LPC Library Photography Resources - Research Guide

Please ask a reference librarian for assistance at any time. We will be glad to help!


Las Positas College Library has numerous resources on photography. Use the LPC Library's web page to access the following areas for researching photography topics.

Books: Library Catalog

TR is main classification area for books on photography. Browsing the book collection located in the TR section is easy.

In the online catalog, a specific photographer is searched under Author such as Ansel Adams. Discussions of his work or collection of his materials by someone else is searched under Subject. Areas or types of photography are better searched in the catalog under Words and Phrases, such as photojournalism. Photography is a very broad search term that can bring up many titles. Narrowing the search with a more specific subject term is often the best strategy.

Examples of subject headings:


Advertising Photography
Documentary Photography
Freelance Photography
Landscape Photography
Photography Artistic
Photographic Surveying
Photography, Technique

Periodicals and Electronic Print Resources

Las Positas College Library subscribes to the following magazines for checkout:


American Photo
Popular Photography


Articles related to photography topics are also available in the Library's online databases. The databases can be accessed in the LPC Library or from home at LPC Home Page.


Try the database Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) which has excellent coverage of photography including such areas as photojournalism, landscape photography, art photography, digital photography, and war photography. Also Academic Search Complete (EBSCO) has an image database with photographs on various topics, people, and events available for use in research projects.


ARTStor is a digital online library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences including numerous photographs . Images may be used in any research project.

Internet Resources

Internet resources are an excellent source to supplement or enhance research. Be cautious of information on the Web since the quality of sources varies tremendously. It is always a good idea to check the information against another source. As with all information resources, whether in print or on the Internet, evaluate the quality of a site based on the following criteria:

  • Accuracy  (Is it free from mistakes and errors?)
  • Authority  (What are the qualifications of the author?)
  • Objectivity  (Is there any strong bias?)
  • Currency  (Is the information up to date?)
  • Coverage  (To what extent is the topic explored?)


Examples of Relevant Web Sites:

History of Photography, maintained by National Geographic, is arranged in three major galleries: Milestones in Photography featuring the first photograph, National Geographic Milestones and Milestones in Underwater Photography.   <>

American Photography: A Century of Images, a PBS site, is well maintained with interactive features and easy to use archives. <>

Audiovisuals: Library Catalog

Use the Library catalog to find audiovisual materials. Use "Power Search" to limit search by Type: DVD or by Location: Audiovisual Collection (to show all audiovisual types on photography). Add photographer name or a photography topic to Words and Phrases. Below is an annotated listing of DVD's available on photography. Like books most will show up in the TR's and can easily be browsed.


The Adventure of Photography: 150 Years of the Photographic Image. Kultur, 1998. DVD TR15.A3 1998 PT. 1-2. Conceived as an introspective journey that takes you from the first daguerreotypes to war photojournalism, from fashion spreads to the greatest contemporary artists, this program includes 1700 pictures, 300 artists, and will appeal to all photographers-amateur and professional alike. This is not only the history of an amazing art form, it is also the adventure of one century and a half during which photography has captured the image of the collective conscience.

Alfred Stieglitz: The Eloquent Eye
. DVD. Fox Lorber Centre Stage 2001. DVD TR140.S7 A44 2001. Examines the achievements and legacy of photographer Alfred Stieglitz. Includes an interview with Georgia O'Keeffe as well as film footage of other artists he inspired including Edward Steichen and John Marin.


American Masters: The Artists. DVD. Wellspring, [2004]. DVD NX504.A54 2004 pt. 1-6. Six biographies of America's most influential painters, photographers and creative minds." Disc 1. Richard Avedon: Darkness & light -- Disc 2. Alexander Calder -- Disc 3. Robert Rauschenberg: Inventive genius -- Disc 4. Man Ray: Prophet of the avant-garde -- Disc 5. Norman Rockwell: Painting America -- Disc 6. Alfred Stieglitz: The eloquent eye.

American Photography: A Century of Images. DVD. PBS DVD Video, 1999. DVD TR23.G65 1999. "The story of the pictures we have taken and where they have taken us. The series traces the profound effect photographs have had on American life--influencing what we buy, how we dress, how we get the news, and in the matters of life and death, medicine, science, and war."

Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film. DVD. PBS Home Video, 2002. DVD TR653.A3 A6 2002 “Portrait of a great artist and ardent environmentalist--for whom life and art, photography and wilderness, creativity and communication, love and expression, were inextricably connected.


The Color of War. DVD. A&E Home Video, 2006. DVD D811.A2 C6567 2006 Pt. 1-5. World War II was a black-and-white between good and evil. A dramatic commentary from the cameramen and photographers who captured the moments for posterity and memories of the soldiers who were there.


Contacts : 1, 2, 3. DVD. Facets Video, 2004. DVD TR139. C668 2004. World' best photgrpahers reveal the secrets behind their images. Films divulge the artistic processes of the greatest contemporary photographers.


Decoding Photographic Images. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2004. DVD TR183.M34 1999. This program focuses on how the basic components of photography -- line, shape, form, texture, balance, volume duality, point of view, depth of field and perspective – contribute to an image’s impact on the subconscious mind.


Edward Burtynsky : Manufactured Landscapes. DVD. Zeitgeist Films, 2007. DVD TR140.B878 B87 2007. Follows photographer Edward Burtynsky as he travels through China photographing the effects of that country's massive industrial revolution.


Half Past Autumn : The Life and Works of Gordon Parks. DVD. Home Box Office. 2006. DVD TR140.P35 P37 2006. Also known for his movie Shaft, Parks was a preeminent and diverse photographer who documented social events as well as high fashion and pop icons. Narrated by Alfre Woodard, this is a look at the African-American photographer, poet, novelist, composer and filmmaker Gordon Parks.


Henri-Cartier Bresson: The Impassioned Eye. DVD. Palm Pictures, 2006. DVD TR140.C295 H46 2006. This documentary takes a look at the innovative man that shifts his work from simple to astonishingly complex. He has an eye for geometry, and the convoluted aestheticism of architecture.


Language of Photography : Introduction to Photography and Visual Literacy. DVD. Films for Humanities & Sciences, 2004. DVD TR 145.I68 2002. Discusses the importance of visual language skills in an age of movies, magazines, TV, billboards and the Web. Includes a history of photography and a prediction of its future.


Language of Photography : Persuasion, Propaganda, and Photography. DVD. Films for Humanities & Sciences, 2004. DVD TR183.P48 2004. The program addresses the manipulative power of photography by illustrating how commercial advertising has created an obsession with youth and physical perfection and can exploit viewers' interest in celebrities, sexuality, and violence. Demonstrates how photogenic people who use the visual media can dominate the political scene.


Language of Photography : Truth or Fiction? Photography and Ethics . DVD. Films for Humanities & Sciences, 2004. DVD TR183.T78 2004. The ethics of photography and the positive and negative impacts of digital technology, which is steadily eroding the border between artistic and documentary photography, are covered.

Magic of the Image: Photography Revealed. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1999. DVD TR287.M34 1999. This elegant program artistically unfolds the history of photography, including the contributions of Joseph Niepce, Louis Daguerre, Fox Talbot, and the Lumieres, with an emphasis on the processes involved in creating photographs.

Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant-Garde. DVD. Fox Lorber CentreStage, 1999. DVD N6537.R3 M367 1999. Man Ray is the quintessential modernist figure: photographer, painter, object maker and collagist, filmmaker and printmaker, poet, essayist and philosopher. Born Emanuel Radnitsky in 1890, he went on to become the leader of the "American avant-garde" and the most enigmatic of the Dada-Surrealists who transformed the Paris art world during the ferment of the 1920's and beyond. This profile follows the creative genius from his youth in Brooklyn to his glory days in Paris and, finally, to his impact on future generations of artist in a variety of fields.


Masters of Photography. André Kertész. DVD. Kultur, 2006. DVD TR140. K47 M37 2006. Profile of André Kertész, the father of 35mm photography," 80 years old and living in New York. He talks about his life and career and describes the genesis of some of his best known works.


