The Art of Seeing : The Best of Reuters Photography

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9780273650119: The Art of Seeing : The Best of Reuters Photography

Offers a fascinating selection of news pictures taken by Reuters photographers who have had the vision and ability to see and capture extraordinary incidents. The collection comprises a story with many threads: celebration, adversity, conflict, diplomacy, triumph, and disaster. Statements by the photographers set the images in context, outlining the circumstances behind the image, how each one came to witness these events and how they managed to document them. Edited by news photographer and editor Ulli Michel. Oversize: 10.50x10.25<">. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

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From the Inside Flap:

Foreword

In 1985, Reuters entered the news pictures business. From it's black-and-white origins the Reuters News Pictures Service has become the world's leading and most technologically advanced picture agency.

Back in those days, once back at the darkroom, it often took an hour for a photographer to develop the film, edit, make a print and transmit it to an editing centre that could relay it to clients.

A huge amount of equipment was necessary for this. Often, it would have been easier to charter a cargo plan than to battle with irate airline ground staff while attempting to board an aircraft with what seemed to be a mixture between a rock star's equipment and a mad professor's laboratory. Travelling through hostile environments carrying this strange load made you wonder what kind of a profession you were in.

Since that time technological advances have revolutionized the industry: digital cameras and ultra-light laptops have truly changed our work practices. For example, during the World Cup finals in France in 1988 Reuters capitalized on its investment in digital camera and transmission technologies—and, as Brazil scored the opening goal of the tournament against Scotland, newspapers and magazines were amazed to receive images of the moment only seven minutes after the ball had hit the back of the net.

These new technologies mean that on any particular day Reuters photographs from around the world are seen by millions of online, newspaper, and magazine readers. The Internet itself has also impacted upon the business: the fast-evolving world of Internet news demands pictures that meet constantly updated deadlines for ever-changing online pages. We are moving towards the age of the real-time pictures service.

However, it is obviously not just speed-to-market that is important for a news service or its clients. The Reuters News Pictures Service embodies the core values of the world's largest information and news provider. Our clients trust our content; they know that the image in front of them has not been altered electronically and that the events recorded in the picture are genuine.

Not only that, our clients can always be assured as to the quality of the images we can offer. Being a Reuter's photographer is about skill and commitment and the thrill of being in the fast lane of a fast business, where news never stops and there is always a deadline somewhere in the world. In this environment dedication to the job is paramount.

Our photographers have to be in the right place at the right time, and even then they have to exhibit real vision and talent as they may have to get a certain angle to record a split-second movement and capture an image that is the definitive, truly newsworthy photo. These are perhaps the essential characteristics for the bet photojournalists: a nose for a story, and eye for a photo, and a finger on the button.

The work of our photographers has been honored with many prizes, and you will find in this book one of this year's winning World Press Photo images. Yannis Behrakis' picture of a Kosovo Albanian funeral (p.54) was part of his winning portfolio in the General News category.

But other photos can stand out for different reasons. Diana, Princess of Wales—probably the most photographed woman of the past century—chose John Pryke's picture of her (p.100) as her favorite image of herself.

The picture of U.S. senator Bob Dole falling at an event whilst on the Presidential campaign trail (p.83) shows that the old maxim, "being in the right place at the right time" still stands. Reuters photographer Rick Wilking was in the right place at the right time, and was the only photographer to get this shot.

Not every news photo has to show conflict or tragedy; this book does include images that show the horrors of war, natural disasters, and the collapse of political regimes, but it also covers the birth of new countries, the triumph of sporting heroes, human and scientific endeavor, diverse cultural phenomena, and moments of simple visual beauty.

Many of the pictures show the benefit of careful preparation. For years Jim Hollander attended the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, Spain, better known as the "Running of the Bulls". His stunning photograph here (p.7) is the result of his dedication. Dedication of a different type is seen in the work of Luciano Mellace, a veteran Italian photojournalist, who was commended by Pope John Paul II for his lifetime achievements in covering the Vatican (p.101).

To get these familiar or award-wining images our photographers work right at the coalface, where the action is, and often expose themselves to danger. In a 15 year period, four of our photographers have paid the price of their lives. Hos Maina and Dan Elton were killed by a mob in Mogadishu and Roberto Navas lost his life when he was caught in an exchange of gunfire during the El Salvador civil war. Our staff photographer and Vietnam War legend Willie Vicoy was killed in an ambush by rebels in the Philippine Islands. This book is dedicated to them.

Editing this book has proved both an exhilarating and a painful process; seeing great images, by hundreds of Reuters photographers, gathered together for the first time was moving; the task of selecting those for inclusion in this book proved extremely difficult. For those we did select we went back to the photographers, where possible, to obtain a first-hand insight into the professional practice, the emotions and events, behind each image. We hope this provides a context for each photo that will help aid your understanding of what makes a great news photograph.

From the Back Cover:

"Vision is the art of seeing the invisible" —Jonathan Swift

Reuters photographs are sold globally to news agencies, newspapers, and magazines. Their photographers are on the spot, all over the world, covering and capturing stories as they happen. With over 150 images, The Art of Seeing forms a fascinating collection of news pictures taken by Reuters photographers—professional photojournalists who have the ability to see and to capture what others may have missed. This collection comprises a story with many threads: Celebration, adversity, conflict, diplomacy, triumph and disaster—and offers some of the most spectacular, disturbing, or significant images you will have seen. The Art of Seeing sets each photograph in context, outlining the circumstances behind the image: how each photographer come to witness these events and how they managed to document them. It reveals and discusses the two main characteristics of the top photojournalist—an eye for a photo and a nose for a story.

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Michel, Ulli
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