Cover Image: Look At This If You Love Great Photography

Look At This If You Love Great Photography

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

--Photos that force you to wake up and pay attention--
I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley and here are my thoughts.

The photos in this book were carefully curated and arranged into 10 themes, including "Reappraising the Everyday" , "Capturing What the Eye Can't See", "A Punch in the Gut" and seven more.

Each photo comes with a thoughtful description of both the photo itself and background information about the photographer and the circumstances surrounding the photograph. Additional resources to read and other photographers to explore also accompany each photo.

Some of the photos delight, some disturb. These are not glamorous photos, and although it could be called a "coffee table book", it really is an education about the creative, expressive, and emotional power that photographers can explore with the artistic tool called the camera.
Was this review helpful?
Written by Cece M. Scott   www.cecescott.com

As a photographer, I love to not only see images online but also hold actual copies of those images in my hand - most especially as it relates to settling in to view a compilation of multiple, storytelling photographs. 
The digital copy of this book as provided by NetGalley was inspiring enough that I bought the hardcover edition of, Look At This If You Love Great Photography, so that I could enjoy and study the images in a more permanent and accessible manner.  When it comes to photography I am 'old school' - I love to land at different pages and therein revel in the craft.
That is as good a recommendation as a book can get - when a reader goes out and invests in an expensive hardcover copy.
Was this review helpful?
I do believe this book accomplishes its mission: we have a collection of images that accomplishes something particular:  emotive responses, compositional excellence, master plays of light or color, or distinctness/uniqueness of vision.  Readers may agree or disagree with the author's assertions or choices but in the end, the collection does provide thoughtful discussions.

The book is beautifully and thoughtfully presented.  Each image is nicely placed with blocks to define topic areas:  further info, interesting facts about the photographer, references on the photographer/subject, media about the photograph/photographer, interviews or podcasts, and similar types of photographs.  It makes for a very well thought-out and comprehensive discussion on the nature of photographs.

The choices are interesting: we have the usual iconic works of Capra, Mann, Haas, Meyerowitz.  These are alongside other well known names who are specific to a genre such as NASA's Pillars of Creation or Horst's fashion photos.  Interspersed among these are lesser known names so we have a book with a wider interest than the usual images we've all seen.  Of course, one could always argue that images such as from Avedon or Mapplethorpe or LaChapelle are oddly missing and would have made better choices in several categories.  Especially the Punch In The Gut chapter, which features too many war images and could have used more controversial images that weren't reportage - e.g., Serrano's Immersion.

In all, the discussions are good and the author makes some fine points.  The photographs range from the 1800s to the present and feature a wide range of photography perspectives.  It's a decent curation and is suitable for photographers and non photographers alike. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.
Was this review helpful?
I really loved this collection of photographs and this book was my favorite of the "if you love great..." series. The photos were really captivating and the info just added to it. It's always a good sign when I'm reading a book to review and I keep wanting to read parts to my family (or show them in this case).

I read a temporary digital ARC of this book via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
This book packs in so much information as well as some wonderful photos. It opens up the art of photography from capturing moments in history to studio-based surrealistic works. Most photography books are coffee table books but Gemma Padley's book wants to genuinely educate the reader on the art form.
Look At This If You Love Great Photography is split into 10 sections such as Breaking The Rules, Photos That Could be Dreams and A Wonderful World. Each photo is accompanied by a small essay and either information on similar photography you should discover, videos/documentaries you should watch or articles you should read.
It is a fantastic book to lead you into so many different genres and styles of photography.
Was this review helpful?
An evocative and wide-ranging collection of photography. Each of the 100 images selected for this book is accompanied by biographical information about the photographer, similar images and photographers to try, and details about the work. The reader will see everything from refugees fleeing war to the Grand Tetons by Ansel Adams. Some are disturbing, some are dreamlike, all are memorable.
Was this review helpful?
I like reading books about photography because I find it interesting to see what interests people enough to take a photograph of it.

The author was invited to write a book featuring 100 photos of any genre and from any period in history that people must see.  The book was divided into 10 different categories:

* Breaking the Rules
* Photos That Make You Look Twice
* A Punch in the Gut
* Reflecting on Who We Are
* Flirting with Other Art Forms
* Photos That Could Be Dreams
* Reappraising the Everyday
* Colour is King
* A Wonderful World
* Capturing What the Eye Can't See

Along with each picture were suggestions to Google other images by the same photographer or similar works by other photographers; an interesting fact about the photograph; sources to further your knowledge; movies, documentaries, interviews, etc. worth investigating; podcasts and interviews to find out more about the photographer and their work; and list of other photographers with similar works or influences.

