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img972How much can we learn about photography if we are not looking at photographs? I am currently re-reading many chapters of the book, Photography in Print by Vicki Goldberg that I consider an excellent older resource on photography.

A fabulous resource for those who either do not have a large library or much time to devote to their passions! Or simply put, do not want to end up with a book shelf that looks like the one above.

Have a look at the content on the page below and judge for yourself. My edition is the 1988 soft cover reprint (shown above) that I believe is also out-of-print. Finding a used copy should not be too hard.Another fine publication is the “History of Photography Magazine”

” History of Photography is an international quarterly devoted to the history, practice and theory of photography. It intends to address all aspects of the medium, treating the processes, circulation, functions, and reception of photography in all its aspects, including documentary, popular and polemical work as well as fine art photography.”

Let’s have a look below at the index of the above issue which I especially value for the excellent article on Czech Photography.

“The journal aims to provide a significant resource to diverse communities, including, but not limited to, academics, curators, independent scholars, undergraduate and postgraduate students – indeed, anyone with a serious interest in the history and practice of the medium.”

Somewhat staid and academic, in my opinion, but still useful for the passionate sight-seer if you can stomach the subscription price. If you are not part of Academia your out of  pocket would be $396 for 4 quarterly issues in the year 2005. This kind of serious money could have bought a number of very, very good photo books. I believe however that there is a personal subscription rate at a far lower price.

A superb book that focuses solely on the photo book, if you can find a copy, is the softcover book : The Open Book  subtitled A history of the Photographic Book from 1878 to the Present. Published by the Hasselblad Center/Gothenburg Sweden under the direction of Hasse Persson in 2004. A  typical page in The Open book looks like this.

Edited by Andrew Roth author of  The Book of 101 Books published in 2001. The Open book with 421 pages also has different essays including one by Gerhard Steidl, publisher of some very famous photo books.