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Magnum Contact Sheets, book review

April 16, 2020
Magnum Contact Sheets book review

Today I want to talk about one of the best book of my personal collection. It’s different from any other photographic book I have. If you want improve your skills in street photography this book is perfect for you. This is my review about Magnum Contact Sheets. It’s a collection of famous and historical pictures taken by Magnum photographers, in my opinion the best in street photography, reportage and photojournalism. But as I said this book is really particular. Inside you can find famous photos from great masters as Steve McCurry, Bruce Gilden, Henry Cartier Bresson, Richard Kalvar, Martin Parr… But the main things are the original contact sheets in addition to photographer’s thoughts and personal notes. Magnum Contact Sheets it’s like a gym, each contact sheet is a mini-lesson about photography.

Watching contact sheet means looking at wrong photos but also understand how the photographer approaches and works the scene, how many pictures  he takes of the same moment, how he changes his point of view… Reading this book you’ll realize that famous pictures are only the tip of the iceberg, in fact there is an enormous and hidden work behind each photo. You’ll understand that the decisive moment of Henry Cartier Bresson is unique as single frame but it is also part of a series of multiple photos taken in sequence. Book has been re-printed, you can find it online. I’ve posted below few images as quick preview of the book but you can find more searching magnum contact sheets in google images. I have first edition in hardcover and big size. Book has 524 pages, 139 contact sheets, 69 photographers Magnum, 435 photos plus personal notes and text.

Final vote: 9/10


Magnum Contact Sheets book review

Magnum Contact Sheets book review

That’s all folks

Stay well, have always light in your life

Best, F.S

Read also:

Street photography Garry Winogrand: analysis

The wonderful light in Robert Frank’s street photography

Read more articles about street photography here


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