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Photographers' Sketchbooks

Stephen McLaren, Bryan Formhals

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A refreshing and eye-opening behind-the-scenes exploration of the art of contemporary photography, richly illustrated with rarely seen works-in-progress from nearly fifty of today’s most original practitioners

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Photography is so much more than pushing a button. It is a way of seeing, a way of life, a grasping of life. At the same time it involves an enormous amount of preparatory work, research, and trial and error.

All photographers – the visually restless, the diarists, the experimenters, the R&D obsessives, the collectors and the cross-genre free-wheelers – know this as they dream of future pictures and agonize over the next big project. They create speculative work that may blossom into something important, or wind up in a box under the bed – or its virtual equivalent.

This book offers a rare behind-the-scenes look at the working methods of nearly 50 photographers from around the world.

In their own words, they present selections from their ‘sketchbooks’: everything from Polaroid studies to smartphone snaps, diaries, found photography, installations, zines, blogs and online photo streams alongside traditional contact sheets, photo albums and book dummies.

With over 500 images, Photographers’ Sketchbooks is a compelling insight into the ways professional photographers realize a personal vision.

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'To flick through the book is to gain a new understanding of the detailed thinking that goes into every professional photograph'
Daily Telegraph

'Proves that the best shots hardly ever happen by chance'
Sunday Telegraph

'Gives you a fascinating window into the creative process … As you’d expect of Thames & Hudson, the presentation, design and print quality are second to none'
Royal Photographic Society

'Meticulously researched … a fascinating insight into the work and methods of more than 50 photographers'
Independent on Sunday

'Wildly fascinating … demonstrates the process of photography that takes place well before a camera is even touched'
What Digital Camera

'Offers rich insight into the working minds of nearly 50 photographers'
Professional Photography

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC (no jacket)

Size: 22.0 x 29.7 cm

Extent: 320 pp

Publication date: 13 October 2014

ISBN: 9780500544341

Contents List

Introduction • Photographers A–G • Essay 1: Publishing • Photographers H–M • Essay II: Experiments • Photographers N–Z • Essay III: Projects

About the Author

Stephen McLaren is a photographer, writer and curator based in Los Angeles. He is the co-author of three previous Thames & Hudson titles: Street Photography Now, Photographers’ Sketchbooks and Family Photography Now.

Bryan Formhals is a photographer and writer, and the founding editor of LPV Magazine.