Stephen Shore: Modern Instances

I am a fan of Stephen Shore’s photography. He is known for his photographs of “banal” scenes and objects and for his championing of early colour photography when the only “true” photographs were considered monochrome.

I already have one of his books, The Nature of Photographs which is described as a primer on how to understand photographs. Although I found some of the concepts challenging to apply to the way I approached my photography, I found his book immensely interesting and inspiring. Through the use of detailed chapters taking us through his amalgamation of photography and philosophy, we hopefully arrive at the end of the book with enough skills for us to hopefully acknowledge, read and take better photographs.

This new book, published this year is Modern Instances: The Craft of Photography could be called an experimental memoir. The book covers are cotton covered with the title and rear cover text all embossed in black. The paper used seems to be of high fibre content and not at all sleek and silky like most photography books. This all adds to the immediate impression that the book is like a scrapbook and thus gives a personal feel to it. It’s all rather nice.

The contents of the book include essays, photographs, stories and excerpts from articles that Shore has written. It is all drawn from the many years that Shore has been a master of his craft and an inspiring teacher.

I found that within the wealth of writing in the book there are gold nuggets of inspiration that just fall out of the pages to land on your lap, to give you a new way of looking at the world and to help find and cultivate your own photographic voice.


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