Sometimes when I see someone taking a picture, I'll stop and try to see what they are seeing ... sometimes I see it, sometimes I don't.  And that's how I felt about this book.  With some pictures, I could understand why it was photograph-worthy while others I didn't get.  But that's the beauty of taking photographs ... it's what catches your own eye that's important.

I found it interesting that for a book that contains 100 "great" photographs, the book cover was fairly bland and nondescript.
Was this review helpful?
Another wonderful book by Quarto publishers. It has 100 exquisite pictures taken from different planes of human existence.
Each picture is a story in itself. Some are happy, some are silent, while few are filled with fear.
Each picture makes you think. Questions you find are partially explained in the captions.
A wonderful picture book with history sewn on pages.
Was this review helpful?
Look At This If You Love Great Photography by Gemma Padley is a wonderful collection of images that will move you emotionally and intellectually. Yet the real strength of the book is the way the reader is taken into each image, perspectives that, in the age of photograph overload we are in, we often miss because we are on to the next picture. This book makes a compelling argument for slowing down and taking time to look more closely at photographs.

There are familiar photographs here as well as many you may not have seen unless you're into photographic art and/or journalism. I found myself both looking up additional photos as well as spending some time with a few of the ones in the book. My experience with this book is very similar to my experience with the Look At This If You Love Great Art book. I even did some freewriting based on one of the photographs in the book.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes photography but especially those who might want to know more about ways to look at photographs without a lot of the jargon. This is more like a knowledgeable friend looking at pictures with you and mentioning what they notice.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Look At This If You Love Great Photography is an engaging and accessible examination of 100 iconic photographs presented and curated by Gemma Padley. Due out 6th April 2021 from Quarto on their Ivy Press imprint, it's 224 pages and will be available in hardcover and ebook formats.

This is a beautifully presented book of photographs, from the beautiful to the horrifying, across the spectrum and drawn from the past and present. Some of the photos are mesmerizing and beautiful - many are uncomfortable or painful to study. Ms. Padley has done a superb job of curating these images; a monumental task to winnow through all the possibilities.

The entry for each image contains the photographer's name, the title of the work, the date, and a description and commentary. Additionally, each of the entries contains further resources for a deeper look at allied artists' works, and further links to explore for similar relevant photographs or videos.

This would make a superlative selection for library acquisition, maker's spaces/photography collectives, artist's studios, classroom, and home use.

Five stars.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
So what would be in a book of the hundred best, most notable photographs?  Some Muybridge, obviously, "Earthrise" definitely.  That woman with a violin for a back, quite assuredly.  Perhaps a Spencer Tunick, or something from the days of the race to the South Pole.  Ooh, ooh – and that train that drove right through the station and out the plate-glass window on to the street outside.  Would it include some classic stills from movies, of the eye-slicing kind and more?  Would it include bog standard images, technically, known much more for what they are depicting – burning monks, Lee Harvey Oswald, the King's horse riding over a woman – than for artistic merit?

Well let me disappoint and say this book is seriously kiltered towards the latter.  It took until the second chapter – and some amusingly witty photoshopping, not photography – that I could be bothered to read the full page of text that accompanied the image.  And the politicised media image, the news reportage, the visual demand we look at something we might well not want to thank you very much – all that was still ongoing.  In amongst all that I did want to see, or re-see, or learn about, I did wonder at times if this was trying to define a canon from a Canon (boom tish, here all week) or a political viewpoint.

Oh, and my predictions could only have come correct a couple of times – but everyone knows what really should have been here was the Athena model trying to play tennis and scratching her naked buttock.  Two buttocks – I mean, two stars – is very generous.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks for the opportunity to review this book. I am looking at the three offerings in this series: photography, music and art. 

This book celebrates photography in thematic chapters. With the incalculable number of photographs that have been taken across the world, it’s special when a capture... well, captivates. It tells a story or depicts something artistic. The author has attempted to curate a collection of photos which do as such. In my opinion, some pictures are better at this aim than others. Some are indicative of historical significance, tragedy, or evoke great emotion (positive and negative). Some are just artistic or creative in their display or design. 

The photographs that are “great” to me are the ones that matter the most — the ones that humanize the tragedy, the ones that make you happy. Certain sections do a better job than others at evoking a response for me. I think the book starts off kinda weak in this area, then moves into the bizarre, and then into the “punch in the gut” as they put it, and rounding out with some of the most artistic endeavors. 

