Jane Bown: A Lifetime of Looking

I’ve mentioned the incomparable Jane Bown a few times before, and I’m always ready for an opportunity to appreciate her work.

So there was no way I could resist this large format collection, edited by her friend Luke Dodd, which is as fine an assessment of a career as you’re likely to find. As well as some of the classic portrait work, there’s a large selection of photographs of demonstrations, gatherings, and life in general.

Jane always preferred a spontaneous approach – working in natural light, and generally going for an informal rather than posed style, which is perhaps what drew me to her work when I saw it in the Observer many years ago, long before I took to photography myself. Now I do know my way around a camera, or can at least point it in the right direction at least some of the time, my appreciation of her work has grown.

I don’t normally recommend moderately expensive hardback books, but this one is well worth the price.