Jackie Higgins: Why Does it Not Have to be in Focus, Modern Photography Explained


This lively, informed defense of modern photography focuses on not focusing, and other unconventional methods that have been successfully employed by acclaimed photographers.
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In an age where anyone with a camera can call him- or herself a photographer, an apparent lack of technique might be mistaken for a lack of artistic sophistication. In this delightful follow-up to Why Your Five-Year-Old Could Not Have Done That, Jackie Higgins offers superb examples to counter that assumption, such as Hiroshi Sugimoto's anachronistic use of a 19th-century large-format camera to produce intentionally fuzzy pictures, and Richard Prince's controversial technique of "re-photographing" photos, which unleashed a barrage of criticism that he was profiting from others' work. From portraits to documentary images and from abstractions to landscapes, the author identifies 100 important images that are emblematic of innovation in modern photography, revealing the frequently complex processes involved in their composition. In so doing, she offers a provocative reminder of what makes a great photograph.

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