Photographer Biographys

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by photobum, Jul 19, 2006.

  1. photobum

    photobum Member

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    In another thread I had recommended the book "Shadow & Substance" by Jim Hughes. It's a biography about W. Eugene Smith. I think it's the best bio ever written about a photographer. I have all the bio's I could find about EW. and AA. and a lot of other photographers. Nothing comes close to Jim's book.

    Please, let's hear the name of your favorite photo related biography. I need a summer beach read list.
     
  2. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    Im not a huge fan of the photographers work (although do respect it) but I just finished reading Robert Mapplethorpes Biography by Patricia Morrisroe, its an astoundingly well written book. Highly recommend it.
     
  3. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I read a bio of Margaret Bourke-White a few years ago that I found interesting. But I have to agree with Matt that Robert Mapplethorpe was a fascinating individual even through his work is sometimes troubling.
     
  4. pesphoto

    pesphoto Member

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    Walker Evans by James Mellow
    Diane Arbus, not sure of the author though
     
  5. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Does anyone know if there is a good biography of F. Holland Day out there? I've garnered the basics of his life from reading the intros to several volumes of his work, but I don't recall if there is just a biography of him.
     
  6. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    ...lok in the current issue of VANITY FAIR, Patricia Bosworth has written an article about herself and her valiantly selfless efforts to make a load of cash off it.

    There are several bios of Henri Cartier Bresson. I'm not so keen on the new Assouline one, the BIG overview book is cool.

    Ed Weston's Daybooks and Roland Barthes Camera Lucida both cover a range of autobiographical responses to photography. Delacroix's journals are another excellent source w.r.t. an artist developing their work (even if it's not photography per se)
     
  7. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    You do not need a beach read list. You need some loaded film holders.
     
  8. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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  9. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    I agree about the Smith biography. Hughes spent several years of his life, and I'll bet didn't make enough off the book to recover minimum wages.
     
  10. Gay Larson

    Gay Larson Member

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    I'll second the biography of Margaret Bourke-White. I loved it.
     
  11. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    I remember talking to him about it in about 1991 or so and at that time it was going to be remaindered so he had bought what stock he could and was selling it off from his basement - which was full to the rafters. This was only a couple of years or so after publication (and now you can buy it for $250.00 used - knew I shouldn't have given away those extra couple of copies I bought of him!)

    I recall the writing of the book had a sort of Gene Smith epic quality to it that entirely suited the subject matter...
     
  12. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Another good one to add to the list-

    Ruth Bernhard - Between Art and Life, by Margaretta Mitchell
     
  13. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    "Through Another Lens" by Charis Wilson. About Edward Weston.
     
  14. photobum

    photobum Member

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    Well, I have all of the books mentioned except; River of shadows and Between life and art. Thanks for the heads up Tim and Fly.

    Now you say Shadow & Substance is worth $250.??? Maybe I don't like it that much. I think I need some more open space on my bookshelf. Funny, Tillman Crane's book "Structures" is going for more used on e-bay than new out of his basement.
     
  15. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    just from a quick check on ABE - a couple of possible bargains in the $40 range I think - then several around the 200.00 - 250.00 mark....
     
  16. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Is anyone working on a Brett Weston biography? I've got his DVD but feel he's neglected (biographically speaking) compared to alot of lesser photogarphers.
     
  17. Phillip P. Dimor

    Phillip P. Dimor Member

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    While not photo-related, "Lust for Life" by Irving Stone. I _loved_ that book.

    The Diane Arbus book was alright. I found it inaccurate and almost poorly written at times. Alas, it's the only book out there on the subject of Arbus..
     
  18. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    Lee Miller: A Life by Carolyn Burke

    (along with any one of the several books of her photographs)
     
  19. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Hear, hear

    (do they have those at the library?)
     
  20. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    self portrait -- (autobio)man ray
     
  21. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Kind of a sad comment on current society that biographies about people of impact and substance don't sell and yet people will line up in droves to lap up the slop in the form of biographies about pop stars and athletes with contributions to society that are shallower then the saucer holding my coffee cup. (Lindsey Lohan and Terrel Owens come to mind.)