am 25. Oktober 1998
This is the ONE book I always tell my students to read, not because they will be better photographers but, because they will be better equipped to see and understand how photographic images have influenced our culture and our self- images.
This is now more important than ever in the age of digital photography and images which are crafted to manipulate our feelings and decisions to consume, vote, love and even whether we like ourselves.
It establishes a consciousness about the subject which is incisive and memorable. It is a brilliant work and a great contribution.
am 31. März 1999
From the unforgetable opening lines, "Humankind lingers unregenerately in Plato's cave, still reveling, in its age-old habit, in mere images of the truth" sontag builds her case that the ubiquity of photographic images have subverted the notion that images are less real than the object/subject they reflect. The density of their presence among us created by photography means that in fact they have become a species of reality that cannot be easily extricated from and actively participates and transforms what we have considered real. In these evocative highly pleasurable pages, one forgets the oddity of reading a book on photography that does not contain a single photograph. On Photography bravely sets an example for the ecological use of images.
am 28. April 2000
Sontag is first and formost a philosopher. Her book is a series of essays that were first published in New York Magazine and later compiled for this book. As such, each essay is distinct and does segue easily to the next. Be prepared with these tools when digesting On Photography: a French dictionary, an English dictionary and a philosophy reference book i.e. Bloom's Closing of the American Mind. From the first essay, In Plato's Cave and onto through to Through Images Darkly (an analysis of Diane Arbus' work), once must be familiar with Plato's Republic and know what Arbus' photos look like. Be prepared to spend time with this book, it is well worth it!
am 12. April 2000
The book has been considered a classic for over twenty-five years. Inspiring and thought-provoking, this set of six essays, the most famous being "In Plato's Cave," make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society. Enjoyed by word- as well as photo-enthusiasts, On Photography is a great book!