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Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately dissapointing, 29 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: Basic Critical Theory for Photographers (Paperback)
This book takes several of the key texts on photography and attempts to distil out the key points in easy to understand language. It fails. The aim is worthy but it just does not work. Essentially the book contains the sort of notes you would make if you were going through the original texts yourself. But like notes you make on books or lectures, they don't really elucidate anyone other than yourself. You have to have read the originals to understand the notes. Large parts of the original text are merely copied verbatim so difficult concepts are merely repeated rather than explained. A futher major deficit is the absence of photographs that the original texts refer to (and are included in the original). Having bought most of the texts the author refers to and found many extremely difficult to understand I found it frustrating having continuously to have to refer back to the originals to have a second attempt at undertanding what they were getting at. Two of the texts that are covered are books by Szarkowski and Shore. Both are very short, richly illustrated and very easy to understand. Annotating these without the illustrations is a pointless excercise. Similalry John Berger's book is a short classic that needs no clarification it is so well written. The best part of the book is the excercises the author sets at the end of each chapter. You would need years to complete them but they are nevertheless interesting to contemplate. For a far better book on critical theory I thoroughly recommend Terry Barret's Criticizin Photographs. Criticizing Photographs: An Introduction to Understanding Images
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Location: Manchester, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 20,344