Sunday, December 18, 2011

Gerry Badger and the Pleasures of Good Photography Writing

Nobody to my knowledge writes as profoundly, succinctly and simply about photography than Gerry Badger. His essays are a skillful balance of form and substance, enjoyable and satisfying, rather like sitting and talking with a good friend over an excellent dinner and a superb bottle of wine.

Gerry's book, The Pleasures of Good Photographs. (Aperture 2010), is an essential read for anybody remotely interested in serious photography. That is photography that goes beyond the surface.

Here are a few quotations:
That is not to say that photographs cannot be made of rocks or trees, but they will be all the better if the photographer can relate them to history, to the world of human culture rather than just the photographer's personal sensibilities. This, I believe, is true of all photography - and it can be done.

Or are the really great photographers drawn from the ranks of those who reject visual style in favor of visual sensibility, those who recognize that the medium is profligate rather than reductive, and more akin to the film or the novel then the painting? Those accordingly who put content before form.

If looking at photographs is a pleasurable activity, it is pleasurable in a complex, transformative, frequently unsettling sense. It is not pleasure unalloyed, for no profound pleasure is pure... Like many truly enriching pleasures... photography has its dark, troubling, even dangerous aspects.

The Pleasures of Good Photographs is an intellectual and aesthetic romp through the world of photography. It is a delight to read.

HERE is a link to Amazon.
This may well be the best $24.24 you have spent for a longtime.

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