reading Minor White books instead of making photos

i’ve been buying photography books and reading them lately. i’ve an old time relationship with books, walking into a used book store smelling paper just overcomes any hesitation i have to spend money. i usually walk out of the store with an arm full of books. yes one could say all the books on my shelves are useless until one picks them up and opens them.

i get dizzy remembering them, my copy of the ‘Rainbow book’, put out by the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco explaining everything you wanted to know about rainbows is just so cool sitting on top of Hollywood Glamor Portraits , next to Barbara Morgan’s dance photography, see the list goes on. be still my heart.

one of my favorite teachers whom i never had the chance to meet is Minor White. his name has been spoken reverently around me by photographers i’ve known and liked so that has created in me a hunger to learn about him.

my first purchase was Minor White’s ‘Rites & Passages’ an  Apeture foundation book, which i found very interesting, because in included his photographs and excerpts from his diaries and letters and biographic essays by John Baker Hill.

minor white 'rites & passages'

i don’t think by reading a book one can get close to the teacher but maybe some word or phrase might make a wheel or clog move and mesh causing a connection. looking at pictures stimulates my imagination because i am sort of seeing through the photographers eyes. not always do i get it but it’s like sex, the fun is in the doing, not the final outcome.

for anyone interested in Minor White’s work and opinions this is a worth while sit down. i really enjoyed this book

the second Minor White book is ‘The Moment of Seeing’, Minor White at the California of fine arts, by Stephine Comer & Debroah Klochko with an essay by Jeff Gunderson is printed on lovely paper but most of the book was a disappointment for me. i really don’t care who attended California Fine arts school when. i am sure by now a lot of them are dead and gone as i soon will be.

the moment of seeing.great cover  photo reminds me of cartier bresson’s work

there is a twenty page pedagogy of some Whites teachings but just getting to page 79 was a chore. maybe i should have sped through the beginning chapters  but i didn’t.  i did like reading minor white’s ‘seeing a photograph’ in the pedagogy but getting there was a big boring chore as i was looking for information about minor’s teaching’s, not who he taught. what he thought and taught was what interested me. the portfolios of the students and teachers are nice, not cluttered with words just pictures and who was there is history in itself.

what happened in the school started by Ansel Adams who then went off doing his Zone system landscape work and left to minor white and other great names in photography is pretty cool but i wanted to hear from the various creatives their views on working.

oh well not everyone likes everything. spring is here time to explore the world around us again lovely flowers poke their fragrant bodies in the air.

have a good day



2 Responses to “reading Minor White books instead of making photos”

  1. marywehrhahn Says:

    Lucky me… I get to peek into the books sitting on your shelves.

  2. fuzzypictures Says:

    well i always thought you were pretty lucky

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