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Our weekly round-up of the best books and exhibitions Edited by Bob Aylott

Book review-

Book review-

Lewis Carroll

By Anne Higonnet Phaidon, hardback, 128 pages, i19.95, ISBN 978-0-7148-4282-0

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), better known as Lewis Carroll, was the author of two of the best-loved books In English literature, 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking-Glass'. He was also a keen amateur photographer.

It is widely believed that he started taking photographs in 1855 at the age of 23 and concentrated his efforts on portraiture.

Mastering the complicated mixture of chemicals and the photographic procedure that made up this new scientific art, he wrote on the subject of photography: 'It is my one reaction, and I think it should be done well.'

This is a collection of beautiful Victorian portraits, which include his famous studies of the original Alice who inspired the children's stories, as well as eminent Victorians such as Alfred Lord Tennyson and John Everett Millais.

This little gem gives children around the world an introduction to photography through the looking-glass of Lewis Carroll.

Brighton Graffiti

Stuart Bagshaw and David Oates Prestel, large paperback, 144 pages, ¡14.99, ISBN 978-3-7913-3965-8

I love graffiti, so long as it's not on my house, and so too, it appears, does Stuart Bagshaw. For years he has been recording this 'artform' in

Britain's favourite seaside town.

But there's more to his book than just pages of multi-coloured murals. He documents the history of graffiti, from its unlawful beginnings in the mid-1980s, to the huge council-sponsored art works painted on temporary screens that cover unsightly building sites in the area.

A Time It Was

Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties

By Bill Eppridge Essay by Pete Hamill Abrams, hardback, 192 pages, £15, ISBN 978-0-8109-7122-6

Robert Capa

Introduction by Jean Lacouture Thames 5 Hudson, paperback, 144 pages, £8.95, ISBN 978-0-500-41066-0

Since his death, the life and times of Robert Capa have become one of the great romantic narratives of photography. But if, by chance, you've never heard of this legendary war photographer and Magnum founder, this book is an ideal introduction.

Born in Hungary in 1913, Capa was killed by a land mine in Indochina in 1954. In between times he took some of the most iconic images of war ever, including 'Death of a Loyalist Soldier' during the Spanish Civil War, and his coverage of D-Day.

Although a womaraser, gambler and drinker, the doomed hero Capa remains an inspiration.

Annie Leibovitz

A Photographer's Life, 1990-2005

Until 1 February 2009. National Portrait Gallery, St Martin's Place, London WC2H0HE. Open daily 10am-6pm. Tel: 0870 013 0703. Website: Admission £11, concessions £9I£10, members free

Annie Leibovitz made her name shooting the world's most famous celebnties and is now a celebrity herself. Her fame is hard-earned, and her new exhibition seems to acknowledge this metamorphosis of photographer into

A Time It Was

Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties

By Bill Eppridge Essay by Pete Hamill Abrams, hardback, 192 pages, £15, ISBN 978-0-8109-7122-6

of sweet accepting smile on his face, as if he knew it would all end this way. Eppridge captures it perfectly, the stark black and white, the sense of American pieta.'

For award-winning photographer Bill Eppridge, his Kennedy chapter was coming to a close. Working for Life, he had followed Bobby on the campaign trail since 1966. Once he captured the death of the senator in such graphic detail, all that was left to record was the funeral and a nation in mourning.

Eppridge has captured a slice of history that today's photojournalists can only dream of.

The council may have accepted the art to a degree by allowing freedom of paint cans in certain areas, but they have also spent thousands of pounds over the years removing it.

If it's a Banksy sprayed on my gable end I'll be delighted; anything else can stay in the book.

On 5 June 1968, Robert Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan. As Pete Hamill writes, 'The cruel messenger arrived. Curly haired. Pockmarked. In a pale-blue sweatshirt. Blue jeans. His right foot forward. His arm was straight out. He was firing a small gun.. And there was Kennedy on the floor, at the foot of the ice machine, his eyes open, a kind subject by offering viewers a showcase of her best work from the past 15 years, along with a peek into the personal photography from her private life.

Comprising more than 150 images, 'A Photographer's Life' features well-known portraits of actors such as Jamie Foxx (above) and Brad Pitt, and politicians ranging from Hillary Clinton to George Bush. The exhibition also treats viewers to images documenting the birth and childhood of her three daughters and her family vacations. The images work together to provide a narrative of Leibovitz's private and professional lives, and how they intertwine. For any fan of her work, this is not to be missed Gemma Padley

Share your views and opinions with fellow AP readers every week

I was interested and pleased to hear that AP is to devote more pages to the use of cameras and lenses. It reminded me of an anecdote concerning a photographer who was asked around to a friend's house for dinner and to show some of his images. After admiring the photos, the hostess exclaimed, 'What wonderful pictures; you must have a good camera.' Is there a single photographer out there who hasn't heard this before? Having had a good dinner, the photographer thanked his hosts: 'What a wonderful meal, you must have good saucepans.' Adrian Hollister, Berkshire wH

Afresh perspective

Should we capture exactly what we see, or manipulate our photos to express how we feel? It's an old debate, but a recent visit to my optician gave me a new perspective.

Although my peripheral vision is normal, the optician said that when viewing a scene we only see the centre in sharp focus.

Consequently, I've been experimenting with a Zuiko 50mm f/1.2 prime lens, using it at full aperture in order to reduce the area of sharpness. The photo above is still nowhere near what we see when we look at a subject, but it gives an idea of centre sharpness and peripheral fuzziness. Del Gaskin, Essex

Raw astonishment

I was astounded by Raw i/s JPEG in AP 18 October. It does not refer at all to the major advantage of shooting raw: the ability to adjust the exposure by ±1EV in post-processing, which is invaluable in recovering blown highlights (or even blown shadows). Surely, for most photographers, the overwhelming reason for shooting raw is this ability to modify the exposure Chris Ryan, Somerset

It is a common misconception - not helped by the nomenclature of most raw converters - that when you adjust a raw file you are changing the exposure of the image. In fact, when you adjust the 'exposure' slider in a raw conversion program you are, in effect, just 'pushing' and 'pulling' the luminance values that make up the RGB mosaic of the raw file. Although this allows more extreme adjustments to be made to the brightness of a file than would be possible when shooting in JPEG mode (see page 27 of my piece), 'exposure' adjustments, properly so called, can only be made in-camera, at the point of capture -Richard Sibley, technical writer

A Flickr of light

Recent issues of AP have highlighted for me what is wrong with the focus of attention of many photographic publications. One guy essentially stated that those photographers who only come out at dawn and dusk produce similar images, while another pointed out that, well, who wrote the rule that all landscape photographs have to exclude people7 I have been taking photographs for years, and have been following the advice of the magazines: all serious landscapes have to exclude people, you have to include a rock in the foreground; and anything taken between dawn and dusk has no value as an image.

But ever since digital photography came of age, I've been uploading my images on to Flickr. Now this site has a little counter to show how many people have looked at any particular image. Guess what7 All those landscapes without people, taken during the wee small hours, or with rocks in the foreground, get very few views. Anything humorous or odd looking, which tells a story or is just plain cute, gets loads of views.

What this suggests is that if you want to attract a wider audience, then a move away from impersonal landscape shots may be a wise one.

Why, then, are photographic magazines still following old rules regarding what is perceived as interesting7 Phil Jenkins, Surrey

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