The Photography Book


An introduction to 500 photographers from the mid-19th century to today.


Conceived and edited by Phaidon Editors


Editions:

Price: £19.95



Overview
  • An unsurpassed collection of 500 superb images that represent the world's best photographers from the mid-19th century to today
  • Widely acclaimed as the most important reference book ever on its subject
  • Arranged alphabetically by photographer, from pioneers such as Gustave Le Gray and Daguerre to icons such as Robert Capa, to innovative and unknown photographers around the world
  • Encompasses fashion, sport, natural history, reportage and society portraiture, documentary and art, with concise text providing useful insight into each work and its creator
  • Extensive cross-references, glossaries of technical terms and movements and a directory of museums and galleries



Specifications

About the book
500 superb images represent the world's best photographers and encompass every sort of photography in this eye-catching and engrossing book. Pictures of famous events such as the Royal Wedding and the first landing on the moon are here, next to familiar shots by masters of photography such as Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Cecil Beaton and Robert Doisneau. There is fashion, sport, natural history, reportage and society portraiture, as well as social documentary and art. The 500 photographers featured range from William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron to Larry Clarke and Herb Rittz, from Robert Capa and Josef Koudelka to Nan Goldin and Pierre et Gilles. Arranged alphabetically by photographer, each full-page image is accompanied by an illuminating text which gives a useful insight into the work and its creator, as well as extensive cross-references to others working in the same field or the same style. Glossaries of technical terms and movements and a directory of museums and galleries are included to provide a fully comprehensive and self-contained volume.



In The Press
'The most important photography book, ever.' (Practical Photography)

'Possibly the best reference book of the year. No photographer should be without this on their bookshelf.' (Amateur Photographer)

'Lush collection of images… By arranging the 500 plates in alphabetical order there are, of course, a number of uncomfortable contrasts, the clearly staged positioned hard by pieces of traumatising reportage. But that only adds to the impact…' (Observer)

'This is a slab of a book and a slab worth having….impeccably organised…Each plate is accompanied by witty text.' (The Times)

'Phaidon has published a miracle of clarity, surprise and information in this collection… Comprehensive and witty, beautifully produced and impeccably organised – if you can afford only one book on the subject, this has to be it…' (The Times )

'The Photography Book … is the welcome successor to Phaidon’s Twentieth Century Art Book … Its scope provides an invaluable starting point for further study, with a useful glossary of technical terms and stylistic movements.' (World of Interiors)

'The authority in both the selection and the thumbnail sketch to each comes from the author, as Ian Jeffrey’s reputation as an informed photography critic is unlikely to be challenged…one side pleasure of the book, giving the informed viewer a chance to opinionate, too, both on status of photographers and the single image to represent them…Jeffrey’s biographical notes are admirable in the way they outline both the photographer and the style his/her picture illuminates. For anyone interested in the photographic image (any reader out there who is not?), this book is a treasury of both confirmation and discovery. The A-Z potted-facts presentation style is a godsend to any writer or researcher. Monochrome, duotone and colour reproduction are of high quality, layout is excellent. Can you afford to pass it over?' (The Photographic Journal)

'We gobbled up The Art Book for its ingenuity and value, and now The Photography Book… repeats the formula…' (Insight)

'So how much do you think it would cost: £40? £50? Actually it’s only £25, which wins it my vote for the bargain of the year. I’ve seen dozens of lesser books at twice that price. Frankly, this should be number one on every book-loving photographer’s Christmas list- and if you like art in general, check out the previous two titles in this series.' (Amateur Photographer)

'The Guide’s editorial team recommends some potential Christmas presents - the books they would like to give to their families and friends, or keep for themselves: The Photography Book.' (The Good Book Guide)

'Fabulous photographs and an illuminating text – this is a must for anyone interested in photographic art.' (Ideal Home)

'The definitive A-Z of the world’s top 500 photographers.' (Harper’s and Queen)

'One of the season’s outstanding books and one that will give lasting pleasure…The spread of subject, composition, angle and message is prodigious: browsing through page after page will amuse and entertain, shock and startle – and leave a deep sense of admiration for the international camera artists whose work is on display.' (The Keswick Reminder) 

'A fabulous token of love. Beautifully packaged and printed…' (The Times)

'No debate about the season’s star title…Phaidon has followed up the triumph of The Art Book with The Photography Book… A shrewd commentary supplies some cross references and invites readers to configure their own patterns of the past.' (Independent Saturday Magazine)

'Now we are ecstatic. The latest offering is The Photo Book, The Art Book’s answer to the photography world…catering for absolute beginners and experts alike. Magnificent.' (What’s On in London)

'The ultimate collection of moving stills. This hefty tome should be on everyone’s shopping list. We all went out and bought one – have you?' (Practical Photography)

'A fabulous coffee table…' (The Sunday Telegraph )

'Filled with the most amazing photographs by some great snappers.' (The New Statesman)

'I make no bones about it – I like this book. In fact, I think it is the best book of photographs I have ever seen…Each photograph is discussed in detail, bringing it to life and giving us an understanding of this art form which is so influential in our everyday lives… The photographs are well produced and are a good size. There is only one to a page so there are no folds or staples to ruin them. The sheer number and variety of pictures, however, puts this book in a league of its own…nobody could fail to learn something from simply looking at it…It is all here.' (The Old Lady of Threadneedle St (Staff Magazine of Bank of England))

'Massive, so cheap for its price. It would be an excellent present for a teenager who is developing an interest in photography, and therefore in the world.' (Independent on Sunday) 

'A bargain.' (Bigmouth)

'A useful and unpretentious taster anthology…a deft selection of images and a comprehensive choice of historic and contemporary figures.' (The Financial Times Weekend)

'An informative and easy to use guide to this rich and diverse medium offers an insight into its 150-year history…' (Northern Echo (Darlington))

'For a huge…dose of pure pleasure for anyone, I recommend The Photo Book… At only 5p a photo, quite perfect for a strong coffee table.' (The Darlington & Stockton Times)

'Hugely entertaining for people of all ages, it is a great blend of entertainment, interest and education.' (Legal Executive)

'An astonishing collection of 500 photos, some as familiar as your own face, others a fresh shock or delight.' (New York Times)

'has the same format as The Art Book. If anything, it is more successful.' (Newsweek)

'a tantalizing survey of picture making...As you fan these pages, here is all humanity recorded with consummate care.' (Daily News, New York)

'This lavishly illustrated book...the reader is guaranteed plenty of surprises...The book collects a selection of inspiring, moving and sometimes stunning images...the standard [of the selection of the pictures] is high and the variety exemplary...the commentators display admirable brevity in their musings and...add food for thought...The effort to which some photographers go is also revealed...poignant shots...Ground breaking shots...are also featured. ...this browsable volume represents excellent value for money and a source of inspiration for everyone from the point-and-press amateur to the serious professional.' (The Inverness Courier)

'The wonderful Photography Book.' (Irish Times)

'Present interesting juxtapositions…. Cartier-Bresson’s description of photography as an instant reaction which provokes a meditation is exemplified by The Photography Book. It is a book to get lost in, a treasure trove of memorable images from the last century-and-half.' (Northern Woman)


About the author(s)
Ian Jeffrey is a photography writer, lecturer and curator. His other books include Magnum Landscape (Phaidon, 1997), Portraits of Artists (2000) and Revisions: An Alternative History of Photography (1999). He has organized various photographic exhibitions, among them 'The Real Thing' at the Hayward Gallery in 1974 and 'Landscape in Britain 1850-1950', which was held at the Hayward in 1983.


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