Karsh: A Fifty-year Retrospective

Karsh: A Fifty-year Retrospective

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This is one of the most successful collections of Karsh photography. This is a large format, square-ish hardback which is designed to be used -- it isn't a mammoth "coffee table" book that ends up hurting your hands after ten minutes. The quality of the reproduction here is very good indeed with almost all of the images being full-page. The classic Karsh silvery highlights and deep blacks are shown to advantage.

The term "iconic" gets tossed around a lot, but that is what this book consists of: iconic images. Whether you know it or not, Karsh is the photographyer who probably shaped your image of who Hemingway is, who Churchill is, who Einstein is, who Bogart is, and on, and on. The photographic school on display is classic, formal, and dramatic mid-century 20th century photography. It is quite grand in style while still revealing the human being behind the image. Karsh is a great craftsman who brings unabashed enthusiasm for the power of celebrity -- in these two ways, he has probably most influenced the history of photography.