Basic Critical Theory for Photographers

Recently, I have been reading Basic Critical Theory for Photographers. I think it’s an excellent resource for anyone who wants to go deeper into photography. The book summarizes several notable books on photography by Susan Sontag, Roland Barthes, John Szarkowski and Bertrand Russell, to name a few. At the end of each chapter, there are exercises to work on, applying theories and ideads that have just been read (but hardly internalized most of the time!).

I have read a couple of books summarized in the text and frankly, I felt like I was struggling most of the time. I may have missed huge chunks of insight because I did not work my brain enough. Furthermore, I have forgotten much of what I have went through. That said, I do have the feeling that my own work gained additional levels of complexity after trying very to apply what I’ve learnt but it’s hard doing it alone!

Having a book like this is important for photographers, especially for younger ones like myself. After one has acquired the technical skills and the aesthetic eye, it’s time to move on to a higher order of thinking for one’s work. I believe that photography majors would probably find this useful in their foundation years, and also, anyone seeking to imbue more attributes to their work.