The Pleasures of Good Photographs

Essays by Gerry Badger, Aperture Foundation, 2010

Mr. Badger speaks authoratively and provides insightful observations and comments on contemporary photography and many photographers. For me the best thing about reading his essays is the widening of my angle of view! That is, I can now get pleasure from more photographs. In other words, some images that failed to get my attention for a critical look now do! This, in itself, is proof of a big benefit. Most, if not all, chapters start with a (nicely reproduced) monochrome or color photograph and revolve arounda the photo/artist. I admit, only a few of those looked interesting and/or intriguing at my first sight. However, when I finished the chapter in question, I was able to see a lot more. Surely enough, the author has biases towards some artists and he is not shy while declaring them. As a mere onlooker, I do not have to agree with them or like all the artists/images valued by him. Still, the book did enrich my approach towards photography in general and towards some photographers in particular. The book may be of special interest for those who wonder why some contemporary photographers like Martin Parr, Stephen Shore and John Gossack are important and for what they stand for. The production quality is perfect for a soft cover book, by the way.

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