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© Stefan Frank
The Photobook Show

The Photo Essay: Putting Photos into Words

episode 14

Tue, Feb 20, 2024 at 1pm (ET)
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Some of Stefan’s favorite photography books contain hardly any images: in Ghost Image, Hervé Guibert fantasizes about an unexposed photograph of his mother. Moyra Davey writes her diverse thoughts on such things as photographs, a line of poetry, a ball of thread, and the life of 18th-century women onto index cards, and assembles them into labyrinthine, fascinating essays. And what presentation on the photographic essay would be complete without a sample from Teju Cole?

We’ll look at these books and others, to venture into what has now become it’s own literary genre: The Photographic Essay. We’ll conclude with Ariella Azoulay’s 2008 The Civil Contract of Photography — with the flood of images pouring out of conflict zones, this book has lost none of its immediacy and relevance. Join us for this episode of The Photobook Show — the one with no photographs in it!

Stefan Frank

Stefan Frank is a photographer and writer, working from Heidelberg, Germany. Way before he came to photography, he studied mathematics and philosophy at Ruhr Universität Bochum and worked as an IT specialist. He studied at Atelier Smedsby with JH Engström and Margot Wallard in Paris in 2017, before he eventually began studying photography at Ostkreuzschule, Berlin, with Peter Bialobrzeski. He graduated in 2023 with the work Irgendwo (“Anywhere”), a project dealing with politically motivated crime and the terror-spree of the far right in Germany. He has been teaching with StrudelmediaLive since 2020, giving courses on surrealism, poetics of space, gestalt theory for photographers, and more. His work has been exhibited in Heidelberg, Frankfurt, and Berlin.

Stefan teaches the poetics of space, nighttime photography, and much more — including presenting The Photobook Show — for StrudelmediaLive.