Thinking Photography

Diane Asséo Griliches. Mercer Univ., $30 (162p) ISBN 978-0-88146-427-6
In this remarkable new book, a 130-image compendium of Griliches’s work, images function as a means to an end, mere reference points for an accompanying series of effusive, in-depth commentaries on photography’s history, techniques, and unique power. The book serves as a primer on the craft and art of picture taking for the enthusiastic amateur, with Griliches (An Appalachian Farmer’s Story) as a warm, gifted, hands-on guide. For example, she gamely shares the results of her experiments adding color by hand and employing alternative and historical printing techniques, elsewhere discussing her appreciation of the camera’s history and the constant contributions that science has made to its advancement. Her work is strong and some of the portraits striking: an elderly woman profiled arrestingly by darkness; a young girl reading on a Japanese train; the shoemaker in his shop. When Griliches’s prose and images fuse effortlessly, the book comes alive, as in her descriptions of a child touching a wall of water, a majestic tree in Israel’s Negev Desert, or an incipient storm on a farm in Portugal. Griliches’s gift—and the reader’s reward—is the degree of thoughtfulness and appreciation with which she imbues the subject of photography. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 09/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
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