I can’t finish On Photography by Susan Sontag

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I tried reading On Photography by Susan Sontag. The book was recommended to me as a must-read for photographers. I will not doubt it is a classic analysis photography, but my mind seems incapable of absorbing the sentences.

On Photography

The book analyses why people make photographs, what it means, how it relates to other art forms, how people pursue photography. And more, like an article about Diane Arbus’ work.

I find the theoretical analysis quite problematic, being a photographer myself. While taking pictures I do not want to (nor can I) philosophize about the picture-taking itself. I don’t want to know. I want to think as little as possible about the process, but focus on the act, on the picture. Of course I have a frame of reference. But it’s somewhere back in my head, in the unconscious probably.

Susan Sontag portrait
Susan Sontag

I put the book away about halfway through. I feel defeated.

Diane Arbus photographer in action portrait
Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus - Female Impersonators Backstage, 1962
Diane Arbus – Female Impersonators Backstage, 1962

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