In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits

Overview

National Geographic Greatest Portraits tells the story of portrait photography through the eyes-and words-of five accomplished National Geographic photographers. The book showcases images never-before-seen alongside award-winning favorites. New and fascinating text reveals photographers' individual experiences photographing people and their evaluation of NG portraits produced during each decade-from the late-19th century until today. National Geographic Greatest Portraits opens with a beautiful and surprising ...
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Overview

National Geographic Greatest Portraits tells the story of portrait photography through the eyes-and words-of five accomplished National Geographic photographers. The book showcases images never-before-seen alongside award-winning favorites. New and fascinating text reveals photographers' individual experiences photographing people and their evaluation of NG portraits produced during each decade-from the late-19th century until today. National Geographic Greatest Portraits opens with a beautiful and surprising look at National Geographic's contribution to the knowledge of the world's peoples through photography. Five chapters follow, each spanning approximately two decades and covering an era in world history and photographic style. The chapters are: Before 1930 (Exploring the power of photography), 1930s-1940s (The Great Depression and World War II), 1950s-1960s (Bright colors and perky smiles), 1970s-1980s (Back to realism), 1990s-Present (Everything is relative). Each of these chapters is a portrait of the world.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
It would be impossible to write a history of photojournalism that ignores the central contribution of National Geographic. For more than a century, the magazine's pictures have registered the changing diversity of the world's people and the humanity we share. This massive seven-pound pictorial presents a global history in photographic portraits, a collection of unforgettable intimate images from the late 19th century to the present. The photography is stunning; the quality of reproductions superb.
Publishers Weekly
The prickly political implications of portrait photography are perhaps at their most evident in this hefty (seven pounds) and gorgeously glossy compilation of work by National Geographic photographers. As the frank essays by such photographers as Sam Abell, Jodie Jobb and William Albert Allard beginning each chapter reveal, behind the unthreatening National Geographic cameras lenses, often less-than-admirable mechanisms were at work. Stuart Franklin writes of the editorial pressure on photographers to provide "pictures of pretty girls" to the point where "hundreds of bare-breasted women, all from poorer countries, were published at a time of booming subscription rates." Editor Bendavid-Val writes of National Geographic's propensity for avoiding controversial issues at home in the United States; turmoil has been less thorny to document in faraway places. "The emotional distance was easy to maintain in an age when communication was cumbersome and long-distance travel was uncommon." Still, a photograph of thieves' severed heads on a billboard in China, or even the photograph "Afghan Girl," published in 1985 and arguably National Geographic's most well-known photograph, pierce through this self-imposed emotional shield. Beyond the isolationism and voyeurism is something oddly moving about this collection of 280-plus portraits: it forms a giant mosaic of American identity, a self-portrait composed of how we look at others. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792273639
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Series: NG's Greatest Photographs Series
  • Pages: 504
  • Sales rank: 225,573
  • Product dimensions: 10.32 (w) x 10.41 (h) x 1.86 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2005

    WOW!

    National Geographic has been stunning the minds of humanity with it's brilliant protraits taken in this amazing world. I reccomend this book to everyone for all ages. This book is truly an unbelievable eye tingler (if that makes sense?) Buy it and enjoy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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