Refractions,thoughts on aesthetics and photography, is a book by Ralph Gibson that was published in 2005 by STEIDIL/MEP. Coming in at a slim 48 pages it could be passed on as an insignificant vanity publication. This could not be farther from the truth. Reading this book feels like you are sitting down with a master photographer for 2 hours and picking their brain on why they photograph not just how.

" I've stated in the past that photography is like electricity: we know how how to use it but we don't really know what it is. It's a medium that enables us to depict everything from the sacred to the profane. Yet there is no absolute photographic act, it is only a question of process. One makes a photograph and it leads to the next photograph which subsequently leads to the next photograph, and it seems you have to make all three of them rather than go to the last one. There appear to be no elliptical leaps and bounds of growth in the life of a photographer. He or she simply has to put the film in the camera." 

The following topics are covered: Aspects of Influence, Malevitch & Matisse, Architecture, Sculpture, The Nude, Camera & Lens, The Frame, Perspective & Focal Length, Notes on the Negative, The Portrait, Ambivalence, Photographs of Photography, Images of Nothing, The Still-Life, Music & Photography, Book Making, The Diptych, Semiology, Brazil, Egypt, France, Italy.

The book appears to be only available at the authors web site as a signed edition. If you can find a reasonably priced copy I would highly suggest picking up a copy, you will find it very inspirational.