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An Essential Primer on Understanding Photography by One of the World's Most Influential Photographers
"In my roughly twenty years of writing about photography, I don't think I've come across a book that has implied so much with so few words, a book that raises so many important questions with so little fanfare and with such precision." -James Kaufmann, Photographer's Forum
By the age of 14, Stephen Shore (b.1947) took his first photograph. By 17, he was a regular at Andy Warhol's Factory photographing both the artist and his entourage. At 23, he became the first living photographer to have a one-person show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. At 35, he was appointed Director of the Photography Program at Bard College. An unrivalled pioneer in the field of color photography, his work has been exhibited in numerous museums worldwide, including an exhibition opening this May at the International Center of Photography that focuses on the work from his critically acclaimed books American Surfaces and Uncommon Places. With such an impressive career, no one is a better suited guide to the nature of photographs.
THE NATURE OF PHOTOGRAPHS by Stephen Shore, is an essential primer on how to understand photography by one of the world's most influential photographers. Growing out of a college course that Shore taught for many years, this book explores ways of looking at photographs from all periods and all types--from iconic images to found photographs, from negatives to digital files. Its aim is to describe the physical and formal attributes of a photographic print--the very elements that form the tools a photographer uses to define and interpret the content. In the end, Shore teaches us, on the most basic level, how a photograph "works."
As well as a selection of Shore's own work, THE NATURE OF PHOTOGRAPHS contains images from all eras of photography, from classic works by Walker Evans, Robert Frank, and Eugène Atget to more contemporary work by Bernd and Hilla Becher, Cindy Sherman, Joel Sternfeld, Thomas Struth, and Richard Prince. It includes all genres, such as street photography, fine art photography, and documentary photography, as well as images by unknown photographers. Together with his clear, intelligent, and accessible text, Shore uses these works to demonstrate how the world in front of the camera is transformed into a photograph.
Divided into four main chapters--The Physical Level, The Depictive Level, The Mental Level, and Mental Modeling--THE NATURE OF PHOTOGRAPHS explores how photographs function visually. By teaching us how to see through the eyes of a photographer, Shore teaches us a new way to look at the world around us. This affordable book serves as indispensable tool for students, teachers, and everyone who wants to take better pictures.