Books on Theories of Photography and Photographing – A Reading list

I have over the years, often been recommended books on photography to read and have recommended books to others. It occurred to me at some point, that it might be helpful to think about the chronology of texts that present thoughts, ideas and theories of photography. I suspect most authors thoughts and ideas evolve over time and therefore it might be useful to read their books in order, to get a better understanding of the evolution of their thinking. I also assume authors read other authors and may draw from or be influenced by their writings. It might, therefore, be useful to read texts in chronological order to better understand the overall evolution of thinking about the subject of photography. I have made a list below of key texts, based purely on my own experience and reading, and presented them in chronological order, mostly when written (not necessarily published) except for anthologies of essays in which case I have inserted them into the list when they were published. I hope you find it useful.

W. Benjamin – Illuminations: Essays and Reflections 1913-26

W. Benjamin – On Photography 1925-1938

W. Benjamin – The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction – 1936

H. Cartier-Bresson – The Decisive Moment – 1952

S. Sontag – Against Interpretation – 1966

J. Berger – Ways of Seeing 1972

J. Szarkowski – Looking at Photographs – 1973

S. Sontag – On Photography – 1977

R. Barthes – Image – Music – Text 1977

J. Berger – About Looking – 1980

j. Berger – Understanding a Photograph – 1967-2013

R. Barthes – Camera Lucidia – 1981

V. Flusser – Towards a Philosophy of Photography – 1984

V. Flusser – Gestures -1991

D. Goldblatt & L.B. Brown – Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts – 1997

G. Rose – Visual Methodologies – 2001

S. Sontag – Regarding the Pain of Others – 2003

R. Adams – Why People Photograph – 2005

G. Dyer – The Ongoing Moment = 2005

F. Ritchin – After Photography – 2009

K. Stiles – Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art – 2012

M. Heiferman – Photography Changes Everything – 2012

J.L. Thompson – Why Photography Matters – 2013

R. Shore – Post-Photography: The Artist with a Camera – 2015

K. Silverman – The Miracle of Analogy – 2015

B. Burbridge – Revelations – 2015

M. Statzer – The Photographic Object 1970 – 2016

B. Burbridge & A. Pollen – Photography Reframed – 2018