Posted 20 hours ago

Magnum Contact Sheets

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Joined in 2023

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I think contact sheets allow the viewer to get more inside the head of the photographer and they provide so much more context to a moment. Magnum Contact Sheets is a weighty book, dealing with many weighty subjects – war (Josef Koudelka, Prague Invasion), natural disaster (Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Earthquake in Armenia), birth (Cristina García Rodero, Maternity Ward), death (Robert Capa, Leipzig) – but Zazou the painter, as portrayed by Riboud, is lightness personified. Es increíble poder ver el proceso de selección del autor de una fotografía famosa, y leer o bien el comentario del mismo autor o de especialistas de la época. This book is on my list of 13 - one of 13 books I'd take with me to keep if I had to sell my entire collection. And at the end, I add my own less organised musings, somewhat mimicking my more random, lucky-dip style of interacting with the book.

His form is mirrored by his shadow on the ground – and also mirrored, elsewhere in the book, in Susan Meiselas’ portrait of Lena, from her Carnival Strippers series (again, link has some nudity). He notices the painters high above, climbs up the tower, and makes several pictures, among which is that unforgettable image of Zazou. I think I have got more out of these reflections, and from careful perusal of the contact sheets, than I have from many technical books about photography.No matter what level of photographer you are, your age or your genre of photography, I would urge you to get this book . While these systems [digital] may be highly functional for the short-term trafficking of images, it remains to be seen how enduring they will be. Little did I realise at the time that they would also be useful for scanning old negs onto a computer! Addressing key questions of photographic practice - was the final image a set-up, or a serendipitous encounter; did the photographer work diligently to extract the potential from a situation, or was the fabled 'decisive moment' at play?

He took several pictures of me down, then he and a black guy took me to a nearby square … I have often thought about that photographer’s reflex and asked myself what I would have done. Two shots just of him and his shadow, but then she recomposes to include the figures in the background. The photographs themselves are reproduced beautifully, and the paper quality does seem top-of-the-range. If you are sitting on the fence about purchasing this book, or picking it off the shelf, like me, I heartily recommend you do.

Its amusing to me that Contact sheets are now available as stand alone works of art, even I have enlarged a contact sheet to display as “art” a kind of mini movie of 36 frames.

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