Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Magnum Contact Sheets

This is the coffee table book of coffee table books, coming in at 508 pages, 13.9 x 11.6 x 1.9 inches and a hefty 9.7 pounds, 139 contact sheets from 69 photographers. It's beautifully put together, even the cover is like a package you would find in the darkroom.

I'm old enough to remember when there wasn't the choice for digital or analogue so remember well the negative and contact sheet process, and in some ways it was more satisfying than my current process in the digital age, but in others its not all that different at all, analogue & digital workflow processes have adapted rather than changed.

Most of the photos that people recognize were taken by a Magnum photographer, and I don't think the history of Magnum could have been put together any better than this.

Showing not just "the shot" but the shots that were discarded, and information behind the shot. There is varying sizes of the negatives (35mm, slide, large format, b&w, colour), and with a page at 13.9 x 11.6 inches, there is plenty of room for displaying the contact sheets, and full page shots look fantastic.

Photos included go from 1930 (actually before Magnum was set-up) right up to 2010, and include portraits of likes of Che Guevara, Martin Luther King, JFK, Thatcher, Mother Teresa, Muhammad Ali, documentation of wars, events, massacres, riots, uprisings, disasters and general life. Interesting extras such as comments, notes, press passes and of course details behind the shot from the photographers themselves.

If you are a photographer you will love this, if you are a photojournalist (professional or otherwise) you need this!

Edited by Kristen Lubben, Associate Curator at the International Center of Photography in New York.

Buy on Book Depository

Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 508
Width: 295 mm
Height: 348 mm
Thickness: 48 mm
Weight: 4,550 g

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