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Understanding a Photograph (Penguin Modern Classics)
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Understanding a Photograph (Penguin Modern Classics)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  59 ratings  ·  7 reviews
John Berger's writings on photography are some of the most original of the twentieth century. This selection contains many groundbreaking essays and previously uncollected pieces written for exhibitions and catalogues in which Berger probes the work of photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson and W. Eugene Smith - and the lives of those photographed - with fierce engage ...more
Paperback, Penguin Modern Classics, 256 pages
Published November 7th 2013 by Penguin Books Ltd
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Need an intellectual fix to help review your next photography show? Then Berger is your man. Expand your mind.
John Berger isn't writing about photography as much as he is writing with photography. This is my first reading of any of his work and I have mixed feelings. I have to admit I didn't get much out of Sontag's "On Photography" On Photography nor Barthes' "Camera Lucida" Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography and Berger's writing is in a similar vein. That said, there were some pieces that I did enjoy, while others were more dense than I like.

Here are some of the photos and photographers he wrot
Bojan Fürst
Thought provoking, but a bit uneven. Berger has an interesting writing style and some of the essays in this collection read almost like unfinished notes to himself, which makes them intriguing, but occasionally I wished for more context.
Yun Peng
A good read though I constantly need to go to the web to look at photos to see what was referred to.
Vuk Trifkovic
Berger sets a high bar, but this collection is too bitty for me.
Very good! Some of the essays are attached to particular series of photographs, not all of which are reproduced in the book. Look them up online as you read!
I quite liked it. It was interesting but a bit mixed. For me the earlier pieces were most interesting, particularly the essay "The Suit and the Photograph" and the one about André Kertész's "A Red Hussar Leaving, June 1919, Budapest". It made me go to reread "Ways of Seeing".
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John Peter Berger is an English art critic, novelist, painter and author. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, is often used as a college text.
More about John Berger...
Ways of Seeing About Looking G. To the Wedding And Our Faces, My Heart, Brief as Photos

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