Which books do documentary photography students read?

Discussion in 'Book, Magazine, Gallery Reviews, Shows & Contests' started by vondutch, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. vondutch

    vondutch Member

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    Hi there!

    I wanted to know if there is somebody here who knows which books students read who study documentary photography or photojournalism, not photo books (although suggestions on those also are always welcome) but more on the theoretical part.
     
  2. TerryMcC

    TerryMcC Subscriber

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    I don’t know about students but I found Harold Evans’ book, “Pictures on a Page “, very illuminating.
     
  3. chip j

    chip j Subscriber

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    "Bystander: a History of Street photography" is sublime.
     
  4. Lightflame

    Lightflame Member

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    I partially deal with students but in other field, so I don’t know for sure what books they are reading. But when I was in photo school, these books had a great impact on me:
    Photography: The Key Concepts – David Bate; Understanding Exposure – Brian Peterson
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    not sure what sort of documetary photography books you mean
    like street photography, human condition ?
    the americans by robert frank,
    the works of margaret bouque white
    and while it isnt in a book the oeuvre of colin corneau
    architctural documentary work --
    go to the habs project website and have them look
    at as many HABS / HAER documentations as they can
    have them look for the book jack boucher did ( he was the head of the habs project for decades )
    as well as the images of jet lowe ( i thought he had a book i guess i was wrong )
    christopher payne is in nyc and i think he has a book out regarding NYC "stuff"
    as well as the complete works of atget
    the bechers have a few good books out too
    and these MIT planning library images on flickr by Nishan Bichajian
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mit-libraries/
    he photographed streescapes and buildings of boston
    and the surrounding areas like atget did in paris, in the 50s
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  6. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    It's not a school kind of thing. If they're what we want to think of as photojournalists they get whatever that is through formal reportage studies and video.
     
  7. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    when I went back to school to get my Master of Fine Arts degree, I majored in Documentary Photograph and History of Photography.

    These are some of the books I had to read, none of these are light reading.

    On Photography - Susan Sontag
    Doing Documentary Work - Robert Coles
    The Cruel Radiance - Susie Linfield
    Towards a Philosophy of Photography - Vilem Flusser
    Core Curriculum - Tod Papagreorge (he shot street work with a 6x12)

    This last book I only mention because it's the most useful book I've read on photography...
    the War of Art - Steven Pressfield

    Hope this helps.

    -Rob
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    It has been a few years, but I still have these books in my library from my documentary classes in graduate school:

    The Social History of Art - Arnold Hauser
    Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television - Jerry Mander
    Forget Foucault - Jean Baudrillard
    Theories of Mass Communication - De Fleur
    Documentary - Barnouw
    Photographers on Photography - Lyons
    Photography Against the Grain - Allan Sekula
     
  9. jtk

    jtk Subscriber

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    I knew Jerry Mander...his "Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television is still on Amazon. Much of that book applies readily to digital media.
     
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