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The Photography Book Hardcover – Feb 10 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Phaidon Press (Feb. 10 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0714836346
  • ISBN-13: 978-0714836348
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 25.2 x 29 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #515,474 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Graham Wills on Nov. 17 2000
Format: Hardcover
First of all, read Donald W. Mitchell's review of the book. It contains a lot of information on the book itself. I strongly agree with his comments on the text which does little more than tell you what school the photographer belongs to and, rather often, how they died violently. Not at all informative, rarely relevant to the actual photograph and much more suitable to a book about photographERS than photographs. Pity.
My main quibble was in the selection of the photographs themselves. For reportage and especially war photos the overage is excellent. There is also a good selection of montage images. I found the portrait selection to be OK. I'd have been more happy to have seen fewer pictures from the FSA (Farm Security Administration ), which, although uniformly good, seemed to crowd out other sources. I suspect Ian Jeffrey got a good deal on this set of photos.
I was surprised to see very little 'fine art' photography, especially still life. It seemd that the editor felt that pictures ought to make a statement, and that therefore a picture of a typical person or a strange juxtaposition is superior to a simple, beautiful work. Even the picture of Marilyn Monroe is an odd one; technically only average, revealing little about her, the text invites us to consider the meaning of the chair beside her. I would have liked to have seen more photographs that are there because they look beautiful.
I also, frankly, got very tired of seeing pictures of railway bridges and miscellaneous uninteresting shots from the 1800's. Yes, these were important. Yes, they give an indication of the technology of the day, but do we really need to see so many sepia photographs that do not inspire? Again, I had a sneaking suspicion that maybe they had been chosen because their copyright had run out ..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Xiang Lan Zhuo on Sept. 8 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is in the size of a larger postcard. That's fine but it is also over 500 pages which makes it hard to flip through. I would highly recommend the hardcover edition.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Nov. 14 2000
Format: Hardcover
Before considering this book, let me note that like many photography books this one contains a fair number of nude images of men and women that will offend some. If bare flesh is not something you want to see in your books, avoid this one.
Grading this book was difficult. The photographs were well chosen to be interesting and rewarding, were reproduced faithfully, and worked well as images on facing pages. The page sizes are generous to allow more room for reproduction. Many of them are photographs that almost anyone would want to have. Almost anyone would agree that the photographs and design of the book deserve five stars.
The accompanying texts, however, were not up to the standard of the photographs in most cases. I graded these texts on average at three stars. Averaging the two scores was how I arrived at four stars.
The book's concept is to take 500 of the best photographers ever, and show one image of each in alphabetical order. Although this sounds strange, it actually works quite well. Most of the images are in black and white, but some are in color. As a result, you get a full dimensionalizing of what photography can do and mean to the photographer and viewer.
Among the famous scenes in the book are Eddie Adams' Street Execution of a Vietcong Prisoner (1968), Neil Armstrong's Buzz Aldrin on the Moon (1969), Matthew Brady's General William Tecumseh Sherman (1865), Robert Capa's Death of a Loyalist Soldier (1936), Harold Edgerton's Milk Drop Coronet (1957), Alfred Eisenstaedt's V-J Day in Times Square (1945), Robert Jackson's The Murder of Lee Harvey Oswald (1963), Yousuf Karsh's Winston Churchill (1941), Joe Rosenthal's Iwo Jima (1945), Sam Shere's The Hindenburg Disaster (1937), and Nick Ut's Children Fleeing an American Napalm Strike (1972).
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Format: Hardcover
This book shows what amazing and inspiring pieces of art can be created with a camera.
Each of 500 photographers is represented with a single photograph. Every possible period and genre is represented and since the photographers are simply presented alphabetically, the contrast from picture to picture can be striking.
An excellent book, and it's available in both "coffee table" and "night table" sizes.
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By Adam on March 25 2004
Format: Hardcover
What pictures, what beauty, what a blend of art in photography, what a beautiful cover, page design, typeface, everything is just simple beauty. A must have if you have a coffee table or if you love good photography. The masters are shown here. You won't regret it.
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Format: Paperback
The Photo Book might well be considered as much a work of art as the photographs represented within its bounds. This collection was given to me as a gift and has been so cherished as a pictoral index of inspirational and thought provoking works. Each page includes a short bio of the selected photographer and a sample of his or her work. Navigation through the book is easy as the photographers are categorized alphabetically.
Even more helpful is the additional information found in the back of the book. There are three appendices that help to explain this art form, its brief history, and how you can take part in enjoying it further. The first section is a glossary of techniques and terms - helpful for anyone who isn't skilled or knowledgeable of the art. The next section includes movements, groups, and genres of this form of art. This is a great help in understanding the context and influences of past photographers in relation to their work. The last section is an index of museums around the world including their addresses and phone numbers.
The aesthetics of the book are wonderful. Featured are over 500 photographers ranging over the span of the art of photography. The photographs represented are very clear and vibrant (where there is color), inviting the viewer to see, enjoy, and think critically about what is before them. The alphabetical organization allows for a quick read as well, enabling you to pick up at any given place in the book to enjoy a snippet of photography.
This book works excellently as a gift for a budding photographer, a coffee table piece, or a reference for those interested in influential and historic photography and photographers. It is a steal at what you can purchase it for - I doubt that you will find such a great assortment of so well established artists and their work for less than this. It's compact, but it's heavy too. For price, content, and availability, I gave this product 5 stars!
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