06 August 2007

Defining References

"Do you have a copy of The Bible with you?"

"But, of course," I replied with a grin. "Hang on a sec." I walked over to my toolbox, unfastened the second latch (the first being already open), and lifted the lid. The small dense volume with the green fabric-textured binding was where I always kept it: on the left side of the top tray. The side spill from a 2K blonde glinted off the book's gold title as I handed it to him.

He riffled through the glossy pages until he found the table he needed: Shutter Angle/f.p.s./T-stop change (for 24 or 30 f.p.s. projection).

I remember when I bought the American Cinematographer Manual at Panavision Orlando eleven years ago: they only accepted cash. It was a significant investment for me at eighty dollars, an investment in my future I felt almost sure about. After all, there's really no need to own that bible unless you're a director of photography, or maybe an assistant cameraperson.

I haven't looked at mine in a long time; there's been no need for it, but it still rests in the same place.

On Photography feels like it could be a new bible for me. Something to give me insight into myself, the whys of photographs I take and those I don't. Analytic essays aren't my thing, but I really enjoyed her dissections of various aspects of photography as well as the anthology of quotations at the end of the book.

Familiarity with the works of photographers Sontag mentions is helpful as the book contains no photographs other than those on the cover. These are some of the photographers referred to most often: Diane Arbus, Eugene Atget, Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston.

10. On Photography by Susan Sontag (4/5)

One year ago at TTaT: The Screws of The Man (part 3)
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