IN 2002 the photographer Gregory Crewdson travelled to an empty ranch house in Rutland, Vermont with his crew and a cast of actors including Gwyneth Paltrow, Tilda Swinton and, as seen here, Julianne Moore.

Four years earlier the woman who lived in the house had died. Nothing had been touched in the intervening time. Crewdson used the abandoned home as a stage set to shoot a set of photographs commissioned by the New York Times.

Given the name “The Dream House,” the images were typical Crewdsonian: “carefully orchestrated scenes of mildly surreal disquiet amid white, middle-class semi-rural communities,” as David Campany describes them. In his work Crewdson draws on cinematic tropes (and cinema actors) to come up with his filmic images which play with ideas of narrative and acting.

Crewdson is just one of the photographers whose work is discussed in Campany’s new book On Photographs, which also looks at images from photographers as diverse as Guy Bourdin and Susan Meiselas.

Taken from On Photographs, by David Company, published by Thames & Hudson, priced £25. Photograph © Gregory Crewdson. Courtesy Gagosian