Image Makers Image Takers, 2010, by Anne-Celine Jaeger, London: Thames & Hudson. ISBN: 978-0-500-28892-4.
This book examines different subjects practiced in contemporary photography by prominent contemporary artists and Art Photography related professionals with interviews asking them about their philosophies? Inspirations and influences? Equipment and technical methods used? Etc.
Subjects covered: Art, Documentary, Fashion and Advertising, Portraits, Next Generation, Curators and Gallerists, Agency Directors, Editors and Publishers, Retouching and Online Curating and Publishing.
Each subject has a minimum of four separate interviews with professionals and artists recognised for their work in the particular field of subject covered in that chapter. For example: Art – William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, Documentary – Martin Parr and Sebastian Salgado, Fashion and Advertising – David LaChapelle and Mario Sorrenti, Portraiture – Tina Barney and Rineke Dijkstra, etc. With examples of their work.
Notes & Quotes
Joseph Albers argued that ‘Photographs reveal the individuality of a photographer if we as spectators are able to read it…Only a sensitive and trained eye gives us the right to judge, as it gives us a deeper reading and enjoyment. It belongs, I believe, to education to get beyond the point of mere likes and dislikes’. (p.6).
One need only observe how individuals move through a gallery or museum. On the whole, captions are read first, then the viewer will glance at the image in question and swiftly turn to the next caption. Although we have a feeling of understanding and insight as an explanation was given to us, we haven’t, for the most part, actually assessed the image ourselves. The thought process – ‘How do I feel? What is the image telling me? what does it make me think? – has been side stepped…If this is our approach when looking at photography, presumably it is not too dissimilar when we are taking a picture. It is probably fair to say that most of us ‘take’ pictures, we don’t ‘make’ them….As Andre Kertesz pointed out, ‘ Everybody can look, but they don’t necessarily see’…’To me photography is the art of observation’…Elliot Erwitt says. ‘It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.’ (p. 8-9).
…’Seeing ‘ takes on a whole new dimension. It becomes a highly attuned sense that goes beyond merely pushing a button to leave an imprint of a subject on the retina. The final aim, whether you are a documentary, conceptual, portrait or fashion photographer remains the same: it’s about making a picture rather than simply ‘taking it’…As Robert Doisneau once said, ‘We must always remember a picture is also made up of the person who looks at it’. (p.11).
Because unlike Kodak’s 1888 catch phrase suggested, great photography is anything but straightforward. Perhaps a better slogan would be: ‘It’s not what you click, but how you tick’. (p.12).
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