Reading: Our America – A Photographic History

What I’m reading this week… Our America: A Photographic History by Ken Burns

My first memory – it’s just a fleeting mental movie clip that still has a kind of fragile clarity to it – is of my dad building a darkroom in the basement of our mid-1950s tract house in a development called Binns, 827 Lehigh Road, in Newark, Delaware.

So starts this tome, and it IS a tome.

It’s big.

It’s thick.

It’s heavy.

But it’s really very good.

Very light on words, except for the introduction by Burns and and essay, A Powerful Monument To Our Moment, by Sarah Hermanson Meister

The first photo in the book, a self-portrait by Robert Cornelius, is from 1839. The last one, a portrait of Congressman John Lewis, by Michael Avedon.

And in between there are a ton of gorgeous photographs, many by photographers I know. But many I don’t and I’ll have to spend some time continuing my photography education.

We learn by shooting.

But we learn by looking, too.

Try to find this book at your local library and dive into it.

You won’t regret it.


© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2023

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