Last Updated April 17, 2021

The Photographer's Eye

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ISBN/ISSN :  978-0870705274 
Author/Editor: John Szarkowski
Publication Date: 1966
Publisher: The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Publication Languages: English
Genre: General
Price: Paperback £19.95

This book is an investigation of what photographs look like, and of why they look that way. It is concerned with photographic style and with photographic tradition: with the sense of possibilities that a photographer today takes to his work.

The invention of photography provided a radically new picture-making process—a process based not on synthesis but on selection. The difference was a basic one. Paintings were made —constructed from a storehouse of traditional schemes and skills and attitudes—but photographs, as the man on the street put it, were taken.

John Szarkowski's The Photographer's Eye, based on a landmark exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1964 and first published in 1966, is an excellent introduction to the art of photography. It brings together pictures by both recognized masters and unknown photographers that offer an outline of photography's creative visual language, revealing the extraordinary range of the medium's potential.

The pictures are divided into five sections, each an examination of one of the particular sets of choices imposed on the artist with the camera: The Thing Itself, The Detail, The Frame, Time, The Vantage Point.

The publication is now available again to a new generation of photographers and lovers of photography in this duotone printing.

John Szarkowski was Director of the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art for twenty-nine years, from 1962 to 1991. His thinking about photography, US News & World Report said in 1990, 'whether Americans know it or not, has become our thinking about photography.' In addition to The Photographer's Eye, Szarkowski was the author of numerous books about the medium, including Looking at Photographs (1974), still required reading for photography students.

156 pages – available in Hardcover and Paperback. First published in 1966.

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