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

Why it Does Not Have to be in Focus : Modern Photography Explained Paperback

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


Why take a self-portrait but obscure your face with a lightbulb (Lee Friedlander, Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts (1968)? Or deliberately underexpose an image (Vera Lutter, Battersea Power Station, XI: July 13 , 2004)? And why photograph a ceiling (William Eggleston, Red Ceiling , 1973)?

In Why It Does Not Have To Be In Focus , Jackie Higgins offers a lively, informed defence of modern photography.

Choosing 100 key photographs with particular emphasis on the last twenty years she examines what inspired each photographer in the first place, and traces how the piece was executed.

In doing so, she brings to light the layers of meaning and artifice behind these singular works, some of which were initially dismissed out of hand for being blurred, overexposed or badly composed. The often controversial works discussed in this book play with our expectations of a photograph, our ingrained tendency to believe that it is telling us the unadorned truth.

Jackie Higginss book proves once and for all that theres much more to the art of photography than just pointing and clicking.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages, 100 colour illustrations
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Photography & photographs
  • ISBN: 9780500290958



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Appealing title. I like to push the boundaries; but in this case hardly any of the pictures appealed to me. This is the art of "installations" and stuff that makes me feel like an old-fashioned philistine. So why is most photography in the galleries and the media still in focus?

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