Unboxing The New York Times Magazine’s “Photographs”

Unboxing The New York Times Magazine’s “Photographs”

You know how you sometimes find out about something months or years after it happened? Where were you? That’s how I felt about the band Radiohead, which I “discovered” around, oh, 2009. It’s also how I felt when I found out that Kathy Ryan had edited a whole book of photos that have been featured in The New York Times Magazine. Somebody didn’t send me the memo until “The New York Times Magazine Photographs” popped up in my Amazon suggestions. I feel strongly about not only consuming photography, but also purchasing it in some form or fashion, and this book was a no-brainer.

There’s an old NY Times TV ad where a couple talks about the sections they grab first on Sunday, and one of the pair says “I like the mag-uh-zine,” and that’s me. Not only does the magazine feature great long form reporting, it also has fantastic photography by some of the best photographers. Here’s a little sampling.

The book is divided into a few main sections: 1) Portraits, 2) Documentary, 3) Photo-Illustration, 4) Style, 5) Projects, and 6) Tearsheets. Sounds like a good way to organize a website. But I digress…

Here’s a great portrait of my friend Alexandra Beller taken by Robert Maxwell.

Taryn Simon started a project photographing people who had been wrongly convicted of crimes in the places where the alleged perps were arrested. The project spawned a book called The Innocents, which is also fabulous, by the way.

VII’s Stephanie Sinclair photographed forty year old Faiz Mohammed and his eleven year old bride, Ghulam Haider in Afghanistan. Like Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl,” the color in the photo is stunning, and the subject matter is tragic.

Jeff Coons’ photos illustrated a piece on “gay animals.” The crew built sets for each animal pair and hired an animal wrangler to position the animals for these humorous images.

Yes, I watched “Baywatch” growing up. And if I was German, I’d love David Hasselhoff even more. Jeff Reidel captured this reinterpretation of The Swimmer for a style piece. I love the staged narrative style of photography, and Jeff nailed it with this one.

Yale Senior Art Critic, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, spent a lot of time in Times Square with a mounted strobe capturing passerbys. Although this image didn’t get him sued, it does have the same “lost in time” feeling about it.

I’ve covered Paolo Pellegrin’s images for the Magazine’s movie issue many times before, but hell, they really are great images. Still love this one of Tony Stark Robert Downey, Jr. after all these years.

As if the images aren’t great enough, you even get a little back story on each of the images. This is definitely one you want on your bookshelf. And at under $40, it would make a great gift. Get it.

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Allen Murabayashi is the Chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter. He co-hosts the “I Love Photography” podcast on iTunes.

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