In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits

In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Portraits

by National Geographic Society
     
 
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

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - 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.

Product Details

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

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >