On Photography

  • by Susan Sontag
  • Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck
  • 6 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

First published in 1973, this is a study of the force of photographic images, which are continually inserted between experience and reality. Sontag here 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, with the most famous being "In Plato's Cave", make up a deep exploration of how the image has affected society.


What the Critics Say

"A brilliant analysis of the profound changes photographic images have made in our way of looking at the world and at ourselves over the last 140 years." (The Washington Post Book World)
"Every page of On Photography raises important and exciting questions about its subject and raises them in the best way." (The New York Times Book Review)
"On Photography is to my mind the most original and illuminating study of the subject." (Calvin Trillin, The New Yorker)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I'm Glad I Bought, Despite Some Negative Reviews

What three words best describe Jennifer Van Dyck’s voice?


Any additional comments?

I was concerned that this book would be negative about photography, based on some low star review(s). However, I think Sontag simply points out the many different points of views and backgrounds that photographers express through their work. I feel like Sontag is also giving a valuable history lesson of the leading photographers as well. She seems to also have admiration where she feels it's due, towards photography and photographers. After all, she was Annie Leibovitz's partner for over a decade, encouraged and admired her photography too. I agree with Sontag about both the negative and positive impact that photography can have. I'm glad I decided to listen. A good addition to my MA in photojournalism.

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- Deb "I love comedy and humor books!"

Pompas art school babble

Any additional comments?

Typical holier than thou, pompas poser art school blather. I had to endure endless hours of self gratifying, self agrandizing lectures like this when I attended art school. These were delivered both professors who had never spent a day making art (or making a living from art either) in the real world, and student wanna bes (all of whom are today are gainfully employed as waiteresses, bag boys or art school professors). Pure and unadulterated BS!

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- Colvin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios