ISBN 10: 0714844888 / ISBN 13: 9780714844886
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Synopsis: Since it was first developed by Daguerre in the 1840s, photography has followed an interesting and varied course in its progress from a practical means of documentation to an art form with its own icons, heroes, galleries and collectors. This eye-catching and engrossing book contains every sort of photography, all of it arranged in an easily accessible and fun format. Pictures of famous events such as the Royal Wedding and the first landing on the moon are here, next to familiar shots by the 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 features range from William Henry Fox Talbot and Julia Margaret Cameron to Larry Clarke and Herb Rittz, from Robert Capa and Josef Kondelka to Nan Goldin and Pierre et Gilles. Arranged alphabetically, each full-page photograph is accompanied by an illuminating text which gives 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. galleries are included in the back of the book to provide a fully comprehensive and self-contained volume.

Review: The concept for this book is simple: 500 photographers, 500 pages. Arranged alphabetically, each of the photographers--from contemporary Dutch cameraman Hans Aarsman to mid-century New York shutterbug James Van Der Zee--gets a full, oversized page. On it is a large, expertly reproduced image and a concise caption packed with information about the photographer and his or her work. The coincidental alignment of photos of different eras and aesthetic sensibilities provides unusual and exciting contrasts that add an extra dimension to readers' perception of the work. Rineke Dijkstra's color-saturated shot of a bikini-clad beachgoer in South Carolina faces a Mike Disfarmer portrait of a rural Arkansas couple in 1943. Imogen Cunningham's inimitable Nude is here, along with a more surprising image--My Mother, Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, a color-photo collage by painter David Hockney. With iconic photographs like Alfred Eisenstaedt's shot of a sailor and a nurse kissing in Times Square on V-J Day, historic ones like Larry Burrows's shot of wounded U.S. soldiers in Vietnam, and pop images like David LaChapelle's picture of a bodybuilder posing amid a cluster of little boys aping his stance, the scope of this visual encyclopedia is truly epic. And with its incredibly low price tag, there's no better value out there for fans of photography.

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