking + Ways of Seeing (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (7 Nov 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0141392029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141392028
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 11 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,646 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Berger was born in London in 1926. He is well known for his novels & stories as well as for his works of nonfiction, including several volumes of art criticism. His first novel, "A Painter of Our Time", was published in 1958, & since then his books have included the novel "G.", which won the Booker Prize in 1972. In 1962 he left Britain permanently, & he now lives in a small village in the French Alps.

Product Description

Review

One of the most influential intellectuals of our time (Observer)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Perhaps I am a little 'unfair' in giving John Berger's book 3 star rating, but I was disappointed in that Berger writes more about the political, social, and economic intent and content of photos and their creators than about photography itself, and very little about photography as an established art form. The early essays (the book is chronological and reflects Berger's long career of writing and viewing) are the most academic and acerbic, and in some ways they seem 'soul-less'. The later pieces reflect a mellower, more humane and philosophical expression. Perhaps this kind of life and career developmental progression would true of most of us; indeed hopefully it is. However, it is clear that Berger is regarded, and probably rightly, as a major figure in the literature of photography, and as such the book deserves a place on the shelf of any thoughtful photography student - young or old.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 28 Sep 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of the great thinkers of our time- and quick delivery
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The guru 16 Mar 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Always worth reading, even if one doesn't always agree, his viewpoint is thoughtful and thought provoking. Worth dipping into his earlier works
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Berger 24 Mar 2014
By G. Coan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As with all his books Berger is insightful and his writing makes my brain work. A must have for all photographers and visual artists.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another must have for photographers 20 May 2014
By M. Stokes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Eloquent journal for the photo enthusiast. I enjoyed it, a keepsake for the library, and it makes a great gift.
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and important essays on photography 18 Aug 2014
By L. Spencer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
John Berger is a really intriguing and stimulating writer. Essays are his forte. Berger has had a life-long interest and involvement in photography. His collaborations with the photographer Jean Mohr (A Seventh Man, A Fortunate Man and Another Way of Telling) were truly original and have been highly influential. So it is great to have this collection of all his essays on photography.

I am not wild about the paperback format which I purchased. Aperture produce some exquisite books - see their recent books in the 'Workshop' series (Larry Fink and the Webbs) - but this is not quite up to their usual standard. It feels a little cramped, the cover is not one I enjoy holding in my hand. Sorry, Aperture... wish you had done the contents full justice.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ART STUDENT'S HELP FOR EVALUATING THE QUALITY OF PHOTOGRAPHS. 17 Feb 2014
By CUPSHAW - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
THIS BOOK HAS BEEN LONG AWAITED BY THE ARTIST'S WORLD. IT FILLS A NITCH WHICH HAS LONG EXISTED AS REGARDS TO HELPING THE AVERAGE INTERESTED PERSON, MUCH LESS THE AVERAGE ARTIST, SEE POHTOGRAPHS AS ART.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars ... out of date now - but that said a good piece of historical writing 13 July 2014
By mj - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's quite out of date now - but that said a good piece of historical writing.
Not so useful for current students who have no perspective on this history.
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