Do excellent photographs emerge from a diligently worked sequence, or was the right shot a case of serendipity? The answers to these questions can be found in contact sheets; they tell the truth behind a photograph, unveil its process, and provide its back story.
Offering a wealth of unpublished material, Magnum Contact Sheets is a landmark publication which is there to provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the stories behind many iconic and historical images of modern times taken by the world’s most celebrated photographers.
The images featured include both celebrated icons of photography and lesser-known surprises. The selection encompass over seventy years of history: from the Paris riots of 1968 by Bruno Barbey to René Burri’s filmic sequence of close-ups of Che Guevara and even Eve Arnold’s iconic portrait of Malcolm X.
Magnum Contact Sheets includes 139 contact sheets together with the accompanying final image, representing 69 photographers, as well as selected photographs, press cards, notebooks and spreads from contemporary publications, including Life magazine. Further insight is provided by texts written by the photographers themselves or by experts.
Magnum Contact Sheets is published by Thames & Hudson and is now on sale.
An accompanying exhibition is being held at the Magnum Print Room in London, from November 9 to January 27 2012.
Magnum Contact Sheets: The Symposium is being held in conjunction with the Photography Department of London College of Communication on Saturday, 26th November 2011. The one day event will discuss and address topics and issues raised by the book; in particular the foreword written by Kristen Lubben, Associate Curator of the International Center of Photography, New York.