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  • Writer's pictureJohn A Lewis

The Photographers Eye

I thought this item would be a good item as the first on this blog. The 'eye' of the photpgrapher is, after all, our key asset in taking pictures.

As is often the case browsing along the books at the University library in the photographers section can often bring great rewards. In many cases the eye sees something which turns out to be of little interest, but on other occasions a small shabby book is a revelation. This is the case with the book of the 1964 exhibition: The Photographer's Eye by John Szarkowski. A collection of 172 illustrations selected from masters such as Atget, Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Sander and Edward Western as well as many others. What makes the book particularly interesting is that it is connected with photographic style and provides brilliant insight into how this can be achieved. The book is divided into five sections each section containing a set of images created by the artist with a camera. These pictures are 'created' using the language of photography. The sections are : The Thing Itself, The Detail, The Frame, Time, The Vantage Point. First published in 1980 by Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd , I would regard the book as just as relevant today. The idea of a photographic grammar was also examined in Stephen Shores book : The Nature of Photographs, which broke this down into Frame, Viewpoint, Focus and Timing. The Detail - a picture which offers intimacy was Declan Haun's Justice 1963.

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