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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Curator's Greatest Moment
Szarkowski was not a great photographer but he was a renowned curator, and this book reflects the content of an exhibition which was a genuine watershed in the history of photography. I didn't realise until I had had it for a while just how seminal both it and the exhibition were, but put simply, Szarkowski consolidated the view that photography is a democratic medium...
Published on 27 Feb 2009 by Mr. J. Dix

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3.0 out of 5 stars Szarkowski's Choice
I have been an amateur and professional photographer for over forty years and it has taken most of that time to come to judgements about photography. I think photographs can be basically divided into two categories, ones taken as a way of recording and ones created as a piece of artwork. This book has both types and some, to my way of seeing anyway, are no more valid for...
Published 1 month ago by J. R. Carroll


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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great Curator's Greatest Moment, 27 Feb 2009
By 
Mr. J. Dix "jaybags" (Woking, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
Szarkowski was not a great photographer but he was a renowned curator, and this book reflects the content of an exhibition which was a genuine watershed in the history of photography. I didn't realise until I had had it for a while just how seminal both it and the exhibition were, but put simply, Szarkowski consolidated the view that photography is a democratic medium that does not rely on the efforts of the best. A great picture can come from anywhere and many of the pictures in this collection are from unknown photographers. Pictures speak for themselves and an accidentally brilliant picture can have as resonant a voice as one taken by a Cartier-Bresson, an Atget, a Brandt or anyone else. True, these great photographers made a habit of systematically tuning their perception to capture the "decisive moment", or the composition that told a story in a single image; but that did not give them, their forbears or their successors a monopoly of pictorial virtue. This is a lovely collection, briefly and brilliantly annotated. I would say that anyone who seriously wants to study the history of photography should own this book. And anyone who loves intriguing pictures too.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent quality, interesting historical information, 21 April 2010
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
Szarkowski was one of the leading lights in promoting photography as an art, and this book records his rationale and thinking about the process of making a photographic image. He explains the reaction of painters and other artists to the use of the camera to capture images, and the rigidity (in those days) of the process in reflecting what was in front of the camera as opposed to what was in the artists mind. The advent of digital photography has changed this rigidity and allows far more artistic freedom, but it's interesting to read about the perceived rationale behind picture composition in the first half of the twentieth century.
What really surprised and pleased me is the quality of the printing for such an inexpensive book. This book is a must buy for anyone interested in the history of photography and its acceptance as an art form.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure beauty, 19 Aug 2010
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Sydne Pruonto - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
I was aware of this book's reputation for a while and finally got round to buying it recently. I have to say it lives up to its reputation; it is a real masterpiece.

First of all let's talk about the physical book itself. The size is just perfet; I recently had a photography book where the pictures were postcard size- which just isn't big enough. Praise to the binding that makes the book lie very comfortable in the hand and allows you to concentrate on the images.

So the images. I looked at the cover image, then the first one in the book itself and knew I would like this book. The photos are real gems: some of them are beautiful, some surprising, some real inspirations for any hobby photographer. All of them are outstanding examples of good photography.

This is a book that you will pick up many times and that will not accumulate dust in the shelf. I can only recommend it with the highest praise!
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome return, 7 May 2008
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
It's good to see this back in print again. It's remained one of my favourite photography books for more than 20 years. There isn't a dull image in this collection and they are arranged in surprising combinations. A classic.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 11 Oct 2009
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Mark Maloney - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
excellent photography book, would recommend this book, quality images that make you think, and make you look again at how they were taken
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic photo book, 13 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
This well produced book has been viewed for some years as one of the classics of photo literature. Great images well chosen to illustrate the points being made. Every photographer who thinks at all deeply about their work should have read this and hopefully own a copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A lot to learn here, 4 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
As the back cover says, the book is an investigation of what photographs look like, and of why they look that way. However, through the description of the five sets of choices the photographer has to make in order to take a photograph, I found in this book a magnificent illustrated guide about how to approach the act of making a photograph (the order here differs from the book chapters):

- The thing itself, the subject.
- The detail, or what best represents the subject.
- The vantage point, or point of view.
- The frame, or what to include and where in the viewfinder.
- The time.

There is a lot to learn about photography principles from this book (I did learn myself), specially from the photographs included in each of the five chapters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Book., 2 April 2010
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
Worth Buying. Beautiful photos, mostly taken in America, but spanning the history of photography. Black and white portraits, landscapes, interiors, by different well respected photographers. The reproductions are normal quality, what you would expect, no better no worse.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Szarkowski's Choice, 31 July 2014
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J. R. Carroll (Sheffield) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
I have been an amateur and professional photographer for over forty years and it has taken most of that time to come to judgements about photography. I think photographs can be basically divided into two categories, ones taken as a way of recording and ones created as a piece of artwork. This book has both types and some, to my way of seeing anyway, are no more valid for putting in than any other family snapshot taken by any photographer. It is with buying, but only just.
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5.0 out of 5 stars High Quality Illustrations., 22 April 2014
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This review is from: The Photographer's Eye (Paperback)
Essential text for photography students, excellent condition when arrived, like new. Swift arrival.The book visually catalogues images that pose challenging questions to readers about photography's ability to communicate through narrative and documentary approaches.
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The Photographer's Eye
The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski (Paperback - 21 May 2007)
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