Synopses & Reviews
In Focus: 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.
In Focus: 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.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Following the best-selling Through The Lens, In Focus tells the story of portrait photography through the eyes and words of five accomplished National Geographic photographers. Showcases never before seen images alongside award winning favourites.
In this sequel to the"New York Times" bestseller "Through the Lens," "National Geographic" showcases the world's peoples in stunning photographs. A beautiful collection of more than 280 imagesQnever-before-seen alongside award-winning favoritesQculled from the magazine's extensive archives, this volume presents a powerful retrospective of portrait photography through the eyes and words of five accomplished photographers. 0-7922-7363-X $30.00 / Pocket Books