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Magnum Contact Sheets (Int'l Center of Photography, New York: Exhibition Catalogue) Hardcover – 24 Oct 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 24 Oct 2011
£414.54 £129.19

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Magnum Contact Sheets
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 508 pages
  • Publisher: Thames and Hudson Ltd (24 Oct. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500543992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500543993
  • Product Dimensions: 29.2 x 4.8 x 35.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


`This book is a bit like one of those parties you're trying to blag a ticket to. An unmissable event. Just look who's on stage: Cartier-Bresson, Capa, Erwitt and many more. ... A huge undertaking, well produced this tremendous book shows how defining moments are captured and made iconic. Image, history and process, there's something for everyone here'
--The Bookseller

`A glorious monument to a way of working that is no more.' --The Daily Telegraph

`This books allows us to see the mixture of talent, chance, watchfulness and diligence behind each successful picture. ...there are very many reasons to celebrate the images in this huge and beautiful book.' --The Guardian

`By presenting the unpublished contact sheets behind the world's most iconic photos - including the D-Day landings, the Blitz, Malcolm X and Che Guevara - every compelling page gives us an intimate and exciting sense of walking alongside the photographer.' --RA magazine

`These contact sheets, souvenirs of a technology that is now obsolete, are the elegy for a lost art.' --The Observer

`Magnum Contact Sheets reveals the unseen pictures that led to the creation of some of the most iconic and historic images of the modern world, taken by photography's top names.'
--Scotland on Sunday

`A treasure chest of material...this is a book that sets out to transfix and absorb all those that fall on its pages ...with Christmas just around the corner...this should take its place at the top of your wish list.'
--The Usual Shutter Specs Blog

'An exemplary bit of publishing in that it is stunningly beautiful ... but is full of the kind of material that might be considered the preserve of scholars or researchers' --The Observer

--Creative Review

`A landmark in photography publishing. This rich treasure trove of a book exposes techniqueand situation through archival imagery like never before' --Glass

`A must for every photographer's shelf ... an incredible book ... No matter what level of photographer you are, your age or your genre of photography, I would urge you to get this book ... It's a book to fall in love with and treasure. Thank you, Magnum. Thank you, Thames & Hudson' --Professional Photographer

'Covetable ... informative and lovingly curated' --Metro

'A book for anyone who has tried and failed to get that killer shot ... Gives a sense of how closely skill and seat-of-pants intertwine, even for the greatest photographers' --The Times

'One of the most interesting books of the year'
--The Independent

'Every once in a while a book comes along that makes you stop, look and listen, Magnum Contact Sheets is such a book ... extensive, exhaustive in its research and inspiring' --Hungry Eye Magazine

'The most significant photographic title of 2011' --Master Photography

'Offers an intimate glimpse into its contributors' working processes.' --The Independent on Sunday

Gives a fascinating insight into the process of creating great photojournalism' --The Irish Times

'This landmark book presents an unparalleled wealth of unpublished material.'
--Art Daily.org

'One thing is for sure: if you do not have a copy of Magnum Contact Sheets on your bookshelf you cannot be serious about photography.'
--State Magazine

A vast, exquisite elegy to the old way of taking photos. --London Review of Books

Offers intimate insights into the working methods of each photographer … epic. --The Art Newspaper

The book provides fascinating insight into the selection process and is accompanied by revealing anecdotes from the photographers. --Vice

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been after this book for a while so when I won some money on a Photo competition I didn't give a second thought about buying it. Despite other comments to the contrary, my copy arrived in perfect condition and it's only protection was a small amount of brown paper around the sides and top. It was despatched through Hermes not Royal Mail so maybe that helped. I also don't see any problems with the page binding. It's not a book you can really look at properly unless you've got a flat surface to put it on but the binding seems to be quite strong to me, so they've either improved this or people were trying to read it while riding a bike or something ;)

I haven't had a chance to properly look at the book content yet, but first impressions are that it's a marvellous, beautiful book that I'm sure I'll keep returning to. It will take pride of place in my bookcase, although perhaps on a lower shelf as it's HUGE!

UPDATE 29/10/2012

I've now had a chance to flip through the content so I thought I'd update the review. The quality of this book is astounding. Despite the fact it's full of beautiful big photos on quality paper (150gsm matt art) many of which you will have seen before if you're serious about photography, I am a little disappointed with the selection of some of them. Given that each photo is accompanied by a narrative about how it came about, in some cases I would have preferred to see other, and in my opinion better, photos by the same photographers. Although that's not to cast the selection with any negativity. They are all superb in their own way and there is a vast array of subjects throughout making it an incredibly interesting read.
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Format: Hardcover
Never been moved to write a review ever, so I think it says everything about the content of this excellent Magnum book that it's managed to make me break my duck.

I'm a massive photography enthusiast (and photographer), with a wide collection of photography books - collaborations, retrospectives, and monologues - but this has brought something completely new to the table. As you flick through you'll recognise some famous photographs by some famous photographers. The genius part is that you get to see the whole process of how they came to that shot through the contact sheet and the views that they share. It's a real eye-opener - to re-live the moment, and the thought-process behind the composition of a subject of a picture is something I'd never thought I'd have the opportunity to see. It's also great to see that not every photo they took was 'Magnum' standard!

I haven't noticed anything with the binding that some reviewers have pointed to - this is only the first day of having it, but having flicked through it for most of the evening it seems pretty robust so maybe Magnum have listened to feedback and created a sturdier spine.

For me this isn't only a 5* photography book, but an indispensable insight into the minds of some of the greatest photographers that have ever lived.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are a serious photographer than you will be fascinated by this book. You will already know many of the photographs featured in the book. What you won't have seen is what other photographs were on the same roll of film. This book shows you that. If you've spent hours agonising over which of several versions of a picture is the one to show the world you'll want to see the images which were rejected by some great photographers.

If I was rating the content alone I'd give it 5 stars However.....

This is a huge a very heavy book. Thames and Hudson have cosen to attach the bound pages to the cover by the end papers alone (see the user contributed picture on this page). The consequence of this is that the weight of the pages begins to pull the endpaper off the covers. If you are unlucky the endpaper begins to tear and the covers come off the book.

Also Amazon packs this book in a box which is quite a bit bigger than the book itself. They put screwed up paper in the space round the book to "protect" it. This is a recipe for disaster. The box gets thrown about during shipment, the box stops but the book keeps going. The screwed up paper is no protection and the cover gets badly damaged. I've had two copied from Amazon and both were severely damaged in transit.

To Amazon's credit their refund and replacement service is first rate.

Sadly I've had a refund and will not be buying this book.
1 Comment 37 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I already have a lot nice books about the best photographers, but to be able to see behind the curtain of famous pictures is just an unique experience. It is very informative about the way the different photographers work.

Before to purchase this book, I read the comments, and thought the unfortunate experience to receive a book with some binding issues was just bad luck on one isolated product.
Unfortunately, I receive the book on wednesday, had time to open it 2 times so far and the interior of the cover binding already goes off.
And by comparing my item to picture of the books I can see online (on the editor's website for instance or amazon itself) it seems that my item has been exposed to the sun for a long time : the black glossy titles (magnum on the front and side) and the red are bleached!

In addition to this, the package came completely torn out on one side, which causes a 2cm scratch on the edge of the front cover

So great book, great printing but bad binding for a book at £95, . very disapointing...
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