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On Photography | [Susan Sontag]

On Photography

First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images, which are continually inserted between experience and reality. When anything can be photographed, and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely, with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, with the most famous being "In Plato's Cave", make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.
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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images, which are continually inserted between experience and reality. Sontag here develops further the concept of "transparency". When anything can be photographed, and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely, with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, with the most famous being "In Plato's Cave", make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.

©2003 Susan Sontag (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves over the last 140 years." (The Washington Post Book World)

"Every page of On Photography raises important and exciting questions about its subject and raises them in the best way." (The New York Times Book Review)

"On Photography is to my mind the most original and illuminating study of the subject." (Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (13 )
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4.7 (6 )
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Story
4.7 (6 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paul Biggin Hill, United Kingdom 04/09/2013
    Paul Biggin Hill, United Kingdom 04/09/2013 Member Since 2012

    griffo155

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "hard going"
    What made the experience of listening to On Photography the most enjoyable?

    This is a must read book for those interested in photography. This is not a book to listen to that will tell you how to improve your photography. This is a book that relays the style and the setting out of photographers and their work. This is of interest but I found the narrator somewhat aggravating with no real passion for what she was reading.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Bring more passion into the reading of the subject!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I've given it three stars, which should of been a 5 as this is an important book in terms of photographic background

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results
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  • Debbie
    Austin, TX, United States
    18/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'm Glad I Bought, Despite Some Negative Reviews"
    What three words best describe Jennifer Van Dyck’s voice?

    Okay


    Any additional comments?

    I was concerned that this book would be negative about photography, based on some low star review(s). However, I think Sontag simply points out the many different points of views and backgrounds that photographers express through their work. I feel like Sontag is also giving a valuable history lesson of the leading photographers as well. She seems to also have admiration where she feels it's due, towards photography and photographers. After all, she was Annie Leibovitz's partner for over a decade, encouraged and admired her photography too. I agree with Sontag about both the negative and positive impact that photography can have. I'm glad I decided to listen. A good addition to my MA in photojournalism.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Gene Bowker
    Duluth, GA
    02/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "one of the classics on photography"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is an easy listen and is one of the most important books on Photography


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hmm.. it is a selection of essays. The author (not a photographer) was able to write about how photography has influenced the world and been influenced


    What about Jennifer Van Dyck’s performance did you like?

    She has an easy voice to listen to


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Photography's influence on the world


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Colvin
    Louisville, KY, United States
    17/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pompas art school babble"
    Any additional comments?

    Typical holier than thou, pompas poser art school blather. I had to endure endless hours of self gratifying, self agrandizing lectures like this when I attended art school. These were delivered both professors who had never spent a day making art (or making a living from art either) in the real world, and student wanna bes (all of whom are today are gainfully employed as waiteresses, bag boys or art school professors). Pure and unadulterated BS!

    9 of 33 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results

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