1st Edition

A 21st Century Practice

ISBN 9781350038561
Published October 22, 2020 by Routledge
682 Pages

USD $77.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Finally, here is a photography textbook authored in the 21st century for 21st century audiences.

Photography: A 21st Century Practice speaks to the contemporary student who has come of age in the era of digital photography and social media, where every day we collectively take more than a billion photographs. How do aspiring photographers set themselves apart from the smartphone-toting masses? How can an emerging photographic artist push the medium to new ground?

The answers provided here are innovative, inclusive, and boundary shattering, thanks to the authors’ framework of the "4Cs": Craft, Composition, Content and Concept. Each is explored in depth, and packaged into a toolbox the photographic student can immediately put into practice. With a firm base in digital imaging, the authors also shed new light on chemical-based photographic processes and address the ways in which new technology is rapidly expanding photographic possibilities.

In addition, Photography: A 21st Century Practice features:

• 12 case studies from professional practice, featuring established photographic artists and showcasing the techniques, concepts, modes of presentation, and other professional concerns that shape their work.

• Over 40 student assignments that transform theory into hands-on experience.

• 800 full-color images and 200 illustrations, including photographs by some of the world’s best-known and most exciting emerging photographic artists, and illustrations that make even complex processes and ideas simple to understand.

• More than 50 guided inquiries into the nature of photographic art to jump start critical thinking and group discussions.


Table of Contents

1. Device  2. Optics  3. Exposure  4. Composition  5. Light  6. From Capture to Post Production  7. Traditional Process in 21st Century  8. Image Manipulation  9. Content and Concept  10. Video  11. New Technology, New Possibility  12. Interdisciplinary Collaborations  13. Presentation and Installation  14. The Talk

View More



Mark Chen is a photographic artist, educator, and author. His practices center on the visual discourse on sustainability and climate change, among other environmental and social issues. He crosses media boundaries, sometimes collaboratively, from photography to other visual art forms, sound art, performance, and literature. Mark Chen has taught at the University of Houston, Houston Baptist University, and Houston Center for Photography, among other institutions. He is also an avid author, publishing eight books titles on photographic art and techniques, including this title from Routledge. He received an MFA degree from the University of Houston.

Chelsea Shannon is an art educator, historian, and writer. She holds an MA in art history with a focus on contemporary photography from the University of Houston. Shannon currently serves as the Manager for Interpretation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, where she plans, produces, and evaluates the museum’s interpretive resources, including audio guides and digital interactive experiences. Prior to this appointment, she was the Program Coordinator for FotoFest’s Literacy Through Photography program, which places photographic artists in classrooms throughout the Houston, Texas area. Through her practice, Shannon seeks to foster inquiry, meaning-making, and discovery through engagement with works of art.