Annie Leibovitz: At Work (German) Hardcover – 25 Jan 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Annie Leibovitz's photography has surrounded and informed us for so long that it has become part of the landscape, perspectives that we employ and too often take for granted. In Annie Leibovitz at Work, she takes us behind the camera a little to understand her motivations, her family, her career, her assignments, her purposes, and how those iconic images were constructed. I enjoyed the book very much but I found that it had two flaws that bothered me: She is a usually little too coy in holding back details that her disclosures make enticing. The page sizes are too small to properly display the images. The print quality is excellent, but you can only do so much when images intended for full magazine pages or portraits are displayed in 3 inch by 5 inch formats. A minor weakness is that some of the images she talks about aren't portrayed (presumably either a space or a permissions problem, but it is disappointing whenever it happens).
Here are some of the poignant stories in the book:
1. Taking the last portrait of John Lennon and Yoko Ono before John was murdered.
2. Photographing the Rolling Stones on tour while trying to keep a nervous independence from the parties and the crush of fans at the end of a concert.
3. John Cleese nearly suffocating to get the picture of pretending to be a bat hanging from a tree.
4. Capturing Al Sharpton at the beauty parlor.
5. Arnold Schwarzenegger changing his image through her photographs.
6. The story behind the pregnant cover of Demi Moore.
7.Read more ›
Reminiscing on her student days she argues, 'You can be a little sloppy with a wide-angle lens. The 55 mm made me very aware of what I was puttng in the frame. It was good discipline in learning how to see and compose.' This is laughable. Check out Wingorand and Meyerowitz and the great reportage photographers, someone who pulls off the feat of capturing a great photo with a wide angle doesn't do so being a little bit sloppy, the job is so much harder and more demanding than using a longer focal length. Longer lenses simplify the task.
Well, Liebovitz is a busy, commercical photographer and it turns out the book was in fact ghostwritten by Sharon Delano. (Find the note just inside the back cover.) More issues suggest to me Liebovitz didn't even find time to proof-read the text. If she had she might have questioned the oddity of images being ommitted that are being written about in some detail. Thing is she strkes me as a profoundly intriguing personality and it's a great shame that little or none of that has made it into this book.Read more ›
Definatly worth buying if you like her work- i bought it as im a photography student. Its useful to know how great photographers of today started out and what they have achieved.
Not a large variety of pictures in this book, it is more written therefore if you want bright and bold pictures buy her other book which is also really invaluble and inspiring
She is obviously very familiar with a huge swathe of works of other photographers and she makes no secret of her search for inspiration from photographers she admires when she approaches her subjects. This book reminds us to look at great works and remember how young photography is as a medium, that ground was still being broken as recently as the 90's.
It is not the definitive picture book - but it is beautifully printed and the reproductions are small but top, top quality. It should be a companion to her two picture books - not a replacement.
Her searing honesty - "my work is 90% moving furniture" - and her total acceptance that a photograph can only be a moment in a life of a person and not capable of 'capturing' that person is consoling to those of us who have been working in portraiture, often with the impossible brief to 'define' someone with one image.
Her biggest gift to young photographers is her attitude to equipment and in the very early part of the book she talks about having to learn to live with her camera - "...there aren't going to be any pictures without it." Cameras are just tools of the trade and she's not a brand slave - it's just about the right tool for the job, that's so refreshing.
I couldn't put this book down once I picked it up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great book on Annie's creative process and the major images she has taken.Published 10 months ago by Ms. R. E. Brown
Great read and great photos. Her own short explanations of intent for each shoot and also some stories that came out of it.Published 16 months ago by Sara Feio
Features stories and examples of the photographers work that are insightful as well as an eyeful.Published 20 months ago by ellison
Fantastic book. I enjoyed it from the beginning till the end. HQ pictures and interesting stories about Annie career.Published 21 months ago by Daniele Castiglia