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Thursday, 18 January 2018


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Dyer's book cover is not very original. It looks like a Blue Note album cover from the 60's. It's just a small thing to rant about, I know, but it puts me off.

I have Geoff Dyer's, The Ongoing Moment, Robert Adam's, Beauty In Photography, and Why People Photograph. There's something restorative about reading Beauty In Photography. In why People Photograph, Adam's describes an encounter with Winogrand in ways that only Adam's could. The Ongoing Moment (in which Winogrand features) will quiet that nagging roommate that tells you it's all been shot before.

I'm wondering whether I should get my tooth fixed, or buy these two new books in the hope that reading them will ease the pain.

Art can help with that

Mike, I thought you never recommended books unless you've finished them.

We don't even know of the photos are ones Winogrand selected himself, or those fished out of his negative files after he died.

I expected more out of you than to just slap a press release up and call it content.

[So, what, I can't make note of books of interest? I can't read everything. Both authors are well known to me from their other work. Decide for yourself.... --Mike]

What a curious bunch of comments so far. Robert Adams is a major favourite of mine, perhaps one of my few remaining heroes? His work has always fascinated and his writing likewise.

And what exactly is wrong with Blue Note record covers?

Thank you Mike for the head's up, I'll certainly be looking out for these two books and probably purchase the Adams over the weekend. Cheers

These both look very interesting - thanks for posting about them Mike. The Dyer / Winogrand in particular looks like it might be worth having.

I will buy the Dyer/Winogrand book. I may not always agree with Dyer’s opinions but he is a brilliant, passionate writer on photography. That enthusiasm for the image and for making connections to other (visual or not) art forms made The Ongoing Moment hugely enjoyable and i’m sure Winogrand‘s archive will have given him plenty of opportunities to let his imagination take off.


Of course you can alert us to new books coming to market! I guess you've just spoiled me, because you always have something to say, some insight, to the books you tell us about.

This post just kind of lacked the...well...Mike-ness.

Sorry if I came off as scolding. I see that I did. I could have used a little Mike-ness in my comment.

[No problem M.O. Really, though, what better way to indicate that it's NOT a review, than to just post a snippet of the publisher's description? I always figure you can do anything, as long as the reader knows where you're honestly coming from. It's been workin' so far, mostly. --Mike

One more vote for anything Geoff Dyer writes!

From The Ongoing Moment, "Eggleston's photographs look like they were taken by a Martian who lost the ticket for his flight home and ended up working at a gun shop in small town near Memphis." Yowza! And lest anyone think it mean spirited, it ain't.

Or check out his wonderful dialogue with Janet Malcolm in Aperture a few years back.

As far as the model for the Winogrand book being Szarkowski's accompanying essays to Atget's photos, there is nothing finer. Beyond simple enjoyment, I re-read them on occasion for a nourishing source of comfort.

A final note, just got another book from U of Texas Press: Ghost Notes by B+ (aka Brian Cross). Really innovative stuff

I always really liked Blue Note album covers.

I'm also reacting to the first few comments. It's the Adams book that I immediately ordered, after reading some of his Hopper comments and the table of contents for the rest.

BTW, you mentioned another booksale that might come right after Christmas. Is that still in the works?

Anything Robert Adams writes is likely to be worth a look. Sometimes it’s a gem, sometimes it’s just a rock. But it’s at least worth $18 to have a look. I’ll bite.

Normally I’d ditto those remarks for Geoff Dyer. I, too, saw this book announced. But I’m suspicious of a book titled “The Street Philosophy of Garry Winogrand” that weighs-in at 240 pages. I think the subject could easily have been covered on a 4x6 index card...with room for footnotes. I think I’ll wait on this one.

We’re reaching the end of an era of great photography philosophy. The batters are each trying to get their last raps in, and much of the recent photo writings I’ve read, mainly in show catalog essays, is non-nutritive warmed-over and heavily spiced left-overs. Not much left to be said about old photographers and no new photographers worth saying much about.

Thanks Mike.

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