Saturday, 26 April 2014

Try This for a Good Read

To anyone active in photography between 1965 and 1995 the name Bill Jay will be familiar. Look him up on Google for the details. For many years Bill wrote 'EndNotes' for the last page of the American mag 'LensWork', these were always witty, funny and at times scathing about where photography was going. Some of his comments can hit a nerve near home and many have made me think, yet again, where my photography has been and is going. 

Bill died in 2009, to mark the 15th anniversary of his death 'LensWork' has gathered the best of his 'EndNotes' in issue #83.

They really are worth a read. I was in the barbers the other day and was reading these notes while waiting my turn. Much to the amusement of the others also waiting I was bursting out loud with virtually uncontrolled laughter at some of Bill's comments.

This book is only available in Kindle format and at £2.35 is a steal. I was surprised just how many photographic books there are on Kindle at silly money, not just the usual 'how to' ones for those who can't be bothered to read the instruction book but many on the 'why' of photography such as 'Susan Sontag's 'On Photography'.
A few little gems:  (there are more)

All artists are exhibitionists, but only photographers are voyeurs. Discuss among yourselves.

or take a photographic word and change, add, remove one letter and then give it a new definition, like this:
Focale Point: The place from which every tourist takes a picture.
Motour Drive: The process of photographing an entire scenic vista without getting out of the car.
Focuss: expletive on seeing a blurred result.

Tony Middleton

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