To Photograph Is to Learn How to Die - Tim Carpenter

The Ice Plant


To Photograph Is to Learn How to Die: An Essay with Digressions by Tim Carpenter / ISBN 9798985733006 / small 288-page paperback published by The Ice Plant


A book-length essay about photography’s unique ability to ease the ache of human mortality

Drawing on the writings of Wallace Stevens, Marilynne Robinson and other poets, artists, musicians and thinkers, Brooklyn-based photographer Tim Carpenter (born 1968) argues passionately―in one main essay and a series of lively digressions―that photography is unique among the arts in its capacity for easing the fundamental ache of our mortality; for managing the breach that separates the self from all that is not the self; for enriching one’s sense of freedom and personhood; and for cultivating meaning in an otherwise meaningless reality.

Printed in three colors that reflect the various “voices” of the book, the text design follows several channels of thought, inviting various approaches to reading. A unique and instructive contribution to the literature on photography, Carpenter’s research offers both a timely polemic and a timeless resource for those who use a camera.

I don't know anybody who believes in photography more than Tim Carpenter. His book-length essay draws widely from literature, music, and philosophy, but it's in service of his passionate sermon on photographs and their ability to elevate our experience of the world. -- Alec Soth

To tease out the ineffable and ultimately leave it undisturbed. This is a book that rewards those who defiantly embrace the idiosyncrasies and shortcomings that lend us our essential individuality while sharing in an abiding love for this flawed world. -- Raymond Meeks

In To Photograph Is To Learn How To Die, Tim Carpenter has created a dynamic weaving of thought that I can best describe as a 3-D read. Using quotes by poets and philosophers to specify, and his own writing to illuminate and unify, he describes in 360 degrees the perspective on creative thought and action that we've been needing, waiting for. You'll want to keep this book nearby. -- Terri Weifenbach

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