I’m about halfway through his book “Photography in 100 Words” but being one who loves it when we (photographers) talk intelligently about photography I want to shine a light on David Clark’s effort.
The book doesn’t have an overriding message. Rather, it’s held together by 100 words. Read the short essays on each photographer and you can expect to have questions about your own approach and how you might put it into words. I’m a big proponent for developing the language of art. Every artist should be able to talk about their work in a meaningful way.
[via the book jacket]
David Clark is a photography journalist and author. He was the senior features writer on Amateur Photographer for nine years. During his career he has met and interviewed many of the world’s most iconic photographers.
David interviewed 50 accomplished photographers – you’ll know many of them – and from the interviews chose two words from each photographer. The words were chosen for their descriptive efficiency of the photographer’s philosophy and creative approach.
The book consists of an iconic image and approximately 300 words from the interview of each photographer. In the back are short biographies for the interviewees.
Among the 100 words can you chose two that belong to you? It’s not easy; it’s much simpler to assign two for each photo taken. Yet, if you’ve ever thought of describing your philosophy to another, it’s a damn good exercise. Perhaps primary and secondary descriptors – mine are these:
Primary – emotional, compelling
Secondary – Revealed, design
Here are David’s 100 words in alphabetical order but not how they appear in the text:
Abstract, accident, addictive, ambiguity, anger atmosphere, audacity, awakened, awareness, celebrate, challenge, character, connection, contemplative, commemorate, compelling, completeness, confrontational, crisis, culture, delight, design, dialog, dilemma, discipline, discover, distance, dreamlike, drug, dualities, elegant, elegy, emotional, empathy, engagement, epic, experimenting, exploration, expression, forensic, geometry, historical, humor, ideas, identity, improvisation, inquisitive, insight, inspired, instinctive, interpret, intimacy, intriguing, investigate, irony, logistics, luck, magic, melancholy, memory, metaphor, mission, moment, motion, mythic, observation, obsessed, opinion, otherworldly, patience, pattern, preconception, provoke, poetry, political, question, recognition, reaction, revealed, romantic, scale, serendipitous, signal, signature, simplicity, speed, stories, subtractive, suggestion, surprise, surreptitious, symbolic, trust, truth, uneasy, unexpected, vision, visualization, witness, wonder.