Now that this first part of the course is pretty much at an end it is now time to include a bibliography of all the texts and sources I have consulted throughout the last ten months.  Not all of these are directly related to the exercises or research for projects and assignments.  Nevertheless I have included these unrelated materials because I consulted them while doing the course and even if not directly referenced in any of the course work blog entries they have nevertheless had some impact on me and my thinking.  At school and when a student I was always encouraged to “read around the subject” and these extra materials continue that practice.

Some of the books I have not read in full, particularly those not directly related to the course, but have been dipped into from time to time for ideas and inspiration.

Inevitably there will be things that I have forgotten to add to this list but I am confident I have included most of my reference sources.  There are a few sources cited in the course material that do not appear in this list because I was not actually able to gain access to them.  Some seemed just to be bad links.



Azoulay, A, (2012).  The Civil Imagination: A Political Ontology of Photography.  New York: Verso.

Badger, G, (2007). The Genius of Photography: How photography has changed our lives. London: Quadrille Publishing Limited.

Barthes, R,  (2000).  Camera Lucida.  London: Vintage.

Benjamin, W.  (1931).  A short history of photography.  Literarische Welt 18.9, 25.9, & 2.10.31 (reprinted in Screen, vol.13, issue 1, 1.3.72.  Glasgow:  University of Glasgow.)

Berger, J, (2013).  Understanding a Photograph.  London: Penguin.

Berger, J, (1972).  Ways of Seeing.  London:  Penguin.

Dodd, L (ed), (2015).  Jane Bown: A Lifetime of Looking.  London: Guardian Books and Faber & Faber

Bright, S, (2005).  Art Photography Now.  London: Thames & Hudson.

Campany, D, (2012).  Art and Photography.  London:  Phaidon.

Casper, J, (ed), (2017).  The Best of LensCulture Vol. 1.  Amsterdam: Schilt Publishing.

Cartier-Bresson, H, (2014).  The Decisive Moment.  Göttingen: Steidl.

Cartier-Bresson, H, (1999).  The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers.  New York:  Aperture Foundation.

Cheroux, C, (2014).  A bible for photographers.  Göttingen: Steidl

Childerley, Z, (2016) The Debatable Lands.  High Green: VARC

Clarke, G, (1997).  The Photograph.  Oxford: Oxford University Press

Cotton, C, (2014).  The Photograph as Contemporary Art.  London:  Thames & Hudson

Dexter, J (ed), (1994).  Ansel Adams: The National Park Service Photographs. New York: Abbeville Press

Diprose, G & Robins, J (2012).  Photography: The New Basics (Principles, Techniques and Practice).  London: Thames & Hudson

Dyer, G, (2005).  The Ongoing Moment: A Book about Photography.  Edinburgh: Canongate

Evans, W, (2016).  American Photographs.  New York:  The Museum of Modern Art

Fink, L, (2014).  On Composition and Improvisation.  New York: Aperture

Fowles, J, (2016), p.37.  The Tree.  Toller Fratrum: Little Toller Books.

Fox, D, (2016).  Pretentiousness. London: Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Flusser, V, (2000).  Towards a Philosophy of Photography.  London: Reaktion Books.

Frank, R (2016).  The Americans.  Göttingen: Steidl

Franklin, S, (2016).  The Documentary Impulse.  London: Phaidon.

Fulford, J, & Halpern, G, (eds) (2014).  The Photographer’s Playbook.  New York: Aperture.

Ginsburg, A , (1955). Howl and Other Poems. San Francisco: City Lights.

Godfrey, M & Serota, N (2011). Gerhard Richter: Panorama.  London: Tate

la Grange, A, (2006).  Basic Critical Theory for Photographers.  Oxford: Focal Press.

Godwin, F, (2001). Landmarks.  Stockport: Dewi Lewis Publishing

Hill, P, (2004).  Approaching Photography (2nd ed).  London:Photographer’s Institute Press.

Jeffery, I, (2008).  How to Read a Photograph: Understanding, Interpreting and Enjoying the Great Photographers.  London:Thames & Hudson

Kawauchi, R (2012).  Illuminance, Ametsuchi, Seeing Shadow.  Kyoto: Seigensha Art Publishing

Koudelka, J (2014). Exiles. New York: Aperture

Koudelka, J (2008).  Invasion Pragure 68.  London: Thames & Hudson

Klein, W, (2016).  Life is Good & Good for You in New York.  New York:Errata Editions

Lavrentiev, A(1995). Alexander Rodchenko: Photography 1924-1954.  Köln: Könemann.

Marshall, R, (1988). Robert Mapplethorpe. London: Secker & Warburg

Mod, C & Rubin, D, (2016).  Koya Bound: Eight days on the Kumano Kodo.  Tokyo: self published

Mora, G, (2017).  William Gedney: Only the Lonely, 1955-1984.  Austin: University of Texas Press

Parr, M (2013).  The Non-Conformists.  New York:  Aperture.

Phillips, T (1992) Works and Texts.  London: Royal Academy of Arts

Prodger, P (ed) (2016). William Eggleston Portraits. London:National Portrait Gallery

Ray-Jones, T, (2013). American Colour 1962-1965. London: MACK

Shore, S, (2007).  The Nature of Photographs.  London:  Phaidon.

Sontag, S, (1979).  On Photography.  London:  Penguin.

Soth, A, (2017).  Sleeping by the Mississippi.  London:  Mack.

Weaver, M (ed), (1989).  The Art of Photography.  London: The Royal Academy of Arts.

