“Seeing Things” by Joel Meyerowitz was conceived as a “Kid’s Guide to Looking at Photographs”, but it works for older kids too.
I chose the photographs in this book with the hope that the things you discover in them will encourage you to open your eyes and your mind so that you can see the world around you in a new way.
Starting with the eye that is slowly revealed as you open the first few pages all the way through the 30 pictures which include some of the usual suspects (Cartier-Bresson, Winogrand, Erwin etc), Meyerowitz leads us through a way of looking at pictures (and, by extension, real life).
For each image, he picks just one aspect to emphasise building up a catalogue of strategies for seeing. And he explains it all in language that is not in the least patronising to his target audience. In fact, some of them may have to work a bit harder than usual to understand it all, but that’s no bad thing. Having books which require more than one or two visits to absorb means you have a book that can grow with you.
A bit like the photography he presents.
And why is this just a kids’ book? If you can get past the subtitle on the cover page, this is a well-written introduction to photographs that might just trigger a few of an adult’s brain cells into action, and help you see the world in a different light.