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Photography: A Cultural History Paperback – 7 Jan 2010
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‘Here is the history we’ve been waiting for … erudite and entertaining … she shows how pictures really did change the world. Her shrewd selection of over 600 fascinating photos (many in color) illustrate a history that meets the ultimate test: open to any page and you’re hooked … and it’s free from tormenting academic jargon.’ Camera Arts
From the Back Cover
The third edition of this groundbreaking survey of international photography has not only been expanded and brought up to date but restructured to offer readers even greater clarity and ease of use. It now comprises 14 shorter chapters each with an introduction and brief summary. Chapters are grouped into six Parts which begin with an introduction to the time period.
Photography is examined through the lenses of art, science, social sciences, travel, war, fashion, the mass media, and individual practitioners. These broad topics complement a fully developed cultural context whose emphasis is more key ideas than individuals. The author has further enriched the third edition with the findings of the most recent research and exhibitions. These include fresh insights into Victorian photography’s relationship to painting and to the expansion of the British Empire, as well as photography’s involvement in German and Russian experimental art movements between the World Wars. The author also draws on publications that show the extent to which vernacular photography existed alongside art and commercial practice. ‘Focus’ boxes highlight interesting cultural or controversial issues, for example ‘Film and Photography’, ‘Photomontage or Photocollage’, and ‘Making an Icon of Revolution’. In the revised final chapter, the author pays close attention to the impact of digital photography on photographic history and contemporary practice, particularly the ease and frequency with which people worldwide use digital cameras and camera phones.
In addition to representing the canon of Europe and the United States, the book presents work from Latin America, Africa, India, Russia, China, and Japan. ‘Portrait’ boxes feature certain photographers in greater detail and new to this edition are works by contemporary artists including Vik Muniz, Suzanne Opton, Tyler Hicks, Walid Raad, Anthony Goicolea, and Jean-Luc Mylayne.See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
I wasn't prepared for what a HUGE book this is! Bigger than A4, 544 pages of thick, quality paper (the book weighs a ton!) with at least one and usually three-four pictures per facing pair of sides. The quallity of thr reproductions is terrific too.
This is the complete cultural history that I was searching for, right froom the very early days. The first reproduction proper in theh content is Joseph Nicephore Niepce's 8-hour exposure "View from the window at Gras" - that's how far back the book goes.
I like the author's style of writing - she's witty and at times humourous, as well as being confident in her knowledge and passionate about her subject. I like that it's not just a straight-through read - every so often there's a 1 or 2 side special feature on a particular subject - on everything from Lewis Carroll's prediliction for photographing children (especially Alice) to taking pictures of atomic explosions.
It's easily academic enough to be a reference work at least at undergrad level and probably more, and not just in art and photography-related disciplines - this would easily be a great benefit to someone looking at (for example) cultural studies. It's as much a discussion about the changing face of society as it is photography. It's difficult not to be moved by the pictures of girls as young as 8-9 working full-time in factories.
A great reference book, a terrific coffee table book, inspiration and theory for photographers - and at Amazon it's more than a tenner off cover price.
I did and I'm delighted. The information is clear, informational and interesting and it is well illustrated with brilliant images from top photographers through history. The section on war is especially gripping (if a little graphic) and the author is not afraid to address sensitive subjects. in general it's a great reference and an informative history of the developement of photographic science. If photography is your interest your business or your passion then I would really recommend this book.
Obviously I have not read all of it, and I do not expect to do so in quite a while, because this book is f***ing huge.
I Intend to use it for future university studies, and for that purpose it most certainly is brilliant, it seems to cover most of the photograph's very large history, great source material.
Bought it for 10£, shipping included, much bang for buck.
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