Photographs Not Taken: A Collection of Photographers' Essays (Revised)

Lyle Rexer (Text by (Art/Photo Books)) Will Steacy (Editor)
& 13 more
Available

Description

Photographs Not Taken is a collection of photographers' essays about failed attempts to make a picture. Editor Will Steacy asked each photographer to abandon the conventional tools needed to make a photograph--camera, lens, film--and instead make a photograph using words, to capture the image (and its attendant memories) that never made it through the lens. In each essay, the photograph has been stripped down to its barest and most primitive form: the idea behind it. This collection provides a unique and original interpretation of the experience of photographing, and allows the reader into a world rarely seen: the image making process itself. Photographs Not Taken features contributions by: Peter Van Agtmael, Dave Anderson, Timothy Archibald, Roger Ballen, Thomas Bangsted, Juliana Beasley, Nina Berman, Elinor Carucci, Kelli Connell, Paul D'Amato, Tim Davis, KayLynn Deveney, Doug Dubois, Rian Dundon, Amy Elkins, Jim Goldberg, Emmet Gowin, Gregory Halpern, Tim Hetherington, Todd Hido, Rob Hornstra, Eirik Johnson, Chris Jordan, Nadav Kander, Ed Kashi, Misty Keasler, Lisa Kereszi, Erika Larsen, Shane Lavalette, Deana Lawson, Joshua Lutz, David Maisel, Mary Ellen Mark, Laura McPhee, Michael Meads, Andrew Moore, Richard Mosse, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Laurel Nakadate, Ed Panar, Christian Patterson, Andrew Phelps, Sylvia Plachy, Mark Power, Peter Riesett, Simon Roberts, Joseph Rodriguez, Stefan Ruiz, Matt Salacuse, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Aaron Schuman, Jamel Shabazz, Alec Soth, Amy Stein, and others.

Product Details

Price
$14.95  $13.75
Publisher
Daylight Books
Publish Date
April 17, 2012
Pages
223
Dimensions
5.52 X 0.57 X 8.0 inches | 0.6 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9780983231615
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Lyle Rexer is a New York-based independent writer and critic. His previous books include Photography's Antiquarian Avant-Garde (2002) and How to Look at Outsider Art (2005); he contributed an interview with Chuck Close and Bob Holman to A Couple of Ways of Doing Something (Aperture, 2006), and is the author of Edge of Vision (Aperture, 2010.)
Renowned photographer Mary Ellen Mark's (born in Philadelphia, 1940; died in New York, 2015) numerous honors and awards included a Fulbright Scholarship, Guggenheim Fellowship, Cornell Capa Award, and the 2014 Lifetime Achievement in Photography Award from George Eastman House. During her lifetime, her photo essays and portraits were exhibited worldwide and appeared in numerous publications, including Life, the New York Times Magazine, and the New Yorker. Her photo essay on runaway children in Seattle became the basis of the Academy Award-nominated film Streetwise, directed and photographed by her husband Martin Bell, and was published in book form in 1988. Mark published twenty-one books, including American Odyssey (Aperture, 1999), Twins (Aperture, 2003), Exposure (2005), Seen Behind the Scene (2009), Prom (2012), and Tiny: Streetwise Revisited (Aperture, 2015). In addition to producing her own work, Mark taught photography workshops for nearly thirty years; her thoughts on teaching are captured in one of her final titles, Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment (Aperture's Photography Workshop Series, 2015).
Roger Ballen is one of the most important photographers of his generation. He was born in New York in 1950 but has been living and working in South Africa for over 30 years. Over the past 50 years his distinctive style of photography has evolved using a simple square format in stark and beautiful black and white. In his earlier works his connection to the tradition of documentary photography is clear but through the 1990s he developed a style he describes as "Ballenesque". Over the past two decades, Ballen has employed drawings, painting, collage and sculptural techniques to create enigmatic, mysterious sets for his images. Roger Ballen has invented a new hybrid aesthetic in these works but one still rooted firmly in photography.
Zwelethu Mthethwa received his BFA from the Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, a then whites-only university he entered under special ministerial consent, and his master's degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Mthethwa has had over thirty-five international solo exhibitions and numerous group shows, including the 2005 Venice Biennale, and Snap Judgments at the International Center of Photography, New York. He is represented by Jack Shainman Gallery, New York and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
A member of Magnum Photos and the publisher of Little Brown Mushroom Press, Alec Soth is a photographer who has published over twenty-five books, including Sleeping by the Mississippi, NIAGARA, Broken Manual, and Songbook.
Emmet Gowin earned his MFA in photography from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1967, after studying graphic design as an undergraduate. His black-and-white photographs have been exhibited in the United States and abroad, including solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Corcorcan Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; and Escape Photographie Marie de Paris. Gowin's work is included in major museum collections worldwide; he has published more than six monographs; and he has been awarded several honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Pew Fellowship for the Arts, and the President's Award for Distinguished Teaching.
A photographer since graduating from Pratt Institute in 1965, has had four photo books published.

