This book explores the 'photo story' through 61 master classes by some of the world's greatest photographers, all members of the international photographic agency Magnum. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Elliott Erwitt and their colleagues use the photo story as a vehicle to explain their approach to taking and editing photographs. It is about the Magnum photographers, their subjects and their approaches to photography in general and to the particular form of the photo story. The book will also comprise a history of Magnum practice and photojournalism over a 70-year period. Magnum Stories is a collection of photo stories produced by the photographers of Magnum. Through the work of key Magnum photographers, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Eugene Richards, Martin Parr, Inge Morath and Leonard Freed, this book covers a wide range of subjects including the Vietnam War, student protests in Tiananmen Square, Fidel Castro overthrows Cuban dictator in 1959, Picasso, Malcolm X, the French theatre group Theatre du Soleil, the US invasion of Grenada in the early 1980s, the New York police, Apartheid and Buddhism. The photographic genres covered include war photography, documentary, photojournalism, social realism, portraits of people and places, fashion and news. There are 61 Magnum photographers featured in the book. Each photographer is represented across 8 pages by a photo story of their choice, which is fully illustrated, and a text which is written in the photographer's own voice based on new interviews with the author. The texts are intelligent, idiosyncratic, each with their own voice and style. Accessible and engaging to read, they reveal different perceptions and approaches to photography and each photographer's unique and varied takes on the photo story and their practice - what is the photo story?, what does it mean?, how did they come across it? what key decisions are made when taking the story, etc. As well as featuring the work of individual photographers, this book functions as a history and interrogation of the form of the photo story - the key vehicle for photography in the twentieth century, from its earliest developments in the 30s, through the death of 'photojournalism', to contemporary manifestations, all of which is explored by the author in the introduction. The book explores the influences that have affected the photo story, such as key twentieth century events and the life of photographic magazines such as Newsweek, Time, and Paris Match, all of which have helped to define the genre. It provides a unique reflection on the course of photojournalism in the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, from the common purpose of the post-WWII years to the individualistic range of practices and interests that constitute documentary photography today.
'the length of the stories and the essays gives them an uncommonly personal feel and lends humanity to a body of work normally encountered as anonymous, dislocated images. Figuratively and literally a heavyweight title.' Arena, November 2004 'embracing gritty realism, glamour, intimacy and humour.' Esquire, December 2004 'Scorching, poignant, devastating, serene, playful, Magnum's powerful images always leave an imprint on the mind. - the perfect manual to realise the dynamics and success of this intriguing organisation. If any of their publications represents their ideals and idiosyncrasy, this is it. Like the agency itself, this book is unique. Not only beautiful, these photographs also convey the depth and intelligence with which each photographer has treated his chosen subject. Page after page of extraordinary images - A feast of stunning iconic images - The vision, dedication and defiance on these pages are the latest example of Magnum doing things their own way. As the late Henri Cartier-Bresson urged his fellow members: "Vive la revolution permanente!" It seems they are listening still.' Elaine Livingstone, picture editor, Sunday Herald, November 2004 'gives the reader some fascinating insights into [the photographers'] work. ... with so many interesting stories to tell, Magnum Stories runs to over 500 pages. GBP40 [sic] seems a small price to pay for an extraordinary book.' British Journal of Photography, December 2004 'marvellous ... how some of the world's best pictures were taken, edited and laid out in order to make the perfect statement' Sunday Times, December 2004 'lavish, well-illustrated, and important' Daily Telegraph, December 2004 'glorious - celebration of the photo essay. - stunning, astounding, and beautifully produced.' Blueprint, February 2005 'Such is the pre-eminence of Magnum Photos, that this history of the agency almost serves as a history of photojournalism for the second half of the 20th century.' RPS (Royal Photographic Society) Journal, February 2005 'impressive, instructive and profound . ... an invaluable tool which should be on every picture researcher's shelf.' Montage, the magazine of the Picture Research Association, Winter 2005 'This mighty tome demands to be taken seriously. Magnum are the originals, the auteurs, the most committed of the photojournalists, and they demand respect. - [a] masterwork.' foto8 (photojournalism magazine), March 2005