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Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Master Course in Photography

For self-starters, Britt Salvesen's new book on Harry Callahan is a virtual home course in how to be a creative photographer. Harry Callahan was in many ways the quintessential modernist photographer, at least in terms of how he worked; his visual and intellectual processes were the authentic blueprint for the way photography was taught in art schools for at least a quarter of a century. Callahan worked patiently with ideas, which he had in seemingly endless supply, exploring the ramifications of the medium and the possibilities of his surroundings with a visual intelligence that has rarely been matched. Yet he seldom felt the need to verbalize; the whole of his creativity was expressed in his pictures. This new book explores Callahan's working methods the way they ought to be explored: visually. For thoughtful photographers there is a great deal here to learn from.



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