Here is the description from the O'Reilly web page:
Every photographer, from weekend enthusiast to professional, can learn by studying the "greats". In Why Photographs Work, author/photographer George Barr analyzes 52 striking images by some of the world's top photographers. Accompanying Barr's analysis of each image is an explanation by the photographer describing the circumstances of making the image, including not only the how, but also the why. Also included is each photographer's biography, a reference to his or her websites and publications, and brief technical descriptions of the equipment used in making each image.
With guidance from Barr, we learn to decipher that certain intangible "something" that makes an image go beyond the ordinary. As we gain an understanding of and appreciation for the elements that make an image truly great, we are bound to improve our own images as well.
Included are images by: Charles Cramer, Bruce Barnbaum, Harald Mante, Dan Burkholder, Nick Brandt, Hans Strand, Roman Loranc, Huntington Witherill, Susan Burnstine, Ryuijie, Beth Moon, Phil Borges, Shaun O'Boyle, David Ward, Michael Levin, Michael Reichmann, Michael Kenna, Cole Thompson, George Jerkovich, Bengt Ekelberg, Sandra Davis, Brian Kosoff, Joe Lipka, Gordon Lewis, Lawrence Chrismas, Craig Richards, and many more.