The Ongoing Moment
one of my favourite books about photography.
Looking at different tropes, Dyer, without going through too many digressions, scans the history of photography by describing specific photographs. A series on benches to talk about street photography or Nudes through anecdotes about Edward Weston, who always had a girlfriend ready to pose for him. We learn that Weston was fascinated by photographing urinals. Dyer's aim isn't a comprehensive one. Like most of his books, these are his personal choices which he writes about in an unaffected manner.
Alfred Stieglitz's relationship with the younger Paul Strand stands out as the fun, juicy story revealing details of the two couples lives. In the past, photographers were fewer, and Dyer shows the links and influences between photographers. Paul Strand's pictures were admired by Walker Evans when he saw them in "Camera Work" and Evans was subsequently a great influence on Diane Arbus among others. Not only do photographers inspire each other but they also take photos of similar motifs, what surrounds us, which in Dyer's view is influenced by time and place. When Bruce Davidson takes a picture of a blind man in the New York subway, he has in mind Paul Strand's famous portrait, "Blind Woman" taken in 1917.