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A Great Collection (...but not quite 'The Full Story'),
This review is from: Photography: The Whole Story (Paperback)
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Let me preface this review by saying that I have a lot of books that profess to being the purveyors of the 'history of photography', and some do a better job than others of conveying the story. This particular volume warrants a place toward the top of the pile purely because of the time and space that is given over to the analysis of each 'chosen' photograph.
The book is ostensibly split into five eras - covering 1826 to the present day - with each era getting its own chapter. Each chapter opens with a look at the techniques and technologies prevalent in each 'era', and then there's a selection of 'signature' photographs (some well known, others more obscure). Each photograph is given a double-page spread of analysis - also including details about the photographer, magnifications of certain elements of the frame and really quite insightful artistic interpretation. As such the book manages to strike a fairly good balance between portfolio, reference book and technical guide.
My main criticism of the collection is that, because of the structuring of the 'five eras', three fifths of the book is given over to photography prior to 1945 - with the final chapter in particular (stretching as it does from 1977 to the 'present') skipping over a lot of very influential photographers and photographs.