What to buy in June 2009

June 29, 2009

Susan Sontag: On Photography
Two weeks ago I strolled through a local book store and found a discounted edition of Susan Sontag’s “On Photography”. Since this is an absolute classic, I did not hesitate to buy it.
Susan Sontag is one of America’s most acclaimed writers. Through her close association with America’s photographic scene, she not only managed to get a close insight into the work of some very famous artists; in 1973 she also published one of the most famous theoretical works about photography. Though already almost 40 years have gone bye, this little Penguin edition is still a very good way to approach photography from a theoretical point of view. Reading it it becomes very clear that the essence of photography can never be technical. The approach toward the image and the execution of the photographic act contains a sensual as well as a cultural implication.
In her essays Susan Sontag not only describes the development of photography during the last 100 years; she also points out how the perception of images and subjects changed through the ages. “When anything can be photographed and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely with no expectations of discovering what it means.”

This book doesn’t help you making better images. But it will help you understanding the way you behave towards the subject and it places you in a broader cultural and historical context of photography. A book that should not be missed!
Susan Sontag’s “On Photography” can be purchased here!
For Singapore Readers: I purchased the book at Kinokoniya book shop, Ngee An City.


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