On Photography

On Photography

First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images which are continually inserted between experience and reality. Sontag develops further the concept of 'transparency'. When anything can be photographed and photography has destroyed the boundaries and definitions of art, a viewer can approach a photograph freely with no expectations of discovering what it means. This collection of six lucid and invigorating essays, the most famous being "In Plato's Cave", make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.

Title:On Photography
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780141187167
Format Type:

    On Photography Reviews

  • Trevor

    This was terribly interesting, but I think you needed to know a little more than Sontag explained to understand where she is coming from in all this. The important thing to remember is that Plato want...

  • Amari

    I found this book utterly maddening. I'm giving it four stars not for the content itself, but for the quality of thinking I did while reading. I'm rather surprised not to have found any comments in ot...

  • Michael

    Written in cool and caustic prose, On Photography consists of seven meditations on the medium's ethics, social uses, and history. Sontag drops epigram after epigram, aphorism after aphorism, in these ...

  • Steven Godin

    In Plato’s Cave - 5/5America, Seen ThroughPhotographs, Darkly - 4/5Melancholy Objects - 5/5The Heroism of Vision - 4/5Photographic Evangels - 5/5The Image-World - 5/5The above six essays simply make...

  • Maciek

    I've never read anything by Susan Sontag, but encountered mentions of her book On Photography numerous times in various contexts. It's hailed as "one of the most highly regarded books of its kind". I ...

  • Jennifer (Insert Lit Pun)

    It’s like there are questions and shadows in the periphery of my vision, and Susan Sontag puts both hands on my shoulders and turns me to face them head on....

  • Mackenzie M-B

    Step one: buy this book. Step two: find a writing utensil Step three: go on the subway/metro/pvta and go!you will want to underline just about every sentence because it is life changing. You will want...

  • Lus

    I was fond of photography (no disappearance on that side!) It was the first book dealing with photography, which is not technical, that I read. I remember something deep, complex, which helped me to p...

  • Vipassana

    I approached On Photography expecting a sense of warmth and intellect that Maria Popova paints Susan Sontag with. One essay in, I was slightly disappointed to feel no warmth. So, I read an interview o...

  • Vicky

    Susan Sontag starts her book on photography with a reference to Plato's cave, a dark prison only a few escape. This is not accidental. It defines and presages the thinking that underlies the whole boo...