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Get the Picture
Title | Get the Picture
Author | John G. Morris
Type | Book
Rating | 8.5
Notes | In his long and distinguished career as a journalist and picture editor, John G. Morris had one simple--and stunningly complex--assignment: Get the picture. "Picture editors," Morris writes, "are the unwitting (or witting, as the case may be) tastemakers, the unappointed guardians of morality, the talent brokers, the accomplices to celebrity. Most important--or disturbing--they are the fixers of 'reality' and of 'history.'" Indeed, Morris commissioned, edited, and published the photos that have helped define our sense of recent history, and he worked closely with some of the century's great photographers, including Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and W. Eugene Smith. Get the Picture is Morris's fascinating account of a half century of photojournalism, from Capa's heroism on D-Day to the special ethical problems that arose for photographers and their editors on the night Princess Diana died in a Paris tunnel while trying to avoid the paparazzi.

Get the Picture is also a book about lasting friendships and the importance of professional and personal commitment under impossible circumstances. Morris writes movingly about the tragic deaths of his colleagues Robert Capa, Werner Bischof, David "Chim" Seymour, and W. Eugene Smith, and about what was required to carry on without them. Above all, Get the Picture is about a life vigorously lived, and Morris is still going strong as one of the leading proponents of a journalism committed to the unflinching, unblinking truth.
Purchase/Additonal Info |

|| Member Feedback   [add your comments]
John Cowpland Photographer
Napier | New Z | New Zealand
Comments | [01/29/03] I got to meet John Morris at MPW, Boonville. He was a speaker at the 50th MPW reunion. Listening to a guy who worked so closely to the Magnum photographers who we idolise was awesome...I got a copy of the book at the MPW awards night...and read it on the way back to New Zealand (LONG flight). Its worth the read, even if its not to kill time on a flight!
Rating | 8

David A. Cantor Photo Editor / Photographer
Toledo | OH | USA
Comments | [10/06/02] So how can you not be enthralled with a book that starts with an account of Life’s D-Day coverage and where the second photo shows the author in a group shot including Robert Capa among other luminaries? From the beginning John Morris’ narrative unwinds like the good yarn of anyone who enjoys storytelling and has the experiences to whip up some great ones. What a resume! Helped a fledging business entity of gifted photographers become the model of an agency called Magnum?You bet! Hired by The New York Times after being fired by The Washington Post? Right again. “And so it goes,” to quote Linda Ellerbee. A more spirited account of the history of photojournalism in the 20th century would be hard to find. And not just history. Towards the end of the book, published in 1998, Mr. Morris writes, “If there is a crisis in world photojournalism today, it is a crisis of editing and publishing, not of photography.” (Where have we heard this recently?) In for a dime , in a for a dollar, we are lucky to have someone with not only the distinguished career but the articulate interest to still lead the dialogue of which we all became a part of when we cashed that first check for a published photo.
Rating | 9

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