Photography: The Definitive Visual History

Pardon the pun, but photography books usually focus on one of three subjects – nature, art or people. Therefore, when you get a book that focuses on the art of photography, you know you are in for something rather special.

As far as putting something on the coffee table to impress and interest you friends, this one is the top choice. You will look right posh and everyone will think you are clever. Needless to say, it’s also a good book to read. I was motivated to find out more about countless different shots in the book.

Tom Ang does a masterful job of capturing the reader’s attention by drawing out and analysing the amazing shots throughout the book. It delivers what it says it will – a definitive visual history.

Ang begins Photography: The Definitive Visual History way back in the early 1800’s when photography was so much in it’s infancy that it wasn’t even known as photography. He details the technological advances of the equipment, but also the images and styles that people shoot in.

He breaks down the barriers of art appreciation and makes it accessible to the modern, point and shoot, social media frenzied, snap happy generation that we are all now part of.

Ang pulls apart some of the most iconic images of all time, such as Dorothy Lange’s ‘Migrant Mother’. He breaks this historic and poignant image down and explains why it was such a ground – breaking shot. He compares and contrasts it with images shot at the same time – the ones that ‘didn’t quite make it’ – to help paint a fuller picture. There is also a what happened after the shot, which is fascinating.

Beyond being a stunning coffee table book, Photography, the Definitive Visual History, will blow you away with amazing imagery and analysis that will have you tossing aside your smartphone camera and investing in something far more useful… like a real camera.

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TITLE: Photography: The Definitive Visual History
AUTHOR(S): Tom Ang
PUBLISHER: Penguin Random House
RRP: $60.00
ISBN: 9781409346456

Drew Thompson Drew operates a successful hobby farm for pampered cattle in rural South Auckland. He once dabbled in education, where he discovered any book was a good book. As with most ex-teachers, he realised he was better off spending his time and patience on his own awesome children.

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