From: Judy Seigel (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: 02/24/00-08:06:32 PM Z
On Thu, 24 Feb 2000, John Deluca wrote:
> Newhall's text is fine for the first 150 years of Photography. But I
> would have to agree with you, the early 60's is as far as it goes. I
> don't think we have settled on a single text for our "Photography
> since 1960" class.
Actually, there are more than a few folks who don't agree about "fine" for
the first 150 years either. As I (and others) have pointed out, Newhall
shared, in fact advanced, a particular mindset -- that the pantheon of
photography was f/64 & company (have you heard AD Coleman on the
subject????!!!!) -- and scorned "Rayographs" along with other impure
messages and manifestations that we now value. Newhall was an excellent
writer, always nice for a text -- the basics are easily imparted to the
(possibly reluctant) student, but I could compile a list (in fact I am) of
names (besides Wm Mortensen!) NOT in the Newhall index.
Rosenblum is more inclusive, but the book has its problems: for one thing
it's huge, unwieldy & expensive. For another, I can attest that the
chapter on "alternative" processes had many errors. (A small sin to the
world at large no doubt, a big sin around here.) And, believe it or not,
it, too, seems dated by now.
Meanwhile, I have in hand a new history of photography,"Seizing the
Light," which I haven't read enough of to recommend unreservedly, but it
got a rave review in SPE's "exposure", & the author is well known in alt
circles: Robert Hirsch. In the interests of full disclosure I add that I
expect an interview with Hirsch in upcoming P-F, but is that any reason
not to buy his book? -- which looks to me like possible best choice to
date for a classroom text.
It's attractive, seems very inclusive, and a most interesting selection of
contemporary work, both well-known & offbeat. My personal reservation at
this point is that from what I've hastily scanned, the writing is no way
as graceful as Newhall -- tho that may bother me more than photo students.
And if sales are an indication...... the first printing sold out in 2
months! Which is to say, the world clearly feels the need for a history of
this type, and this seems excellent candidate. 528 pages vs 671 for the
Rosenblum, also wieldier because it's paperback & somewhat smaller size.
About $45. McGraw Hill.
Another book to check out is the Frizot from France -- different selection
from our American books, looks extremely engaging, and, I suspect
subsidized, because only $39 for many pages & pictures. If I had room for
another tome around here, I'd get it, tho I suspect it's too French to be
only text in a US classroom.
| Judy Seigel, Editor >
| World Journal of Post-Factory Photography > "HOW-TO and WHY"
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