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Tuesday, 10 March 2009



I've LONG been a fan of Ravilious. Thanks for this heads-up. Good news: find the video on YouTube. Hooray!

Cheer up!

Hi Mike
The James Ravilious programme is superb and was aprt of a night on photography.
Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Boy who Never Grew Up
James Ravilious: A World in Photographs
The Photographer, his Wife, her Lover
O Winston Link
Robert Capa: In Love and War
The Lost Pictures of Eugene Smith
All on BBC 4 preceeded by part 3 of the Genious of Photography looing at the descisive moment enttled Right Place Right time on BBC 2.
They are all on BBC iplayer for UK badsed readers and I heartily recomend them all. They were all shown previously over the last 8 years and I believe the Ravilious is available as a DVD.

Cheer up. "The Lost Pictures of Eugene Smith", shown the same night, isn't even on iPlayer due to "rights issues". And I missed it, partly on the assumption that I could catch it later on t'Internet.

While you're on Youtube, watch "The Genius Of Photography" too.

I have watched the Ravilious video twice on the BBC. Excellent program, enjoyed every second of it. He was an absolute master of the black and white image.

Hey! I just bought a Panny G1 and 45-200 through your links a few weeks ago!

(BTW I'm not sure what this "Far be it from me to encourage profligacy in hard times" means as I went to a state college but I suspect that doing so could get you sent to Gitmo under the Bush administration. At least until VP Grima Wormtongue fell out of favor.)

"Hey! I just bought a Panny G1 and 45-200 through your links a few weeks ago!"

So you're the guy! Many thanks, Tom.


P.S. "Far be it from me to encourage profligacy in hard times" = I shouldn't encourage people to spend their money just on my account.

Come on people, it's your civic duty to keep spending like crazy to support Mike and the rest of the economy!

I have made a list of books and DVDs (Blueray actually) that I intend to buy through your Amazon Canada link in a couple of months after I move.
But for all my photographic needs I continue to support my local camera shops. After all they are the places that actually stock the stuff and let me play with it in person to help me make my choice. They offer human advice and opinions too.
My local shops going under would be almost as bad as TOP going off line!

How about setting up a TOP Amazon store? I'd love to browse through your selections for the store. Not likely to shell out for a new camera at the moment but buying a well priced and interesting book on photography wouldn't be that far fetched. Especially if there was a Amazon.co.uk option.

Mike, I'm sorry for my part in dragging you along on the MoMA reprint emotional roller coaster. At least for me the blow is softened by ignorance of exactly what I'm missing, and the existence of many more great photography books on TOP's "recommended" lists that I've yet to track down and enjoy. More fallout from the economic crisis, no doubt, and I fear what other "luxuries" this monster will swallow (like darkroom chemistry, paper and film). My crazy thought of the day is wondering how many preorders it would take to budge MoMA's presses...

That Ravilious video is great. Caught it on youtube. Will check out the rest of the "Genius of Photography" videos there, too. Thanks!

Hang in there Mike! Things are gonna get better. Heck, the stock market is up 300+ points today on the Dow. See, anything's possible, and things could always be worse.

Best wishes!


RE: When The Going Gets Tough

Once upon a time there was a TV program called "Jericho". Although many people liked it, the show was canceled after one season. That is, until a whole lot of us sent nuts by the truckload to CBS. We got another season.

Moral: In the Internet Age anything is possible.

I humbly suggest that everyone who wants Looking At Photographs to be reprinted call MOMA at (212) 708-9400 or e-mail them at info@moma.org. If we can show them there is still a market for Looking At Photographs, despite the recession, it might just change their minds. Remember, institutions like MOMA are being especially hit hard. Show them we mean cold, hard cash and it might make quite an impression.


Just a quick fact check for the "underprivileged" zones: most USA programs are blocked to viewing, and nobody even bothers to BS about rights and stuff.
The YouTube link seems to be in a gray legal area, but that's something that I've learned to cope with, as a non-american citizen.

And more to the pressing points: I'm sure that right now an AmazonUK shop would be most welcome; a lot of europeans are saving their big buys for UK orders, since the recent currency works to our favor; still not as cheap as in USA, but significantly better than in other european countries.

I previously refered to the James Ravilous book "An English Eye" which came out at the same time as the BBC programme. Didn't realise the sound investment it was when I bought it ! A second hand version is now for sale on Amazon U.K. @ £128.00 !

He being English, I presumed that the video would be in English, but except for the narrator I barely understood a word spoken by the locals.

Follow the link below to the used book world of John Szarkowski's Looking At Photographs.


I contacted a specific dealer and when I ask about the book, he asked: Why there was suddenly so much demand? He had already sold two of the three copies he had and I was getting his last one.

You don’t know the power you have.

Bob Mc

"except for the narrator I barely understood a word spoken by the locals"

Amen, especially the heavy-set woman who was plucking the pheasant! Aside from about twenty words, she seriously might have been speaking Gaelic for all I was able to get.

I had a funny reverse situation once. I was driving in rural Ireland when I was flagged down by an old man. He asked me if I had seen any sheep, and I said no. Then he asked me if I would mind driving him a bit up the road. I hesitantly agreed, and while he climbed into the passenger's seat he whistled to the woods, and out came a boy and three dogs, who all piled quickly into the back seat!

Well, the funny part was that I could understand them okay, but the man and the boy could not understand what I was saying at all if I spoke English in my normal voice. But if I did my best to mimic a heavy Irish accent (which I was pretty good at in those days) they could understand me fine!

Now maybe if that woman farmer in the Ravilious video were to do her best American accent, then I could understand her...



I'm really sorry to hear about this book not being reprinted as I've been hoping a new edition would have better reproductions than my copy. It's such a great book that it not only deserves to stay in print forever it really should have reproductions that are up to contemporary standards.



I think you are missing a trick here. The next time you wish to recommend a book make sure it is out of print and buy up all the second hand copies before the recommendation.

Corner the market. Buy that Sony/Minolta.

I have bought 10 items through your link for Amazon Germany in the running quarter (1Q/2009) and 21 items in the past quarter (4Q/2008). I hope Amazon is really paying you for all things I buy - I don't know whether you can check if you get all you should from Amazon. Do you get a named item list for the paid commissions that would enable a cross-check?

"I don't know whether you can check if you get all you should from Amazon. Do you get a named item list for the paid commissions that would enable a cross-check?"

First of all, THANKS, and second, yes. I did pretty well with Amazon Germany last quarter and I'm sure you're a part of the reason why! I appreciate it.


Here's the link to the Beaford Arts site. They have one Ravilious book and several "digital" prints available for purchase. Perhaps a UK reader may have more info.



I've just managed to find a copy of Looking at Pictures at my local library. I put it on hold as soon as I saw your post. It's not quite as good as owning it but it's still great to look at.

I'm very lucky that my local library has a lot of great photography books including 2 or 3 books on Karsh and other iteresting items such as The decisive moment.

Don't forget to check you local libraries.

It has been not that long ago since I became a regular TOP reader, but I’m already very “in-tune” with your book recommendations. Therefore I was quite unhappy about the “Looking at photographs” book not being reissued. After reading this I managed to get a used copy in so-so shape from Amazon US which arrived recently here in Germany (through TOP-link, hope that works for Marketplace items as well). I had no time to more than thumb trough it but from the first glace it really seems an excellent book to have and I’m happy that I got it.

Of course now that I have it I saw it this weekend in an arts bookstore here in Cologne on display brand new and for about what I paid for my used version. So there is still hope for those who are looking for it. And the lesson for me seems to be not to solely rely on the internet to buy stuff.


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