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September 2, 2006
Photography books are some of my most treasured resources. This one, Photography Speaks: 150 Photographers on Their Art, published by Aperture in 2004, continues to delight me. The format is simple and brilliant. It not only represents a brief history of photography, but it shows one image from each photographer, and on the facing page, provides some biographical/historical context about the photographer, and then a brief personal statement made by the photographer about his or her art. The comments range from discussions of individual photographs, to technical challenges, to personal theories of art.
For example, here is a small excerpt from the page by David Hockney:
David Hockney: "David Graves Looking at Bayswater London, November 1982"
"Almost all cubist pictures are about things close to us. They don't jump off the wall at you. You have to go to them, and look, and look. The camera does not bring anything close to you; it's only more of the same void that we see. This is also true of television, and the movies. Between you and the screen there's a window, you're simply looking through a window. Cubism is a much more involved form of vision. It's a better way of depicting reality, and I think it's a truer way. It's harder for us to see because it seems to contradict what we believe to be true. People complain that when they see a portrait of Picasso where, for instance, somebody has three eyes! It's much simpler than that. It's not that the person had three eyes, it's that one of the eyes was seen twice. This reads the same way in my photographs. The fact that people can read photographs in this way made me think we've been deceived by the single photograph—by this image of one split second, in one fixed spot. I now see this fault in all photographs, and I can tell when drawings or paintings have been made from photographs. You can sense when the picture is not felt through space."
Here is the list of the artists featured in this book:
James E. Abbe / Berenice Abbott / Ansel Adams / Robert Adams / Akin and Ludwig / Diane Arbus / Eugene Atget / Anna Atkins / William Bell / Hans Bellmer / Zeke Berman / Use Bing / Christian Boltanski / Margaret Bourke-White / Mathew Brady / Bill Brandt / Brassai / Adolphe Braun / Anne W, Brigman / Francis J. Bruguiere / Wynn Bullock / Larry Burrows / Nancy Burson / Harry Callahan / Julia Margaret Cameron / Paul Caponigro / Etienne Carjat / Lewis Carroll / Henri Cartier-Bresson / William Christenberry / Larry Clark / Antoine Francois Claudet / William Clift / Chuck Close / Alvin Langdon Coburn / Marjorie Content / Robert Cumming / Imogen Cunningham / Edward S. Curtis / Eugene Cuvelier / Bruce Davidson / LUC Delahaye / Rineke Dijkstra / Maxime DuCamp / Guillaume-Benjamin Duchenne /Thomas Eakins / William Eggleston / Peter Henry Emerson / Frederick Evans / Walker Evans / Roger Fenton / Robert Frank / Lee Friedlander / Francis Frith / Alexander Gardner / Laura Gilpin / Emmet Gowin / Jan Groover / John Gutmann / Philippe Halsman / Frank Jay Haynes / Robert F. Heinecken / Hill and Adamson / Lewis Wickes Hine / David Hockney / Eikoh Hosoe / William Henry Jackson / Len Jenshel / Gertrude Kasebier / Andre Kertesz / Robert Glenn Ketchum / William Klein / Germaine Krull / Dorothea Lange / William and Frederick Langenheim / Clarence John Laughlin / Gustave Le Gray / Bob Lerner / Helen Levitt / Sal Lopes / Rene Magritte / Sally Mann / Robert Mapplethorpe / Mary Ellen Mark / Maria Martinez-Canas / Ralph Eugene Meatyard / Ray K. Metzker / Sheila Metzner / Duane Michals / Leonard Misonne / Lisette Model / Laszlo Moholy-Nagy / Barbara Morgan / Eadweard Muybridge / Nadar / Nagacani and Tracey / Charles Negre / Gabriel Orozco / Timothy H. O'Sullivan / Paul Outerbridge / Olivia Parker / Gordon Parks / Irving Penn / John Pfahl / Eliot Porter / Man Ray / Albert Renger-Patzsch / Henry Peach Robinson / Thomas Roche / Aleksandr Rodchenko / Thomas Rodger / Arthur Rothstein / Lucas Samaras / August Sander / Robin Schwartz / Cindy Sherman / Jun Shiraoka / Aaron Siskind / W. Eugene Smith / Frederick Sommer / Southworth and Hawes / Michael Spano / Edward Stelchen / Joel Sternfeld / Alfred Stieglitz / Paul Strand / Thomas Struth / Josef Sudek / Frank Meadow Sutciiffe / William Henry Fox Talbot / Felix Teynard / George Tice / Linnaeus Tripe / Jerry N. Uelsmann / Doris Ulmann / Burk Uzzle / James VanDerZee / Roman Vishniac / Adam Clark Vroman / Carleton E. Watkins / Margaret Watkins / Weegee / William Wegman / Brett Weston / Edward Weston / Clarence H. White / Minor White / Garry Winogrand / Ernest C. Withers / Marion Post Wolcott.