British photographic history

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Publication: Being There / picture journalism from 1923-2012

Being There is a new publication from Michael Hallett. It consists of fragments of biographies that collectively follow the progress of picture journalism from the advent of the miniature camera through to the arrival and impact of the digital age. It covers a ninety-year period from c1923 to 2012 and provides a critical compilation of encounters with influential photographers and their visual icons.

It introduces snatches of life; the individual photographer’s biographies, the biography of the subject of the photographer’s gaze and to some extent the biography of the observer who intercepts the photographer and extends the story. This is not a history of modern photojournalism but a meander through the media’s past, just stopping at strategic points to mark in the detail and paint in the colour.

The predominant narrative to this book relates to the photographic documentary in Europe and America and the individual interviews reflect this. Many of these interviews have been published in the photographic press and are reproduced here in edited or expanded form, while others have been interviewed specifically for this book.They cover five periods:

  • 1923-1940 with the emergence of the picture magazine;
  • 1940-1975 the golden age of photojournalism and the arrival of the ‘colour supplements’;
  • 1975-2000 which provides new thinking and looking;
  • 2000-2010 that sees the arrival of the democracy of photography; while
  • 2011-2012 reviews concerns and queries, outcomes and polarities of Armageddon and renewal.

Mike Hallett’s publication has evolved over a thirty year period and is now presented from a 2019 perspective. His conversations with such photographers as Tim Gidal, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Carl Mydans, Sebastiāo Salgado as well as more recent practitioners all reflect the time of their particular interview.

Further information from

Published by CrabApple Publications, Worcester, UK
Softback Economy Edition available via Amazon
ISBN 9781714312023
260 pages, 96,000 words with pictures

The book is available from Amazon for £27.40 with free delivery

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