How to Read a Photograph: Lessons from Master Photographers

Overview

Ian Jeffrey is a superb guide in this profusely illustrated introduction to the appreciation of photography as an art form.  Novices and experts alike will gain a deeper understanding of great photographers and their work, as Jeffrey decodes key images and provides essential biographical and historical background. Profiles of more than 100 major photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Paul Strand, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, highlight particular examples of styles ...

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Overview

Ian Jeffrey is a superb guide in this profusely illustrated introduction to the appreciation of photography as an art form.  Novices and experts alike will gain a deeper understanding of great photographers and their work, as Jeffrey decodes key images and provides essential biographical and historical background. Profiles of more than 100 major photographers, including Alfred Stieglitz, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Paul Strand, Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, highlight particular examples of styles and movements throughout the history of the medium. Each entry includes a concise biography along with an illuminating discussion of key works and nuggets of contextual information.

 

How to Read a Photograph: Lessons from Master Photographers is the third book in Abrams successful series that includes How to Read a Painting and How to Read a Modern Painting.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810972971
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2009
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 815,066
  • Product dimensions: 9.78 (w) x 6.96 (h) x 1.22 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian Jeffrey has written several books about photography, most notably the photography volume for Thames & Hudson’s “World of Art” series and Phaidon’s Photo Book. He lives in Coddenham, England. Max Kozloff is a prolific writer and photography critic. Formerly the editor of Artforum, he has taught numerous photography courses, and written many books including The Theater of Face and The Sadness of Men.

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 18, 2009

    A Good Book with a Misleading Title

    This book, in my opinion, is not about the general topic of how to look at a photograph from the viewpoints of composition, execution details, etc. It is, however, a good survey many of the significant photographers in the last 100 years with information about their subjects, styles and the significance of their contribution to the art of photography. Sometimes the author even includes a technical detail or 2 about why certain photographs are significant, as well.

    Occasionaly his use of what I call "art critc speak" gets in the way of understanding so you have to read over again but most times it is pretty clear what his view is - and it seems valid and grounded.

    It includes not only the "usual suspects" like Adams and Weston but also goes deeper into photographers you may not have known a lot about before. I definitely learned much about some new (to me) names of historic photography.

    As any photography book should be, it is liberally filled with photographic images for each photographer. Includes not only iconic images but also some lesser known as well. However, most of the reproductions only hint at the vitality of the original works both because of the size of each (small) and the quality of the tonal range printed (narrow so that the highlights and shadows often get lost).

    I'm happy to have it in my library and I learned a lot but it could have been better titled.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent book, thoughtful, an excellent set of criteria to think about photography.

    A different way to think about photography. I learned about some new photographers and a different photographic frame of reference. If you are interested in thinking about photography, and the meaning of photography, I can recommend this book.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Not worth it

    Poorly written - pretty much incomprehensible. Has nothing to do with how to read a photograph. I would not recomend this book to anyone. I was really hoping that through the viewing of images of famous photographers that I would learn a vocabulary for reading and explaining what I read in any photograph. Instead I get the images that I'm sure are public domain and not a lot of substance. Spend your money else where. No stars on this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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