- Also check our best rated Photography Book reviews
Why It Does Not Have To Be In Focus: Modern Photography Explained Paperback – 16 Sep 2013
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
If you're after a pocket primer in contemporary art photography, Why It Does Not Have to Be In Focus offers an incisive starting point. --The Daily Telegraph
It's a great book - inventive, and persuasively argued. --Amateur Photographer
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top Customer Reviews
The best aspect of this book is the range of artists and techniques on show. Sometimes the subject of the photograph is subverted or experimented with (as in the chapter on portraits and narrative); other times technique comes to the fore, for example Michael Wesely's years-long camera exposures, Gerhard Richter's doctoring of snapshots with lush smears of paint, or the many instance of cameraless photography. These are works that can be returned to again and again and they are a good starting point for further reading.
Overall, though, the book feels rather small and cramped. Half the works fall on the fold, meaning it's difficult to appreciate them as a whole, and numerous text boxes on each page jostle confusingly for attention.
Many will have heard the names Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing. Others are unfamiliar to me, like Francesca Woodman who tragically committed suicide at the age of 22.
There is a double page spread for each photo, discussing how and why it was taken, with information about the photographer. Some are weird, surreal, and some are surely posturing, pretentious? Waiting for someone to point out the Emperor is not wearing any clothes?
P.53 - a photo of a light bulb! The comment is "this image could be interpreted as an amateur, almost accidental, snapshot of a ceiling." Hm. P 65 another photo which suggests a "family holiday snapshot" but it has paint smeared across it.
But there is exciting, challenging stuff, a bouquet of flowers captured in the moment of exploding, there is restaging of Old Masters and surreal fantasy scenes.
Perhaps Alex Prager, whose enigmatic photo Deborah is on page 147, sums it up: "It's not photography... they should come up with another word for what the young generation of photographers are doing." Andreas Gursky, famous for his oversized photos of supermarkets, agrees. "A fixed definition of the term "photography" has become impossible."
"Why It Does Not Have To Be In Focus" is an accessible and well-presented book that takes the reader through many challenging, puzzling images, and explains the thinking behind the work, what it is saying, and how it was achieved.
There is a good range of photographs used to explore these ideas, and each one is nicely set out with text that gives background to the photographer, the genre that best summarises their work, and the technical details that played a part in the capturing and presenting of the image.
Only occasionally does it seem that some of the explanations are over-blown, where the purpose of the work remains unclear. Some of the photos (Cartier-Bresson) will be familiar but still worthy of explanation, while a few others actually still retain shock value when assessed in these pages.
This book gives good context to the creative process of making pictures, and looks far more at what the message is than the purely technical skills that went into the making of the final image. A book that says something new about the medium - and one that rewards a close read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A book Ive been meaning to grab and have by my side for a long while - a great one for quick reads - randomly pick a page - an essential for a young Photography student Id say - it... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Musicismysanctuary
My son bought me this. At first I didn't 'get' it , but now find it ever more interesting every time I open it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by jmm
Great Just what I needed to help tp explain why I like Uta Barth. Excellent service and would buy from seller againPublished 14 months ago by Albion
Jackie Higgins has chosen 100 key photographs, mostly contemporary, just to describe what the art of photography can be: a lot of possibilities that deal with techniques and ways... Read morePublished 14 months ago by A Thing Called Joe
This isn't going to help you take photographs - in focus or not.
It isn't going to teach you anything about photography really. Read more
Great if your doing Photography at GCSE or College comes in really handy, and all round amazing book.Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer