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Photographs from the Edge of Reality: True Stories About Shooting on Location, Surviving, and Learning Along the Way Hardcover – October 19, 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"With this book, John does not attempt to glorify or sugar-coat what it is REALLY like to be a news photographer. This leads to a much more introspective and interesting look into the behind-the-scenes world that most will never get to experience. I can see this book appealing to both photographers as well as everyday people who are interested in the details of what happens BEHIND the camera--not just in front of it." -- Vincent Laforet, Pulitzer Prize Winner and former New York Times staff photographer

"John Harrington's Photographs from the Edge of Reality is a real how-to book that gives aspiring shooters insight into the real world of assignment photography. Harrington has done it again when it comes to describing his innovative approach to his profession and his ability to share it with the world." -- David Hume Kennerly, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer

"When John Harrington goes on assignment, you go with him. It's more than just loading your memory cards and batteries. It's figuring out where you need to be and how to get there. John is a pro at business, and with his new book, he shares some of his hard-won secrets for how to make your clients as happy with your pictures as you are." -- David Burnett, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of Contact Press Images

"John shows you the world of Washington, DC photography behind the pomp and power posturing. If you want to learn how to do it right, then this is the book for you."-- Cameron Davidson, award-winning photographer

"Great stories from a great guy. Read this book." -- Bill Frakes, award-winning photographer

About the Author

John Harrington has worked for over 20 years as an active photographer in Washington D.C. and around the world, working with both editorial and commercial clients. Editorially, his credits have included the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, US News and World Report, The National Geographic Society, USA Today, People, MTV, and Life. For corporate and public relations clients, John has successfully placed images with the wire services (Associated Press, Reuters, Gannett, Agence France Presse, and UPI) over three hundred times. Commercially, John has worked with well over half of the top fortune 50 companies, and even more of the top 500. Ad campaigns for Seimens, Coca Cola, General Motors, Bank of America, and Freddie Mac, to name a few, have been seen worldwide.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning PTR; 1 edition (October 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 143545782X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1435457829
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,311,321 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
John Harrington's book, Photographs From The Edge Of Reality, was a very mixed bag for me. I enjoyed a good half of the stories and a little more than half of his photos. I suppose it's what is interesting to the reader, as to what you will enjoy in this book. The book contains 41 short stories accompanied by the photographs behind the stories.

Some of the photographs are breathtaking and deserve a full page, which is sad as many of these great photos get only an inch or two of page space. The photo John Harrington caught of the Harrier Jet lifting off is fantastic. Photos of The Rolling Stones, Cuba, Obama's Inauguration, the Native American's taken for The Smithsonian Books, Aretha Franklin, Atop the Golden Gate Bridge, Europe on a shoe string budget, Robert Plant, The Pentagon on 9-11, Stevie Wonder and the mother's at Arlington Cemetery are worthy of large full pages. The majority of the political and sports photos just didn't capture my interest.

The stories of Cuba and how John Harrington could not enter Cuba as a photographer or journalist, but easily as a tourist are interesting. I found it funny how Fidel never says no to the almighty tourist spending money. Sneeking into Mr. Harrington's personal film rolls and pulling them open, destroying the film to see what is on the film, by the Castro administration seems par for the course in a country with no personal freedoms. I also enjoyed the stories high atop the Golden Gate Bridge where Mr. Harrington spent time strapped up there with the painters. By the time they are done painting the long bridge, it's time to start again. The photographs Mr. Harrington caught looking down on the bridge are just breathtaking. Going to Europe on a shoestring budget was also interesting.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I want to be a Photo Journalist! :)

John Harrington's Photographs from the Edge of Reality: True Stories About Shooting on Location, Surviving, and Learning Along the Way is not a cliff-hanger that leaves one staring into a bottomless abyss, but does succeed in getting one's toes wet into what it would be like to be a somewhat elite (imo), sought-after, photo-journalist.

A wide and varied range of some of the most desired photographic assignments one can imagine -- or hope for. It seems, Harrington and his cameras and lenses have been just about everywhere -- except the moon. :)

Photos from the Edge of Reality is filled with wonderfully planned photos, light and airy styled commentaries - which is a plus, useful photographic tips, amazing tricks and secrets on how each amazingly wonderful assignment was accomplished and, sometimes, pulled off.

Even if one has no desire to be a photo-journalist, but loves to take photos, this is one book you will not want to pass up. Photos from the Edge of Reality also makes for a stylish gift or coffee table read for guests. Highly Recommended! --Katharena Eiermann, Nature Photographer, 2011
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
John Harrington is a news photographer and having been a Radio-Television-Film major I was interested in getting his perspective of behind the scene shoots. The book was an enjoyable read as Mr. Harrington full of interesting anecdotes, stories, memories and insight. Harrington's access to important figures of our time allows us to see a viewpoint that we wouldn't otherwise get reading a blog or newspaper.

I did find the pictures to be a big of a disappointment. Some of it was the color--it wasn't as vibrant as I would assume the photos would project. Perhaps less dialogue and more photos would have made a coffee table book! Regardless, the book is well worth looking at and reading from several view points--that of a radio-television-film major, a journalist, a photographer, a historian! The dialogue is engaging and you'll find yourself staring at some of the pictures with new "eyes!"
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Format: Hardcover
This compilation of interesting and inspiring photos is an excellent reference for aspiring photographers. I may never travel to these locations or capture that perfect shot but Harrington's photos and stories will serve as a guide for my future photographic endeavors. I truly enjoyed the photos and text!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Photographs From The Edge Of Reality will probably be more appropriate for the reader that has an interest in photography, someone who would be curious about the story behind capturing a shot.

There are many things this book is not.

This is not a coffee table book full of photographs of epic landscapes or the struggle between life and death. It's a relatively small book, measuring roughly 9" x 6" and the majority of the photographs don't cover an entire page.

There are no in-depth technical explanations detailing things such as camera settings or light metering, so this is also not a how-to book.

There is also no real order in which the photos and stories are presented. They are not in chronological order or organized by subject matter.

What this book is is an interesting insight into well-known photojournalist John Harrington's experiences; how he got his start and how luck and skill played a big part in his success. He doesn't go into technical detail about each photograph and jumps around chronologically which gives you the feeling that he's talking to a friend and reminiscing.

Having an interest in photography, I found it intriguing how he planned ahead and envisioned each shot, something that all photographers do. I also felt extremely envious of the places he's been and the people he's met because of his photography. Though the book is far from epic, it is still an inspiration to read.
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