Ian Jeffrey: Photography

Ian Jeffrey’s Photography: a concise history is a really excellent book that offers a comprehensive history of technical and artistic developments in photography and places them within the broader context of politics, philosophy, geography and other cultural issues. It provides a background to the emergence and decline of different photographic styles and subject matters, schools of thought and understandings about the purpose and meaning of photography. Jeffrey picks out individual photographers and explains their work in the context of all these factors, revealing their personal preoccupations and points of view, drilling down into individual photographs and demonstrating his extraordinary ability to extract meaning from the slightest of clues and articulate it for the reader. I learnt a huge amount from this beautifully written book and feel I’ll take in more again when I re-read it, which I undoubtedly will.

References and resources

Jeffrey, I. (1981) Photography: a concise history. London: Thames & Hudson.