When The Photography Book was first published in 1997 it was universally acclaimed as the most fundamental reference book ever on its subject. This new mini edition has all the visual energy and compelling insights of the original, but in a light and easily portable format, making it ideal both for dipping into and for using as a serious sourcebook. 500 superb images represent the world's best photographers and encompass every sort of photography, from pictures of famous events such as the Royal Wedding and the first landing on the moon, to familiar shots by masters of photography like Bill Brandt and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Fashion, sport, natural history, reportage and society portraiture are all represented, as are social documentary and art. Exploring the work of a plethora of prime photographers, ranging from William Henry Fox Talbot to David Bailey and Diane Arbus, The Photography Book spans the whole history of photography. Arranged alphabetically according to each photographer's name, each full-page image is accompanied by an illuminating text that elucidates their work, and by extensive cross-references to others working in the same field or style. Glossaries of technical terms and movements, as well as a directory of museums and galleries, are included in the back of the book to provide a fully comprehensive and self-contained volume.
Ian Jeffrey is a photography writer, lecturer and curator. His other books include Magnum Landscape (Phaidon, 1997), Portraits of Artists (2000) and Revisions: An Alternative History of Photography (1999). He has organized various photographic exhibitions, among them 'The Real Thing' at the Hayward Gallery in 1974 and 'Landscape in Britain 1850-1950', which was held at the Hayward in 1983.