In this accessible and eloquent book-length essay, Urs Stahel, writer, curator and co-founder of Fotomuseum Winterthur, muses on the very nature of photography. The introduction outlines the unique tension defining photography--that it shows a segment of the world and simultaneously expresses a subject's particular view of this world. This tension is the source of the medium's unique creative potential and its complex relation to truth. Stahel provides a philosophical perspective on these issues by placing them in an epistemological, social, and historical context. Chapters on industrial photography, staged and conceptual photography, and the current crisis of photojournalism provide a panoramic overview of the possibilities and challenges of photography in all of its variety, from the casual snapshot to art and commercial photography. This profound and readable essay, one of the few daring enough to address the nature of photography, is destined to become a standard work, a must read for anyone interested in thinking about photography. [...] the answer to the question, "What is photography?" is actually quite simple at first sight. Photography is a device to record light, invented in the 19th century, that allows us to fix the perspective perception of the world in the manner constructed since the Renaissance. Optics and chemistry go hand in hand to create a very effective means of perception.~Despite the apparent simplicity of this first definition, there are few comparable cases in which a seemingly clearly and easily delimited field--here's the viewer, there's the world; here's the instrument, there's the image of the world--has created so much confusion. --Urs Stahel~Urs Stahel.
Paperback, 6.25 x 8.5 in./48 pgs / 11 color. [via]