Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle New Album - Pink Shop now Shop Now

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
50
4.5 out of 5 stars
Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography (Vintage Classics)
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 7 September 2017
Classic book on the critical theory behind photography and a book that I think is required
reading for students and those studying photography.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 20 May 2017
Difficult book saying serious things.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 5 November 2014
Brilliant book for anyone who takes photography seriously. The book is actually quite heart breaking, as Barthes tells the story of being faced with the painful task of ‘finding’ his late mothers essence through a collection of photographs he had of her. It is a great story and leads on to remind you just how powerful photography is.

I was curious as to why I used my camera at the hardest times in my life and this book helped me to come to a conclusion.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 May 2015
Was recommended by tutor at Uni. Didn't help whatsoever and couldn't get my head round it. Haven't said that, this is not my chosen field and so that would probably explain a lot.
11 Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 November 2009
This is a remarkable piece of work and it is rather bleak in its implications. Barthes so often touches on the inexplicable and for many his writings are paradoxical and sometimes unapproachable. The key so often is understanding that he stands at a kind of pinnacle of polemics of the last century and many of those philosophical polemics are teasingly obtuse for the great majority of us who have come through mainstream and hopelessly over rational educations. That is not to suggest that Barthes is irrational but that he bravely ventures where many fear to tread in order to question myths that humankind takes as read.

This particular essay ventures into the debate of the death of painting that has been raging since the invention of the camera. Whilst he is not so obvious as to suggest that this is the essence of the debate he defines by implication why the photo can never replace painting. The photo unequivocally represents what it represents. And what it represents is death.That is its bleakness.It always represents the past.There is always something rather spooky about photography for this reason because it allows the return of the dead through realistic and yet at the same time spectral visual evidence i.e.not representation.

It is all too easy to be negatively critical about such a work because it is by no means easy to get a handle on it in one reading but that of course is its strength. There is much that this work could be said to embrace not least the aforesaid debate regarding the death of painting, but in addition the artificial ways in which history is constructed as well as the deconstruction of human myths.

Mythologies (Vintage Classics)
22 Comments| 32 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 1 May 2016
I had previously tried to read "Empire of Signs" by the same author, but gave up. I found it incomprehensible. Not only does Barthes seem to have his own private meanings for many words, but he combines them in peculiar ways as if he also has his own grammar.

Perhaps the problem is mine. Surely he is saying something worthwhile, otherwise why is he so famous and so revered? Or perhaps the problem is not mine. Maybe it really is a case of "Emperor's New Clothes"?

Anyway, I figured that I"d have a better chance of understanding a book about photography, something I already know rather a lot about. I was wrong. It is written in the same dense idiosyncratic style. You could believe that he was trying to be as obscure as possible. I did understand some things he was saying in this book, which is more than I can say for the other one, but that just confirmed my suspicions about the author. When I finally figured out what he was getting at over the course of three or four pages it could invariably have been said in a sentence or two.

Add in his annoying habit of making obscure historical or philosophical references that seems only to be an attempt to establish his intellectual superiority over the reader and I can think of no good reason for reading this book, and simply cannot understand so many tributes and 4 or 5 star ratings.
33 Comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 November 2015
Not for light reading
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 7 January 2013
this book is at the very core of photographic theory and should be one of the first points of reference for a wide variety of photographic discourses and theoretical standpoints.
it is not an easy read but is very passionately written with a heavy emphasis on 'the photograph by onlooker' rather than what a photographic may think of their own photograph.
if i had to say one thing against this book would be that when Barthes was writing there was a huge void between 'professional' and 'amateur' photography which he draws on throughout, this of course has been smashed quite impressively by the influx of the digital era, but as he wrote htis in the 1970's/80's this was not the case.

even so, this is a must read for all who have an interest in the social and theoretical implications of the photograph.
22 Comments| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 14 January 2011
If you're into photography, and more than "guy with camera" status, this is a must read. Barthes comments and questions what it means to be a photographer and the outcomes; photographs. Very interesting. This is not a book on how to take a photograph, or even a concise history of the art form. So don't buy it if you want to improve your skill.
22 Comments| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 11 August 2016
If you want a book to explain the basics of photography, this isn't it. Go play with the beginners guides. This is a discourse on the fine art of photography. If you're serious about your craft this is a must read. Just don't expect any hand holding.
11 Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)