05 September 2006


The Ongoing Moment by Geoff Dyer (3.5/5)

This one took me a while to read, but only because I needed intervals for all the details to sink in; I'm glad to own it. It's a history of photography arranged by photographic subjects. There are no chapters, just breaks, which facilitates a hypertext approach to reading the book which Dyer encourages. The next time I read it, I'll flip to a photo I like, read that section, and then flip to what that makes me think of next whether that's the next page or another section of the book.

He draws attention to the influence photographers have on one another (conscious or not), how certain subjects crop up in photos repeatedly over decades, and how some photographer's best shots look like they were actually shot by someone else. In this age of ubiquitous photography, the rapid-fire flashes of images, I find Dyer's ability to examine one photograph at a time, each in detail, refreshing. I'm accustomed to scanning photos quickly with simple like/dislike, good/bad judgments, but The Ongoing Moment made me slow down and really consider what I was looking at.

I'm looking forward to checking out more of the photographers' works from the bibliography.

One year ago at TTaT: Off-kilter, A year and some days
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