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On Photography Audiobook

On Photography

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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images, which are continually inserted between experience and reality. Sontag here develops further the concept of "transparency". When anything can be photographed, and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely, with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, with the most famous being "In Plato's Cave", make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.

©2003 Susan Sontag (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves over the last 140 years." (The Washington Post Book World)

"Every page of On Photography raises important and exciting questions about its subject and raises them in the best way." (The New York Times Book Review)

"On Photography is to my mind the most original and illuminating study of the subject." (Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (94 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (23)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (5)
1 star
 (5)
Overall
4.3 (79 )
5 star
 (44)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (81 )
5 star
 (43)
4 star
 (24)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
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  •  
    Deb Austin, TX, United States 10-18-13
    Deb Austin, TX, United States 10-18-13 Member Since 2005

    I love comedy and humor books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    62
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    69
    41
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I'm Glad I Bought, Despite Some Negative Reviews"
    What three words best describe Jennifer Van Dyck’s voice?

    Okay


    Any additional comments?

    I was concerned that this book would be negative about photography, based on some low star review(s). However, I think Sontag simply points out the many different points of views and backgrounds that photographers express through their work. I feel like Sontag is also giving a valuable history lesson of the leading photographers as well. She seems to also have admiration where she feels it's due, towards photography and photographers. After all, she was Annie Leibovitz's partner for over a decade, encouraged and admired her photography too. I agree with Sontag about both the negative and positive impact that photography can have. I'm glad I decided to listen. A good addition to my MA in photojournalism.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gene Bowker 08-02-14
    Gene Bowker 08-02-14

    Gene Bowker

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    "one of the classics on photography"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is an easy listen and is one of the most important books on Photography


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hmm.. it is a selection of essays. The author (not a photographer) was able to write about how photography has influenced the world and been influenced


    What about Jennifer Van Dyck’s performance did you like?

    She has an easy voice to listen to


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Photography's influence on the world


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris O'Connor 12-21-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic, but would rather read."
    If you could sum up On Photography in three words, what would they be?

    Machine gun thoughts


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed this, but I'd recommend getting a non-audiobook version of it. The cadence at which thought provoking sentiments are shared is just too much for an audiobook. You'll want to re-read lines, see names, etc. It's well performed though, if a little monotonous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colvin Louisville, KY, United States 12-17-11
    Colvin Louisville, KY, United States 12-17-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
    Story
    "Pompas art school babble"
    Any additional comments?

    Typical holier than thou, pompas poser art school blather. I had to endure endless hours of self gratifying, self agrandizing lectures like this when I attended art school. These were delivered both professors who had never spent a day making art (or making a living from art either) in the real world, and student wanna bes (all of whom are today are gainfully employed as waiteresses, bag boys or art school professors). Pure and unadulterated BS!

    9 of 51 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russ Price 02-17-15
    Russ Price 02-17-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    Overall
    "Super fancy words I could hardly understand"

    Nice story but way too wordy and long. Good audio to fall asleep to.
    This really doesn't fulfill my desire for learning photographic history.

    0 of 9 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Mr. G. Bridgeman-Clarke
    Rayleigh, United Kingdom
    9/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An excellent essay on photography"
    What did you like most about On Photography?

    I have known about this book for decades but have avoided it as I always through it to be too much like a text book and highbrow. To be frank I would say that this is not a book to be read by a beginner in photography but if you do want to read why photography is a welcomed art and is valued then this book is the one to read.

    it is well written though it can get somewhat tied up in jargon and I do wish it was in more plain english. But it is inspiring and interesting and when I started to read I really did wish to want to continue.

    I have been a photographer for over 40 years and I know most of the well known and some less well known photographers but the book throws new light on the photographers I thought I knew and explains. like an artists painting, what the point of the image is and its impact.

    I have this in both hardback and Audile versions and Will continue to delve into the book. On the downside, besides the cover there are no images in the book so when the book was initially published in the 1970s it would have been somewhat difficult to research the images and photographs Susan Sontag refers to. Now with the internet its a doddle and in so in may ways helps you appreciate even more the essays of the author.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    N/A


    What does Jennifer Van Dyck bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    She makes me imagine she is Susan Sontag.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Nope, its a text book!!!


    Any additional comments?

    Shame there can be no images!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    Biggin Hill, United Kingdom
    9/4/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "hard going"
    What made the experience of listening to On Photography the most enjoyable?

    This is a must read book for those interested in photography. This is not a book to listen to that will tell you how to improve your photography. This is a book that relays the style and the setting out of photographers and their work. This is of interest but I found the narrator somewhat aggravating with no real passion for what she was reading.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Bring more passion into the reading of the subject!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I've given it three stars, which should of been a 5 as this is an important book in terms of photographic background

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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