Sunday, March 22, 2009

Review: Annie Leibovitz at Work

Annie Leibovitz has become one of the most iconic photographers of the century, her body of work recognisable and individual photographs iconic. This book takes you behind the scenes to hear Leibovitch talk about how she got there, her inspirations, the discourse behind each photograph and how it was actually done. Her words in many cases are quite comforting to the aspiring photographer, advising acceptance that a photograph can only be a moment in a life of a person and not capable of 'capturing' that person, that cameras are just tools of the trade and not to get hung up on brands and equipment. Some of my highlights from the book include:

* Taking the famous last photo of a naked John Lennon and clothed Yoko Ono before he was shot
* Photographing the Rolling Stones on tour
* Capturing the war in Sarajevo
* Photographing the Queen
* The last supper photograph of the cast from the Sopranos

My only criticism of this book is that it is not big enough to give justice to the photographs. It is nightstand rather than coffee table sized. Looking at the small reproductions is not quite the same as gazing at the glossy center spreads in Vanity Fair. Still though, what has impressed me most about this book has been the words behind the pictures. I have accumulated quite a few photography books over the past couple of years but this has definitely become one of my most treasured.

No comments: