The Ongoing Moment

“There is very little fine writing on photography. Geoff Dyer’s The Ongoing Moment adds superbly to that tiny canon: clever, provocative, witty and shrewdly on the nail.” William Boyd

Continue reading →
The Ongoing Moment

“His subtle, understated, unforgettable masterpiece deserves to join Susan Sontag’s On Photography on our bookshelves.” Iain Gale, Scotland on Sunday

“Truly original… A whole narrative of intensely felt and observed moments… After reading it, life seems larger.” John Berger, Harper’s Magazine

Focusing on the ways in which canonical figures like Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Walker Evans, Andre Kertesz, Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus and William Eggleston have photographed the same things – barbershops, benches, hands, roads, signs – Geoff Dyer seeks to identify their signature styles. In doing so, he constructs a narrative in which these photographers – many of whom never met – constantly encounter one another.

The Ongoing Moment is a masterful meditation on photographs, but what makes it particularly valuable is the way it shows how Dyer has mastered the art of the essay, understood as a piece of discursive, personal writing, in which great, often melancholy themes are raised with lightness and very dry humour.” Alain de Botton, Books of the Year, Observer

“One of the most graceful ruminations on photography ever… From beginning to end, Dyer’s tour de force is as inspirational as it is accessible.” Sunday Telegraph

“An ingenious journey through the history of photography.” Art Review

First published: UK, Little Brown, 2005; US, Pantheon, 2005

Winner of the ICP Infinity Award for Writing on Photography.

Current paperback editions: UK, Canongate; US, Vintage

You can buy this book by clicking on the following:


Barnes & Noble


Random House



The Sunday Telegraph
The Observer

The Independent

The New York Times

The Independent on Sunday

The Spectator

The New Yorker
The Financial Times
The Brooklyn Rail
Frieze Magazine
Harper’s Magazine



From “one of our most original writers” (Kathryn Schulz, New York magazine) comes an expansive and exacting book—firmly grounded, but elegant, witty, and always inquisitive—about travel, unexpected awareness, and the questions we ask when we step outside ourselves.

Continue reading →

View all

Forewords & Afterwords

Geoff Dyer introduces this survey of Jacob Holdt’s photographs of America in the 1970s.

Continue reading →

View all

As Editor

When William Gedney died in 1989 at the age of 56 he was little known except to a few colleagues and curators. This book, co-edited by Geoff Dyer, reveals Gedney’s remarkable photographs as well as writings by him.

Continue reading →

View all