The Contact Sheet

( 2 )

Overview

"Behind every great photograph is a story. For every noteworthy image, there are many more images taken before and after "the moment" that are often left unseen to anyone but the photographer himself." Featuring a diverse collection of original contact sheets from over forty international photographers, The Contact Sheet allows in-depth insight into the subject matter and the photographic process - often revealing a deeper story that has not been told. From William Claxton to William Wegman the photographers in this collection are both well-known ...

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Overview

"Behind every great photograph is a story. For every noteworthy image, there are many more images taken before and after "the moment" that are often left unseen to anyone but the photographer himself." Featuring a diverse collection of original contact sheets from over forty international photographers, The Contact Sheet allows in-depth insight into the subject matter and the photographic process - often revealing a deeper story that has not been told. From William Claxton to William Wegman the photographers in this collection are both well-known names as well as up-and-coming artists, making this an indispensable addition to the library of any serious lover of photography.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Instead of showcasing only the finished photos of master photographers, Steve Crist's The Contact Sheet takes us into their darkrooms—and their heads. To do so, he reproduces contact sheets paired with brief interviews that together reveal how one image of many taken at the same studio shoot or sidewalk snap was deemed aesthetically superior. On exhibit are the works of 44 topflight photographers including Dorothea Lange, William Wegman, Imogen Cunningham, Joel Meyerowitz, Nan Goldin, Ed Ruscha, Melissa Ann Pinney, Arnold Newman, Naday Kander, and David Hume Kennerly. Shutter snaps that truly illuminate.

Publishers Weekly
Starred Review.

Photography editor Crist (Zoe Strauss's America) presents images from 44 photographers along with the original, rarely-seen contact sheets from which they originated. Crist makes an engaging case for the contact sheet, an initial print made from newly-developed negatives, usually a series of six to twelve shots, as "a window into the thought process of a photographer... a photographer's sketchbook." Photographers covered include William Claxton, Imogen Cunningham, Art Kane, Jerry McMillan, Melissa Ann Pinney, Edmund Teske, Hellen Van Meene, and William Wegman; subjects include everything from a Siberian prison camp to the Iraq warfront, Aretha Franklin to President Nixon, underwater seascapes to city architecture. Crist includes an introduction to each photographer; the story behind each famous image, with quotes from the artist; and, where appropriate, film processing details. Each photograph in question is stunningly reproduced with a full- or two-page treatment, though the contact sheets themselves can feel hedged in by a single page; occasional two-page contact sheet spreads provide much more satisfying detail (as in Robert Doisneau's images of Paris, each an icon-in-waiting). Although it will be of greatest utility to professional and amateur photographers, this rare, beautifully-crafted look into the photographic process should attract a broad range of visual art fans.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal
Photography editor Crist has compiled a valuable archive of more than 40 photo contact sheets, each paired with a brief interview, from a broad spectrum of international photographers, including famous as well as emerging artists. Crist's well-chosen selections range from mainstays—e.g., Dorothea Lange, Chuck Close, Robert Doisneau, and Art Kane—to younger artists, including Alex Prager, Peter van Agtmael, and Danny Clinch. The photographer's contact sheet is a simple but essential organizing principle for a working photographer—and for this book; indeed, the basic idea of the contact sheet is a metaphor for considering a photographer's editing and selection process. Arranged alphabetically by photographer, Crist's book offers a cross section of contact sheets from an eclectic range of artists who reflect on their methodology. VERDICT A contact sheet unto itself, this book provides readers with a rare and unique view into the thinking that takes place before an artist prints an image. Highly recommended for all collections.—Shauna Frischkorn, Millersville Univ., PA
From the Publisher
"Before the digital era, contact sheets preserved a photographer's thought process and were a graveyard for burying mistakes. The strips here reveal how and illustrious group—William Claxton, Nan Goldin, Dorothea Lange, Julius Schulman, William Wegman and others—went about their business. ... It's not always clear why the photographers chose one picture over another, which only adds to the value of this archival material." —Wall Street Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780594433224
  • Publisher: Ammo Books LLC
  • Publication date: 11/15/2009
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Steve Crist is the publisher of AMMO Books and has authored, edited, or published several outstanding titles, including Edward Weston: One Hundred Twenty-Five Photographs, Gonzo by Hunter S. Thompson, The Curse of Lono by Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman, Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life by Todd Oldham, and others. He is currently in production on upcoming books with the estate of Charles and Ray Eames and the artist Ralph Steadman.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 4, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Don't buy it for your father-in-law: great book, but leads with nudes.

    My husband, my father-in-law and my niece all share a love of photography. I bought the book for my husband and father-in-law after hearing a review on NPR. I am SO GLAD that the shipment was delayed and that they did not open this book up while we were all gathered around the Christmas tree. The book is beautiful. The nudes are well-done. But, this is not the perfect gift for a father-in-law who's also a baptist missionary... SOOO glad I didn't have the cash to get it for my niece as well!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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