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Before The Paparazzi

Overview

When we chose a few hundred pictures for Before the Paparazzi: Fifty Years of Extraordinary Pictures to represent the life's work of a legendary press photographer, thousands more pictures had to be left, literally, "in the box." Before the Paparazzi contains about 28,000 words of text and over 250 pictures-most of them with an accompanying "story behind the pictures." Almost all of the pictures appeared in the New York Post and other New York City newspapers during the years-primarily the 60s through the ...
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Overview

When we chose a few hundred pictures for Before the Paparazzi: Fifty Years of Extraordinary Pictures to represent the life's work of a legendary press photographer, thousands more pictures had to be left, literally, "in the box." Before the Paparazzi contains about 28,000 words of text and over 250 pictures-most of them with an accompanying "story behind the pictures." Almost all of the pictures appeared in the New York Post and other New York City newspapers during the years-primarily the 60s through the 90s-that Arty Pomerantz was a staff photographer and assignment editor, and many of them were on the newspapers' front pages. Arty pioneered the use of 35mm cameras in photojournalism-with their motorized shutter and interchangeable lenses, they revolutionized the industry-and was honored by his peers, who voted him President of the New York Press Photographers Association. He was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and lost track years ago of the number of national and regional photography awards he's won. His pictures have appeared in virtually every major newspaper and magazine in the country. It would be easier to list the movie stars, Presidents, and poets who are not among these photographs than those who are-on the cover alone you can see Jackie Kennedy, Liz Taylor, Walter Winchell, and the Beatles. There are pictures of looters in the heart of the city during the Blackout of 1977, pictures of fires and tickertape parades and of the assassination of a Mafia godfather. Chapter introductions provide the reader with a context for the entire book by describing the day-to-day life of a New York City press photographer-for years the only night photographer for the New York Post-who bore visual witness of that quintessential American city's people and events through decades of profound social, political, and technological change. Arty loved his work and the people he photographed, and that love, combined with consummate skill, is apparent in every picture Arty made. As described in the Preface: "On a typical night, the reporter and I would talk to press agents-if Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were in town, for example, their press agent would get us together. There might be a crime scene or a fire. Whatever happened, there'd be a story in the morning, [along with] the picture I'd made . . ." Arty was a protégé of Weegee, whose photographs appeared in the original Naked City (later a movie and a TV series), and who at one time was paid five dollars per bullet hole by Life magazine for his pictures of murder victims. When Arty started his first press photographer job in 1956, newspaper photos were shot with a 4 X 5 Speed Graphic, a big, bulky camera with a bellows and a film holder. Arty not only changed cameras, he changed from a radio that connected his car to an answering service, to a police radio and a real car phone. Over the years he partnered with cub reporters like Pete Hamill, Nick Pileggi, and Nora Ephron, who would go on to become best-selling authors while remaining Arty's lifelong friends. Peter Riva, a literary agent and specialist in media licensing and rights representation since 1975, said of Before the Paparazzi: "There is something here, there is something in these images that harkens to a time in transition, a time now lost, when New York was the center of the media universe. Sadly, Arty's pictures are all that is left of a world that has vanished forever. Arty Pomerantz is the successor to Weegee, before US and People, before the paparazzi."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781935444398
  • Publisher: World Audience
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.49 (d)

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