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This was one of what was originally promised to be an expansive series but only about a half dozen titles actually appeared. Unfortunately, the release of the series in the early 70s by Thames and Hudson occurred during or immediately preceding the period when the coal miners' strikes began, and there were consequent shortages of power and materials as production was severely affected. One of its infamous side-effects was the 'Three-day week'.

I was able to buy those volumes that were available but I suspect that the series was then abandoned as several titles that had been intimated never then appeared. Although the series suggests that those subject photographers were then considered as 'Masters', several are now largely forgotten as is the author of this title. One or two volumes were apparently inspired by the then almost current 'Flower Power' and 'Hippy' experiences, now seen as curiosities of a past age. Some of the photographers whose titles did appear were Annie Liebowitz and Elliot Erwitt and whose names continue to appear as the occasional subject of one book or another.

The books were originally sold at a cover price of £1.95 and were of US letter size, about the same as most American magazines of the time and also today and usually had 80-100 pages. They were thoroughly illustrated and well-printed, as you would expect of this publisher. Following the main section printed on glossy paper was a section with data on the exposure, equipment and film used for each image (they were pre-digital days after all). Often there was a mini-biography of the photographer and possibly a bibliography.

Due to its age, approaching 40 years, this book may be of some relevance to modern-day photographers although techniques and technologies have moved way beyond those of the time and thus may limit its usefulness. It is some years since I last re-read this and I bought it with the sole intention of owning the complete series, but as said previously, very few titles were released. I was more interested in the photographers' images and comments than about this conceptual title, hence the modest rating.

Curiously, T&H have more recently released the 'Photofile' series that in many ways uses the same idea but with about 20 titles currently released, although they are in a much smaller format, approximately 7 x 5 inches. You may want to explore that as the production values are typically high although their dimensions will limit the size of the image on the page.
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