- Paperback: 104 pages
- Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press; I ed., seconda ristampa (I ed., second printing) edition (17 Feb. 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801857201
- ISBN-13: 978-0801857201
- Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 23 x 1 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,577,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Nature of Photographs Paperback – 17 Feb 1998
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"It is obvious from the book's very precision, its compact yet evocative statements, that Shore has spent years thinking through what he discusses in the book... In my roughly twenty years of writing about photography, I don't think I've come across a book that has implied so much with so few words, a book that raises so many important questions with so little fanfare and with such precision. Shore's humility is always evident, as is his fascination with things photographic, as are his credentials as a photographer. Given all this, it makes sense to listen carefully to what he has to say in The Nature of Photographs." -- James Kaufmann, Photographer's Forum
""Shore's text is written so clearly and the ideas presented so aptly through the photographs of the major photographers he has selected for reproduction that students, artists, and arts advocates will benefit from it as both an artist's book and as a primary tool for critical analysis and understanding of photography in general." -- James L. Enyeart, College of Santa Fe and former director, George Eastman HouseSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
An interesting book, well illustrated with minimal text to trigger thought processes rather than to lay down 'laws'.
Not as involving on a literary scale as Sontag's 'On Photography' by never the less a profound introduction to the medium for those who are interested.
The essay, though, is not always clear enough to support the author's ideas. One who is new to photography may have trouble understanding some of Mr Shore's concepts. For example, in the chapter "The Mental Level," he writes "If you right now become aware of the space between yourself and this page, there is a transmutation of your attention and perception. This sort of perceptual change...would for a photographer, lead to a realignment of his or her formal decisions in making a photograph.(p 65)" To put it plainly, if you think carefully about what you are seeing, you would likely discover something new about it. Such an insight would lead you to change the way you photograph it.
Nevertheless, I like the book. I recommend it to you.
This is not a technical manual on f-stops and shutter speeds. It looks much deeper, and identifies and establishes the precursors that ultimately make demands on camera, lens and final media. Whether you have been shooting for years or have just been armed with the latest DSLR, this is for you.
It's the best book I've ever seen on the pure essence of photography.
Very easy to read, and with short succinct paragraphs it will help you to take better pictures and appreciate the work others.
On the whole it is well researched and neatly presented.
What takes from or compromises the work is the at times slight vagueness to the writing and what appears to be Shore's large ego via the inclusion of no less than FIVE of his own images (does he not have enough books of his own?). It may well be that he generously offered to fill the shortfall of images due to artists' and copyright fees but when one considers the wealth of work both new and old, it seems unlikely.
Nor was I overly impressed with the book's font (American Typewriter?). Is Shore or Phaidon trying to conjure up notes typed up in the field?
That considered, if you are (rightly) camera manual shy and want to understand what photography can and might mean, then this is a book worth considering as an alternative 'manual'.
It certainly has some quite stunning photos, especially where they relate to specific text and many thought provoking points come across but I was left with the impression that there should have been more or a different way to explain what there is. The book's photos are a key element in how to understand what is going on and I would have preferred to have seen others that didn't work as obviously as the ones that do. Shore, like any creative photographer, must have taken many images that he doesn't think work as well as the final choice. Seeing some lesser alternatives to the ones in the book would have improved it no end by explaining why photo A reveals a fundamental point beautifully but photo B doesn't. I thought too many visual concepts were put across more by words than images.
Shore says that he used Szarkowski's `The Photographer's Eye' when he started teaching and his book carries on the theme. Overall I still prefer Szarkowski's book, there are far more photos included and the presentation is much more user friendly than the hard edge Phaidon design, with its excessive amounts of empty page space and trendy use of a typewriter font for every bit of text.
As both books are concerned with image appreciation and understanding maybe a DVD format would work just as well as these printed versions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
looked as though it was brand new, very nice.
The barcode-sticker should be of different material, is difficult to remove.
The book is a must for everyone who wanted to see how images are done and made. You will get a idea of what happen when someone takes a image.Published on 3 Jan. 2013 by mark
This is generally recognised as one of the classics of photo literature and whether you will accept that depends much on your view on photography. Read morePublished on 13 Dec. 2012 by Mr. Gareth Williams
It's a hundred and twenty odd pages but you can skip through it in an hour if you want, and don't take time to reflect. Read morePublished on 16 May 2008 by Bennettskaya