I have had a copy of John Szarkowski's Looking At Photographs since before my college years but never really thought much about it at the time. In my printing days I kept the copy on my darkroom shelf where is collected a few chemical stains which still hold that familiar smell even now. I rediscovered my original copy a few weeks ago in the bottom of a box along with a first edition of Joel Meyerowitz's Cape Light and Tezza Oneill's Legends. Half the pages were stuck together and the whole thing looked like a relic from a flood. Annoyed at my disregard for the book I promptly went out and bought another copy along with two other books I mentioned last week (the book itself is in its fourth printing, first published in 1972).
Some books should be in every photographers library, and this is indeed one of them. The book was, and still is, a fountain of knowledge, not only on the history of photography and its processes. But also on the Photographers themselves who shaped the photography practice into what we know today.
What is still most relevant to me are the old processes once used described in the book. Strange to think that a photographic process used 150 years ago will out last a process invented last week. So much for advances in technology...

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