- Paperback: 280 pages
- Publisher: Smithsonian Books; 2 edition (October 5, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1588342980
- ISBN-13: 978-1588342980
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Witness in Our Time, Second Edition: Working Lives of Documentary Photographers 2nd Edition
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Light (Univ. of California, Berkeley) uses the phrase "a witness to their time" to describe the social documentary photographers highlighted in this outstanding narrative of the lives and works of photographers, editors, and curators. This collection of interviews with many of the most important social documentary photographers of the late 20th century is an impressive work that records the joys and perils of photographers who attempt to document the world around them. Many of the photographers interviewed are not well-known names, but their images resonate with times and places that instantly will be recognizable to most readers. Only a single image accompanies each narrative, but a quick search of the Internet will bring many more images to light and reinforce the importance of this remarkable collection. This second edition (1st ed., 2000) would be excellent for a course on social documentary photography and a great read for anyone interested in the inner workings of the "mind's eye" of a documentary photographer. Light is in his own right an exceptional social documentary photographer, who has made an outstanding effort in compiling this wonderful collection. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-level undergraduates and above; general readers.--J. M. King, emeritus, University of Georgia
“Photography can change the world. If you have any doubts, read this book. It will change your life.”—Brian Wallis, Chief Curator, International Center of Photography
“Ken Light has managed to get very close to some of the greats in photography: Wayne Miller, Peter Magubane, Susan Meiselas, among others, and in the process created a document that is a guide for all young people who search of the truth.”—Danny Lyon
“Seasoned pro, amateur, or fledgling photo-J school grad awash in the newest technologies, it's worth reading Ken Light's classic Witness in Our Time, which tells it like it is straight from the mouths of the best there ever were.”—Jeffrey D. Smith, Director, Contact Press Images
“For all of us who have complained about how tough things are in these times (and who among us has not complained?), the voices in this book remind us photojournalism and documentary photography were never easy, not even for those included in this book who are generally accepted as stars in the profession.”—Jim McNay, past president of the National Press Photographers Association
About the Author
Ken Light is an internationally recognized documentary photographer and the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts photography fellowships. The author of seven photo books, including Delta Time, Texas Death Row, and Coal Hollow, he is a full-time faculty member and director of the Center for Photography at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.
Kerry Tremain is a writer and editor. The former executive editor of Mother Jones, he was a cofounder and director of the International Fund for Documentary Photography.
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Ken Light is a gifted photographer and educator who has preached the gospel to scores of students for decades. He has conducted original interviews and pulled together an amazing collection of well-known and lesser-known photographers, photo editors and curators who give their perspective on their work and their influences.
We cannot move forward with documentary photography unless we know from where we have come and that is what this book does best.
I wholeheartedly recommend it and have made it required reading for my photojournalism and photo essay students. Read this book. Takes notes. Read it again.