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On Being a Photographer: a Practical Guide…

On Being a Photographer: a Practical Guide (edition 1997)

by David Hurn (Author)

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1063162,938 (4.03)2
Title:On Being a Photographer: a Practical Guide
Authors:David Hurn (Author)
Info:Lenswork Publishing (1997), Edition: 3rd illustrated edition, 96 pages
Collections:Your library

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On Being a Photographer: A Practical Guide by David Hurn



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Another in the stack of books I've been reading as I dig into photography. This book is interesting not for technique - there's honestly very little of that, and what's there is is almost useless without demonstrative pictures to accompany it - but for its vision of the field and the art.

David Hurn is a very famous photographer who does a lot of documentary type photographer - people in places, not things. He has a very particular vision of what it means to be a photographer, both amateur and professional, and it's interesting to read.

Some of the material here is outdated - it was published in the late 90s - but the last chapter, which concerns the future of photography at the advent of the digital age, asks a lot of interesting questions about the truth of a photograph and the trust an audience places in it. Hurn is surprisingly prescient, and his thoughts are insightful and thought-provoking.

Unfortunately, there's rather a lot of textual rambling to accompany these moments, which is why the rating sinks to a 3.5. ( )
  Aerrin99 | Jun 25, 2010 |
I never liked 'how to...' guides, but this little book is a gem. Probably one of the best books on photography I have seen. ( )
  bojanfurst | Sep 3, 2009 |
This slim volume is loaded with provocative ideas and, as the subtitle says, practical guides. Little will come as a surprise to serious photographers— “just wandering around looking for pictures, hoping that something will pop up and announce itself, does not work”—worth emphasizing for those who don't do photography every day—and even we need to be reminded of that now and then. Hurn's attitude is stated bluntly throughout, e.g., “most teachers, classes, workshops, books, whatever, imply that how the picture is made, what techniques were employed, why it looks different and artistic, is more important than the subject matter. Yet the photographer is primarily a subject-selector. Much as it might offend the artistically inclined, the history of photography is primarily the history of the subject matter.” Jay, whose columns appear regularly in Lenswork is the interlocutor, with Hurn responding based on his experience for Magnum. That's a bit unfortunate, as Jay is exceptionally thoughtful and is here confined to a minor role. ( )
  sweetFrank | Mar 12, 2007 |
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