Masters of Photography. Diane Arbus. DVD. Kultur, 2006. DVD TR140.A73 M37 2006. The work of photographer Diane Arbus as explained by her daughter, friends, critics, and her own words as recorded in her journals.


Master of Photography. Edward Steichen. DVD. Kaltar, 2006. DVD TR140.S84 M37 2006. Documentary on Edward Streichen, reflecting on his long life and his many achievements.


The Photographers. DVD. Warner Home Video, 2000. DVD TR790.P46 2000. Photographers who have worked for National Geographic reflect on their art.

Photographic Storytelling. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2004. DVD TR179.P46 2004. The program explains how photographers work with images to communicate stories and ideas and how viewers interpret those images. Message manipulation deriving from point of view, context, editing, superimposing, cropping, recoloring, and captioning is discussed. Selective perception--seeing pictures through the filters of values and prejudices--is studied.

Photography and Making Art and Recording Life
. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2004., DVD TR624.P46 2002. This program examines existing and emerging areas in photographic arts, including documentary, photography, portrait, still life, commercial photography and photojournalism.


Photography as Art. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2004. DVD TR654.P46 2004. When specialty cameras, trick photography, and digital manipulation are combined with creative genius, photography becomes an extremely versatile medium of expression and self-exploration. This program examines the history of photography, charting its evolution from a technical craft to a fine art. Works of Tim Macmillan, Catherine Opie, Suky Best, Alison Jackson, and Caroline Molloy are highlighted. Archival clips of Man Ray, Cindy Sherman, Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andreas Feininger, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Duane Michals, Richard Avedon, and Elsie Hill are included.


Photography Storytelling. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Science, 2004, DVD TR179.P46 2004. This program explains how photographers work with images to communicate stories and ideas. Point of view, context, editing, superimposing, cropping recoloring and captioning are discussed.


Portraits and Snapshots. DVD. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2004. DVD TR575.P67 2004. Explores how professional and amateur photographers capture the essence of people.

Roots of California Photography. DVD. Monterey Museum of Art, 2002. DVD TR24.C2 R6 2002. Chronicles the important photographic heritage of the Monterey region and pays tribute to some of the most important men and women in American photography, masters whose creative and technical visions changed the way the world views photographic art.

Strand: Under the Dark. DVD. Kino on Video, 2002. DVD TR140.S78.S77 2002. An overview of the life and career of photographer Paul Strand. Features Strand's most famous photographs, clips from his films, and interviews with his wife, friends, and collaborators.

Vietnam's Unseen War: Pictures from the Other Side. DVD. National Geographic Video, 2001. DS559.5.V537 2002. Journey deep behind battle lines to experience a different side of the Vietnam War -- the side seen only through the lenses of North Vietnam photographers. Renowned British photojournalist Tim Page travels back to the land where he nearly lost his life to meet with North Vietnamese war photographers, revealing remarkable, never-before-seen photos and personal stories long hidden by time and tragedy.

W. Eugene Smith: Photography Made Difficult. DVD. Image Entertainment, 2001. DVD TR140.S627.W4 2001. A profile of W. Eugene Smith as told through his photographs, interviews and dramatized sequences.

War Photographer. DVD. First Run Features, [2003]. DVD TR820.6.W37 2003. James Nachtwey has been very close to the subjects he photographs and has been that way for over 20 years -- a time period in which he has not missed a single war. Follow as James goes from Kosovo to the West Bank to Indonesia as he searches for pictures he can publish. This committed, shy man is considered one of the bravest and most important war photographers of our time.


Citing Sources

Suggestion: Keep the printouts of your sources, or write out all pertinent information on author, title, publisher, date, Internet location, or whatever is necessary to identify the information. Follow the format recommended by your instructor. Library Homepage has a a link to instructions for MLA or APA citations, as well as the online resource, NoodbleBib, a bibliography composer.

Email a Librarian

Library Telephone: 925.424.1150
Library Fax: 925.606.7249

Page last modified: February 05, 2014