Witness to Our Times: My Life as a Photojournalist

Witness to Our Times: My Life as a Photojournalist

by Flip Schulke, Matt Schudel, Matt Schudel

Over the course of his 50-year career, Flip Schulke has been published in Life, Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated and has photographed Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr., Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, and the first astronauts of the American space program. His images from the 1960s stunned American magazine readers, helping to raise public… See more details below


Over the course of his 50-year career, Flip Schulke has been published in Life, Time, Newsweek, and Sports Illustrated and has photographed Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr., Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, and the first astronauts of the American space program. His images from the 1960s stunned American magazine readers, helping to raise public awareness and influence the course of history. Here Schulke recounts how he built a career out of his passion for documenting social change. Including dozens of photographs and illustrations, this is a heartfelt and revealing profile of one of America’s most celebrated photo-journalists.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Renowned photographer Flip Schulke looks back at a lifetime spent documenting some of the most important events and people of the last half-century in Witness to Our Times: My Life as a Photojournalist, with Matt Schudel. Best known for his inside pictures of the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s (to which his friendship with Martin Luther King Jr. granted him special access), Schulke also photographed Muhammad Ali, the space program and Fidel Castro. Generously illustrated with b&w photos plus a 16-page color insert. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Schulke has been taking pictures since 1947. Using a Kodak Brownie Special camera, he started taking pictures and selling reprints when he was in high school. He is best known for his sensitive photographs taken inside the civil rights movement. He states that Martin Luther King, Jr. was the greatest man he ever met. He called him "Doc" and treasured the friendship they shared. Recording an event without becoming part of the action is difficult and Schulke credits King with teaching him this lesson which has stood him in good stead for all these years. Flip estimates that he has shot about 500,000 images in his career. In addition to his coverage of the civil rights movement, he has photographed such famous people as Muhammad Ali, Elvis Presley, Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, and Myrlie Evers. He has taken pictures underwater, in space training simulators, in fair weather, and in hurricanes. He has traveled throughout the world to document history in action. Many of his award winning photographs are reproduced in the book. Most are in black and white. Schulke prefers the more dramatic impact of contrasts that are possible in this medium. The few color pieces that are included also exemplify his love of contrasting elements. A bibliography of books written by Schulke and a couple of Web sites are listed for further study. A table of contents and an index aid in finding specific information. 2003, Cricket Books,
Readers might not know his name, but they will recognize his photos-the award-winning portrait of a veiled Coretta Scott King at her husband's funeral, a youthful Muhammad Ali sparring underwater, an ardent John F. Kennedy addressing a crowd, or a diver swimming alongside Namu the killer whale. Schulke's work has appeared in Life, National Geographic, and many other magazines, but he has opted to remain a freelancer. He owns more than half a million pictures shot during a fifty-year career. The text, which describes some of the photographic endeavors Schulke has undertaken, is interspersed with quotes in which he reflects on his life in photography. Some of his special interests are underwater photography, the Berlin Wall, racecar drivers, astronauts and the space program, and the Civil Rights movement, including the March on Washington and the protest marches in Selma, Alabama. While photographing in Selma, Schulke once stopped a policeman from beating a child and was later gently rebuked by Martin Luther King Jr. King advised Schulke that his job was to record history, not to be a participant. A chapter titled "The Greatest Man I Ever Met" is devoted to King. More than 150 photos reflecting the history of the last half of the twentieth century highlight this volume. In the last chapter, Schulke gives this advice to young people who are considering photojournalism as a career: Go to college and educate yourself about the world; accept bread-and-butter assignments because big stories are rare. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High,defined as grades 10 to 12). 2003, Cricket Books, 112p.; Index. Photos. Further Reading., Ages 11 to 18.
—Florence H. Munat
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Gaskins's What Are You? (Holt, 1999) focused on the social and emotional experiences of mixed-race teens. Here she again takes the pulse of America's youth by conducting interviews with 15- to 24-year-olds on the personal meaning of their faiths. The interviewees are identified by a photograph (not all), real or fictitious first name, age, and self-selected religious labels (born again, nondenominational, Orthodox, etc.). The diverse voices are grouped into chapters on religious identity, pop-culture values, intolerance, personal doubt and struggle, testimonials on the power of faith, role of women, and bridging religious differences. Each chapter includes "My Faith Journey," a lengthier four- to six-page autobiographical reflection explaining the pivotal issues and turning points that shaped the individual's beliefs. From this well-structured, open-ended presentation of viewpoints, stereotypes are challenged, moral and ethical conflicts are discussed, and varied perspectives emerge on current issues. Israeli-Palestinian relations; Orthodox, Reform, and Conservative Judaism; September 11, its aftermath, and the Muslim community; Catholic attitudes toward the Pope and priesthood; and religious doctrine versus personal interpretation are all addressed. Smooth editing, background information on adolescent religious affiliations, and a wealth of appended resources enhance the text. A balanced, sensitive, contemporary look at world religions.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A freelance photojournalist for half a century, Schulke has worked for Life, Sports Illustrated, Time, National Geographic, and People and has shot over 500,000 pictures, including 11,000 of Martin Luther King, the largest private collection in the world. Starting in high school with a "Baby Brownie" camera and pictures of parades, fellow students, and family portraits, Schulke went on to photograph Castro and the Cuban revolution, Elvis Presley, Muhammad Ali, John F. Kennedy, TV stars, popes, astronauts, and underwater life. The most stunning shots here are series on the Berlin Wall and Martin Luther King. In a volume light on text, heavy on striking images, it is clear that the photographer, now in his 70s and still working, has a feeling for history and context beyond the camera lens. Schudel mostly lets his subject talk, allowing readers to sense the passion and integrity of the man behind the camera. A lively introduction to the work of a fine photojournalist. (bibliography, information on cameras, index not seen) (Nonfiction. 10+)

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Product Details

Cricket Books
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
8.26(w) x 10.22(h) x 0.66(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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