Whelan, R & Capa, C (eds) (1985).  Robert Capa: Photographs. London: Faber & Faber




Specific Internet Articles 05/photography-eamonn-mccabe-bbc4-journey-through- history



British Journal of Photography (specifically Issue 7862, August 2017)

Digital Camera (specifically issue 172, January 2016)


Splash and Grab


Others (Films)

Allen, W, (1977).  Annie Hall.

Auerbach, J (2016). 20 Sites n Years: A film by Jake Auerbach

Coppola, F.F. (2001). Apocalypse Now Redux.

Greenaway, P. (1985). A Zed and Two Noughts.

Kubrick, S. (1968). 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Spielberg, S. (2002).  Minority Report.

Tarkovsky, A. (1983).  Nostalgia.

Tarkovsky, A. (1972).  Solaris.

Tarkovsky, A. (1979).  Stalker.

Tarkovsky, A. (1986).  The Sacrifice.

Villeneuve, D. (2016).  Arrival.

Wong, Kar-Wai. (1994). Chungking Express.

Wong, Kar-Wai. (2000).  In the mood for love.

Wong, Kar-Wai. (2004).  2046.


Students and film

Following my earlier rumination on the value of going back to film as a learning tool I was interested to see this article referred to on OCA Discuss:

I have already taken the view that film is useful for going back and learning the basics of photography so I was pleased to see someone as respected as Stephen Shore getting his students to use it.  I have to say though that I think having them do so for two years is a bit over the top, but hey ho.

Vilem Flusser – Again!

And now even OCA itself is onto this with a new course that sounds interesting, but that would be a distraction for me right now:

I really do think this is an important, and in some ways worrying, issue for photography and one that needs to be addressed afresh.  Fluster did the groundwork but it needs to be addressed again now in the light of the technological and social developments that possibly not even Flusser could have anticipated.

Vilem Flusser: Towards a Philosophy of Photography – Book – Postscript

Having recently posted about this book, quite by coincidence an article has just appeared on the LensCulture website about the role of Artificial Intelligence in photography.

The article, by Alexander Strecker, is a review of an exhibition in New York by Trevor Paglen that features photos taken, or created, by machines.    These are pictures taken by and effectively for, to be read by, machines.  Except to the extent that it is humans who write the software and feed these machines the data sets from which they work, these images are taken without human intervention of agency.  As such they are a somewhat chilling vindication of Flusser’s argument.  When you think about it there are increasing numbers of ways in which photos are taken by machines alone:  for example, and perhaps most troubling, by drones, particularly those used by the military to identify and strike distant targets; face and vehicle number plate recognition systems; security camera systems.

What is most worrying, bearing in mind Flusser’s argument, and is borne out to an extent by this exhibition, is that although these AI systems are programmed by humans they are programmed in ways that reflect the interests and prejudices of the humans involved, and most particularly the organisations that employ them so that the resulting images are not objective but meet the requirements and serve the interests of those organisations.

It used to be that the demon at the heart of capitalism was the military-industrial complex.  Then it was (and to an extent still is) big pharma as well.  Is it now the tech giants?

It was also just the other day that I came upon something on the OCA Discuss forum about an algorithm that purportedly assesses the aesthetic quality of a photograph.  This seems to me to be part and parcel of the same move towards robotisation and automation of photography, for the purposes of and in the interests of those that create the algorithm in just the same way as the AI in the exhibition.

As the article itself recognises, all of this opens up serious questions, and the need for an urgent and informed debate about the role of photography in the developing digital environment.  Personally I have no idea what the answers to those questions might be though I can now see that it is not simply going to be a simple matter, as I thought in my previous post, of just striving to produce work that is new and previously unseen as suggested by Flusser.  I can also see more clearly now that there is a major dilemma for any photographer who uses the digital realm in any way.

It is happening right now, right here with this blog, and I am a part of it.  This blog is an educational tool recording my development and progress through an academic course.  It is though putting out into the wider digital world images that I have made that would not otherwise be seen by anyone other than me and my tutor and assessors.  They are open to anyone who cares to look.  How the people who have found my work without being directed to it by me is beyond me.  Recently someone from a discipline completely divorced from photography looked at one of my posts.  Of course I do not mind, why should I? But how?  Why?  My best guess at the moment, though I have not looked hard enough to find out, is that it is possible to get the system in some way to look out for certain key words or phrases and to send an alert and link whenever they are found.  

Once something goes into the digital realm your personal control over it is compromised if not lost.  I would expect that mostly this is not a problem, that it is a relatively benign state of affairs.  However, we already know from looking at the issue of context that once an image is in the public domain it can, at the very worst, be used, interpreted, and manipulated in ways that can be completely alien and counter to the intentions of the originator.

The digital realm is though where, almost inevitably, as photographers we have to operate.  That is where and how those seeking to make a living from their art have to work.  I note that Magnum have an article on their website titled “How can photographers harness the digital space?”.  It is an important environment and not one that can be ignored or avoided.

Yes it could be possible to, as it were, go off grid but then how would you disseminate your work? Given that the digital realm is now so pervasive would it actually be possible really to remain disconnected or aloof from it?

I honestly do not know.  For now all I can do is try to hold good to Flusser’s injunction and make the best work that I can.  Oh, and avoid spaces such as Instagram which seems to me to be home to so much of all that is banal and worthless in the taking of pictures today.  Yes, there is some good stuff in there and I can see that it can be a useful tool for some creating good work.  But I do fear it is drowned out by the dross.

Lastly, for anyone out there who does come across this, excuse me if it sounds like a bit of a rant.  I do not mean to be doctrinaire or puritanical about this.  This is a serious and deeply important topic, not just within the realms of photography, but for society as a whole, and this is just a first attempt on my part to start straightening out my thinking.  My thinking is clearly rather inchoate at the moment but I feel I have to start somewhere.