Back to the Future for Creativity | John Meehan

I’ve been reading David Bate’s little book Photography: The Key Concepts. It’s an introduction to photographic theory and history. The cover blurb states: “Photography: The Key Concepts” provides an ideal guide to the place of photography in our society and to the extraordinary range of photographic genres. Outlining the history of photography and explaining the body of theory which has built up around its use, the book guides the reader through the genres of documentary, portraiture, landscape, still life, art and global photography. Illustrated with a range of historical and contemporary images and case material, this book is essential reading for anyone interested in photography.” It’s a succinct and readable account. The opening two chapters provide an overview of the challenges of constructing a history of photography (Ch.1) and a primer on some of the established methods of theorising photography (Ch.2). Subsequent chapters examine the history and aesthetic conventions of different genres using the tools and concepts from the opening chapters……


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