Books: Reading List

Photography 1:Expressing your Vision: Reading and resources
BADGER, G. (2007) The Genius of Photography: How photography has changed our lives. London:
Quadrille Publishing Limited.
BULL, S. (2009) Photography. Abingdon: Routledge
BRIGHT, S. (2011) Art Photography Now. London: Thames and Hudson.
CLARK, G. (1997) The Photograph. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
COTTON, C. (2004) The Photograph as Contemporary Art. London: Thames & Hudson.
BERGER, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing. London: Penguin Books.
CAMPANY, David (ed.) (2003) Art and Photography. London: Phaidon Press
CURANA, N. & FOX A. (2012) Behind the Image: Research in Photography. Lausanne: AVA.
JEFFREY, I. & KOZLOFF, M. (2009) How to Read a Photograph: Understanding, Interpreting and
Enjoying the Great Photographers, London: Thames & Hudson
LANGFORD, M. et al (2010) Langford’s Basic Photography (9 th ed.) Oxford: Focal Press.

Reading List Identified While Working Through The Course: 

The article in the link below summarises some well known photography theory books, produces some quotes from the authors and gives ideas about more modern theory books to read :  (accessed 14.08.19) 

The Way Home – Tom Hunter  ( photos of British Life and Hackney, found during research for The Square Mile )

Accessed 23.05.19

American Photographs – Walker Evans – his framing was incredible and the photos need to be viewed in sequence to truly appreciate. It is straight photography, not only in technique but in the rigorous directness of its way of looking. There is no sense of depth to the photos, just straight on and pure.

What Makes Great Photography – Val Williams

Photography, A Very Short Introduction – Steve Edwards

Jpegs – Thomas Ruff

Photography – Susan Sontag

Photography – Stephen Bull

Ways of Seeing – Jon Berger

Understanding A Photograph – Jon Berger

The Photograph – Graham Clarke

Photography, The Key Concepts – David Bate

Camera Lucida – Roland Bathes

Behind the Image – Anna Fox

Light, science and Magic, An Introduction To Photographic Lighting – Michael Freeman

The Photographers Eye – Michael Freeman

The Photograph As Contemporary Art – Charlotte Cotton

Picasso’s favourite photographer was Brassaï (1899–1984) whose Paris by Night (1936) was one of the most influential photobooks of the twentieth century. Paris by Night is a good example of personal voice – Brassaï’s own particular vision of Paris, rather than just a description of what
he saw walking around the streets of a nightime. You can see some of the photographs in Tony Ray-Jones’ Creative Camera interview with Brassaï, available at American Suburb X:

The Americans – Robert Frank

Walker Evans’ in ‘Walker Evans American Photographs’ (2012) The original 1938 edition of American Photographs contained the following statement: THE REPRODUCTIONS PRESENTED IN THIS BOOK ARE INTENDED TO BE LOOKED AT IN THEIR GIVEN SEQUENCE. While there are plenty of images from ‘American Photographs’ available on the web, to view the sequence and truly appreciate the transcendental quality of Evans’ framing you probably need to find a copy of the book, which has recently been reprinted in a relatively affordable edition by Tate Publishing.  (OCA Study notes pg 27)

Alfred Stieglitz’s (1864–1946) Cloudscapes, the Equivalents, illustrate Burgin’s point. They don’t appear to be composed at all; instead they’re ‘equivalent’ in that any section of the sky would seem to do as well as any other. Because there’s no sense of composition our eye is drawn to the edges, to the frame. For its time, this sense of a cropped rather than a composed view made the Equivalents feel uniquely photographic.

On Process

The Photographer’s Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern

Why People Photograph by Robert Adams

Art & Fear: Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking by David Bayles & Ted Orland

The View from the Studio Door by Ted Orland

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists by Sharon Louden

The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life by Sharon Louden

The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens

Henri Cartier-Bresson: Interviews and Conversations, 1951-1998, Edited by Clément Chéroux and Julie Jones

Art & Soul: Notes on Creating by Audrey Flack

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield

Art Thinking: How to Carve Out Creative Space in a World of Schedules by Amy Whitaker

The Blank Canvas: Inviting the Muse by Anna Held Audette

Art Can Help by Robert Adams

Letting Go of the Camera by Brooks Jensen

Art Criticism

Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography by Roland Barthes

Understanding a Photograph by John Berger, Edited by Geoff Dyer

Pleasures Taken: Performances of Sexuality and Loss in Victorian Photographs by Carol Mavor

Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values by Robert Adams

The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer

Light Matters: Writings on Photography by Vicki Goldberg

Ways of Seeing by John Berger

The Accidental Masterpiece: On the Art of Life and Vice Versa by Michael Kimmelman

Diana & Nikon: Essays on the Aesthetic of Photography by Janet Malcolm

When I Was a Photographer by Félix Nadar

Wabi-Sabi for Artists, Designer, Poets & Philosophers by Leonard Koren

Wabi-Sabi: Further Thoughts by Leonard Koren

Working Stiffs: Occupational Portraits in the Age of Tintypes by Michael L. Carlebach

Pandora’s Camera by Joan Fontcuberta

Why Photography Matters by Jerry L. Thompson

On Photography by Susan Sontag

Words Not Spent Today Buy Smaller Images Tomorrow: Essays on the Present and Future of Photography by David Levi Strauss

As We Were: American Photographic Postcards, 1905-1930 by Rosamond B. Value

The Photographer’s Eye by John Szarkowski

Photography and the Art of Chance by Robin Kelsey

On Photography by Walter Benjamin

Crisis of the Real: Writings on Photography by Andy Grundberg

What Art Is by Arthur C. Danto

On the Art World

Breakfast at Sotheby’s: An A-Z of the Art World by Phillip Hook

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton

Curationism: How Curating Took Over the Art World and Everything Else by David Balzer

I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette by Paper Monument

The Art of the Con: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World by Anthony M. Amore

Playing to the Gallery: Helping Contemporary Art in Its Struggle to Be Understood by Grayson Perry

Tell Them I Said No by Martin Herbert

On Artists

Witness in Our Time: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers by Ken Light

Hold Still: A Memoir with Photographs by Sally Mann

The Realist: A Novel of Berenice Abbot by Sarah Coleman

Photographs Not Taken by Will Steacy

At the Edge of Light: Thoughts on Photography and Photographers, on Talent and Genius by David Travis

Capturing the Light: The Birth of Photography, a True Story of Genius and Rivalry

by Roger Watson & Helen Rappaport

Art Business

How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery by Ed Winkleman

The Artist-Gallery Partnership: A Practical Guide to Consigning Art by Ted Crawford & Susan Mellon

Crusade for Your Art: Best Practices for Fine Art Photographers by Jennifer Schwartz

Creative Writing & Photography

Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole

A Box of Photographs by Roger Grenier

The Critic as Artist (Upon the Importance of Doing Nothing and Discussing Everything) by Oscar Wilde

The Room in Which I Work by Andrew Seguin

27 Contexts: An Anecdotal History in Photography by Mark Alice Durant

The Coral Sea by Patti Smith

2 thoughts on “Books: Reading List

    1. Hi John, not a problem. This was taken from the course content for this module. Glad it is a help to you and good luck with your course! . Jenny


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