I really like Annie Liebovitz's work, I personaly think she is the best photographer that's why this "critic" is so positive. The book contains 180 pages of black and white photographs of US athleths and it was shot for the Atlanta games in 1996 and an introduction written by the author. There are all the famous athletes shot in an interesting way. It is a must have for sports and photography lovers!
Clearly, Annie Leibovitz is as talented as they come these days for black-and-white portraits of people who are used to posing (like actresses, actors, singers, and models). What happened when she took on athletes as her subject, looking at the preparations by Americans for the Atlanta games in 1996? The portraits are usually stunning, as might be expected. Many of the action photographs leave something or much to be desired. But that's part of what makes the book interesting. I came away with a new respect for those terrific sports action photographs that I love so much. As Ms. Leibovitz says, ". . . I had two possibilities: . . . concentrate on the person or . . . on the sport." "Sometimes I was able to do both." And those moments when she did both are sublime! The motion shots are the difficulty. You have to shoot with an expectation of what is likely to follow, and keep shooting. I suspect that she did not allow enough time to get enough of all the kinds of shots that sports photographers have led us to expect. Her talent as a portrait photographer serves her well. The young women and men take on superhuman auras in stunningly composed frames. By focusing on the preparations for the games rather than the games themselves (which are very commercial now), she harkens back to the original Greek ideal of sport as a way to pursue mental and physical perfection. If I liked the work so much, why did I grade it down one star? As I mentioned earlier, many of the motion shots were either unexciting or below the standard I am used to seeing. In addition, the pages in this book are too small for the images so many photographs have a fold right through critical details. The design is quite weak in that sense. Here are my favorite images: Jon Olsen (p. 17) Amy Van Dyken (p. 19) Mark Lenzi (p. 21) Mihai Bagiu (p. 35) Dominique Moceanu (p. 37) Dominique Moceanu and John Roethlisberger (p. 39) Men's Eight (pp. 54-55) John Godina (p. 66) Esther Jones, Gwen Torrence, Carlette Guidry (pp. 80-81) Gwen Torrence (pp. 88-89) Julie Foudy (pp. 102-103) Chanda Rubin (pp. 104-105) Darrick Health (pp. 132-133) Becky Dyroen-Lancer, Heather Simmons-Carrasco, and Jill Savery (pp. 134-135) Kevin Burnham and Morgan Reeser (pp. 174-175) I suggest that you take up Ms. Leibovitz's challenge yourself, by photographing children practicing sports. Your subjects will be delighted with the attention, and they will be easier to shoot because they don't move as fast as adult athletes. Shoot first, and review the contact sheets later!