All in all, I think it was a really ambitious project to limit all the potential choices down to 100, so I definitely see the task was probably difficult and challenging. I think that this would be a cool gift or a collection piece for someone who is into photography or art throughout the modern age.
Was this review helpful?
I recently reviewed another book titled, Look at This if You Love Great Art, and recommended it. I also like this title and think that it is well worth a look. The two books have features in common, especially links to additional resources. This information really gives the interested learner a chance to expand their knowledge base.

Again, the book has fun chapter headings. Some of these include Photos That Make You Look Twice; A Punch in the Gut; Photos That Could be Dreams and Colour is KIng. The photos here are intriguing and often elicit an emotional response in the viewer. The author’s text enabled me to see more in each photo than I might have on my own.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this title. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
OH MY WORD I LOVED THIS BOOK.  I loved the pictures chosen, so many I had not seen before, but especially loved the essay that with them and the whole "if you liked this you should check this out". As a result of reading this there are so many more books and documentaries on my my watch list so I can learn more about the subjects and photographers. I can't wait to get this for my library and check out some of the other "Look at this" books available on NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to netgalley and the publishers for a free ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  I enjoyed the thematic nature of this book with photos divided into categories. I enjoyed some of the images and descriptions but some of the photos did not speak to me and the descriptions didn't always match the photo shown. For example, some times a whole paragraph was about completely different photos than the one shown.
Was this review helpful?
How do you narrow down a collection to only 100 essential images? Very very meticulously. I can't imagine how difficult this would be. Padley selected and grouped these 100 images into 10 categories: breaking the rules, photos that make you look twice, a punch in the gut, reflecting on who we are, flirting with other art forms, photos that could be dreams, reappraising every day, color is king, a wonderful world, and capturing what the eye can't see. Any single one of these categories could have held 100 images. The off beat categories were very creative and intriguing. 

Experiencing this book could genuinely take you as long or as short as you wanted it to. You could easily flip through and experience each photo then move on. However, Padley has curated each photo to include a description, discussion, and sometimes explanation for the more offbeat photos. There is also a "Google This" list of titles from the photographer that can help you delve deeper into their work. Also featured are a quick bio of the author, a list of printed and visual articles, movies, podcasts or bios featuring the photographer, and a list of photographers who have a similar style. 

All of this comes together to create a beautiful collection. At times, there were pictures chosen that I didn't understand or agree with. The only photographers I was familiar with well were Sally Mann and Ansel Adams. This is definitely not a "Best Photographers Ever" list, but there was an eclectic grouping and many images I was not familiar with. 

Also, note, that this curator does not shy away from emotionally intense photos. I think I saw more pictures of dead or traumatized people in this collection than many before. This is a collection only for adults and those who can process such things. This is ultimately why I did not award 4 stars. I know that photography has a grand impact when there is emotion involved, but this seemed excessive.
Was this review helpful?
I like the premise, it is very interesting. As for the photographs, some of them were good in my opinion, but there were others that I didn’t like very much (also the formatting of this made them a bit distorted, which might be the main reason why I didn’t like some of them). Provocative images are probably my favourites, not because of the image per se, but because of the concept behind them. I really enjoy the things people do with conceptual art. Also, big TW for chapter three!

The texts show good reflections on photography (like what we see depends on how we look and think as individuals); and there are also other things, like philosophical discussions, that I really enjoyed and made me think

I also liked the additional information in the margins of the pages: Like this? Try these; +google this; + read this or + watch this. It showed it is a well-researched book and it is a nice touch by the author.
Was this review helpful?
I questioned the photo choices at first but it does build up to interesting images. It’s nice to see a lot of lesser recognized photographers. I loved that there was a attempt to include female and minority photographers (could do better). The analysis are interesting even If you don’t agree.
Was this review helpful?
Beautiful photographs on every page. I like that the author separated them into categories and described what the elements of the photographs are. Very different and interesting book!
Was this review helpful?
A great book for anyone with an interest in photography both as a medium in itself and as an aspect of other art forms or social commentary.

While there are 1 or 2 familiar images in the book, the majority are fresh and interesting. The page layout gives the image the opportunity to provide the most impact to the viewer while the commentary for each image is intelligent and insightful.

Alongside being introduced to many new photographers an artists, I also really loved the contextual information provided for each image which provided the photographers bio and links to search terms, images and videos to allow the reader the investigate the photos more in depth.

A highly recommended book for both casual viewers looking for an interesting read and for professional photographers looking to learn more about their craft.
Was this review helpful?