Reviews

They have the power to steal your breath, provoke tears. They might overwhelm and inspire you, bring you to your knees, even.
But they won't. These moments passed into oblivion, unfixed by the camera -- snapshots that went unsnapped. Now, they're in a book: a photography book without pictures.
The collection, "Photographs Not Taken," edited by Will Steacy, features the testimonies of 60 photographers who recount the moments that slipped from their photographic grip, either because they couldn't take the picture, or wouldn't.--Peter Moskowitz "The New York Times "
Photographs Not Taken is a book about photography in which there is not a single photograph. It's a collection of essays by 62 photographers about the ones that got away: the images -- burned to memory and conscience -- that, for one reason or another, the photographer could not make.
The photo community has grasped this little book to its bosom. The premise is simple and the emotions expressed, often by big-name photographers -- Jim Goldberg, Emmet Gowin, Todd Hido, Nadav Kander, Mary Ellen Mark, Zwelethu Mthethwa, Sylvia Plachy, Mark Power, Alessandra Sanguinetti, to name a few -- are common to us all. Readers learn that talented photographers experience wobbles just like anyone else, and that photography, as it reflects life, can be a struggle. PNT is now in its second run after the first edition sold out in March.
The 200+ pages of Photographs Not Taken do not focus on amazing light, or compositions missed, but on humanity seen, remembered, cherished, learned and broken. Maybe photography can't live up to experience. Maybe photography steals away - or sullies - the preciousness of memory. After reading Photographs Not Taken, those moments of hesitation, so warmly shared, are far more arresting than some of the most engaging photographs. As Aaron Schuman speculates, those memories are "perhaps the photographs kept, not taken."--Pete Brook "Wired "
The most thoughtful and provocative book on photography i've read in a long time contains not a single photograph, but it's full of memorable images. For Photographs Not Taken, editor Will Steacy asked 62 photographers to describe the ones that got away - the "mental negatives" that haunt them years later. The results - brief essays, many no more than a page - are unexpectedly eloquent and revealing.--Vince Aletti "Photograph Magazine "
No printed images mar this page-turning collection of anecdotes from 62 working photographers. They are men and women like Mary Ellen Mark, Andrew Moore, Laurel Nakadate, Alec Soth, Todd Hido and the late Tim Hetherington, whose cameras are practically extensions of their bodies. Editor Will Steacy asked each to describe an irresistible photo op that they let pass, however great the temptation or ingrained the habit.
Their "mental negatives," as Steacy terms their recollections, bring up a variety of ethical questions that stem from a common predicament: whether to shoot or not -- or, in Hetherington's case, whether to expose an image of the dead to the public or not. Agony, frustration, fear and longing persist throughout.--Linda Yablonsky "Artnet "
The book is full of lost moments and missed opportunities, some poignant, some hilarious, some mysterious. (We never find out why Ballen did not photograph inside the witch doctor's house. Was it superstition, or had he simply gone out without his camera?) One of the funniest is told by Matt Salacuse. As a struggling photographer in New York, he was waiting to meet his father in the lobby of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, when he spotted Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman with their newborn adopted baby. Salacuse went outside and positioned himself by a waiting limo, waiting for the celebrity couple to emerge. Just as he was about to photograph them, Cruise looked straight at him and said calmly: "You're not going to do that." Salacuse writes: "It must have been some crazy Scientologist voodoo mind trick, because I looked at him and said, 'You are right. I am not.' And, I didn't."
Like the others, all that Salacuse was left with from his chance encounter was a story about a great photograph that never happened. Sometimes, as this book shows, that's enough.--Sean O'Hagan "The Guardian "