a blog by knut skjærven

A Book For Reading Photographers.

Being And Nothingness. © Knut Skjærven.

I have been looking for a text like this. It had to be out there somewhere.

Roaming the internet this morning, I found it. The book: Augenblick.

A combined search for Sartre and Cartier-Bresson brought it to the surface. First names Jean-Paul and Henri. I am sure you have heard of them. The first one is often described as the philosopher of the 20th century. The second often as the photographers of the very same century.

Same city, different tools. Paris.

I knew that there must be more to this connection than a photograph taken on a bridge in Paris in 1946.

The book does not deal only with Sartre and Cartier-Bresson, but they are both in there. Sartre gets occasional mentions. There is a whole chapter on Cartier-Bresson’s Decisive Moment.  Augenblick deals with many more people within, or linked to, the tradition of phenomenology, e.g. Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers. Even beyond that tradition.  Go read for yourself.

Let’s make this short. Augenblick is a book written by Australian Koral Ward. The subtitle is The Concept of the ‘Decisive Moment’ in 19th- and 20th Century Western Philosophy. For a blog titled Phenomenology and Photograph this is spot on.

If you are a reading photographer, you will probably enjoy this book. If you are a fan of decisive moments photography and phenomenology, you don’t want to miss it. But you got to be a reading photographer. Even heavily equipped snap shooting will not do for this book.

You get a good understanding of what this is all about by clicking this link. Good luck with it.

Augenblick means the blinking of an eye. So that’s it then.

Have a good day.


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