Camera Lucida: A Preview

Okay, I’ve said I really needed to read Roland Barthes’ Camera Lucida. Happy to report that I not only finished it, but also waded through Photography Degree Zero, a series of essays on the book and then, to finish things up went back and re-read Camera Lucida.

Where to begin?

The obvious – I would add this book to my small list of books on photography that everyone should read and keep at hand to read again and again when you need inspiration.

I’m developing my own “road map” of how I want to tackle the book so for now, I’ll just say that I can see some benefit in looking at the book in conjunction with both Stephen Shore’s The Nature of Photographs and John Szarkowski’s The Photographer’s Eye.

I also want to take a close look at some classics, like The Americans and see if I can apply the concept of the “punctum” to images that have been generally acknowledged as some of the most significant in the history of photography.

I know I also want to put together a little addendum to the images in the book, finding some of the images that Barthes references but did not reproduce. I think that little exercise might be useful for other readers of the book.

And, finally, I have my own “Winter Garden” image of my own mother that, unlike Barthes, I think I’d like to share and talk a bit about.

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