PHOTOGRAPHY CRITICISM | THEORY

PUBLISHER
Aperture

BOOK FORMAT
Paperback, 6.5 x 9.25 in. / 144 pgs / 38 bw.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
No longer our product

DISTRIBUTION
Contact Publisher

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9781597111645 TRADE
List Price: $16.95 CDN $20.00

AVAILABILITY
Not Available

BROWSE THE 2022 MID WINTER CATALOG

Artbook | D.A.P. Catalog Cover Link

Preview our Mid-Winter 2022 catalog, featuring new books on art, photography, design, architecture, film, music and visual culture.

  

APERTURE

In Our Own Image

20th Anniversary Edition

By Fred Ritchin.

Twenty years ago, before the era of digital cameras, cell phones and the internet, Fred Ritchin outlined many of the ways in which the digital age would transform society. In Our Own Image was the first book to address the coming revolution in photography, and asked pointed questions that are increasingly relevant today, including whether democracy can survive the media's facile use of digital means. By the time a second edition was published in 1999, many of Ritchin's predictions had come true. Computer embellishment of imagery had become a staple in the media and had significantly diminished photography's role as a credible witness: Newsday had published the first "future" news photograph of two feuding ice skaters as they would meet the next day, and on its cover, Time magazine darkened and blurred an image of O.J. Simpson in order to lift "a common police mug shot to the level of art, with no sacrifice to truth." Now Aperture reissues this seminal text, which has continued to shape the debate about digital imaging since its initial publication. This twentieth-anniversary edition features a preface by the author that contextualizes the book for a contemporary audience.
Fred Ritchin is Professor of Photography and Imaging at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. He was picture editor of The New York Times Magazine (1978-82) and the founding director of the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Program at the International Center of Photography (1983-86). Ritchin is the author of After Photography (2009), as well as numerous essays and the blog afterphotography.org.
In Our Own Image

FROM THE BOOK
"As a society we have come to the historic moment at which it is increasingly urgent to reject the myth of the photograph's automatic efficacy and reliability, particularly when the myth is soon to be punctured. In order to contemplate its future role in society and the impact of new technologies, it is necessary to at least acknowledge that photography is highly interpretive, ambiguous, culturally specific, and heavily dependant upon contextualization by text and layout…This becomes a somewhat novel recognition of the complexity of a supposedly simplistic and unbiased medium. For example, what would photographic fiction be if "the camera never lies?" Is only a photograph that has been subjected to physical modification after the fact fictitious?...But perhaps the best example of the ambiguity of a single image concerns what may still be the most famous war photograph of all time. Robert Capa's 1936 image, "Falling Soldier," a man said to have been photographed at the moment of his death, might not have been that at all…However, once the idea that the photograph is only a transcription from reality is discarded, a new appreciation can emerge. One begins to understand that photography's various methods of representation are not merely complex, varying from one genre to another, but remain linked to the culture from which the photograph is made."

Fred Ritchin, excerpted from In Our Own Image.

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