A History of Photography in the Press
By Thierry Gervais, Gaëlle Morel
The Making of Visual News sets out to show how photography has changed the way we read, report and sell the news. It investigates how photographs first became news images at the end of the nineteenth century and how magazines in the USA, the UK, France and Germany have put them to use ever since. Drawing on a wide selection of images, author Thierry Gervais (in collaboration with Gaëlle Morel) analyses news photographs in the context of their original presentation in print. Highly illustrated, the book contains 85 full colour magazine layouts and spreads, offering the reader a view of how photographs were and are used in print publications, including Life, Picture Post, the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung and VU. It examines how photographs were employed to attract new readers throughout the twentieth century, arguing that photography was the main tool by which news editors sought to communicate the news and attract a broader readership. Looking beyond the roles of photographer and journalist, this study also highlights the contributions of picture editors and artistic directors; by commissioning photographs and incorporating images into magazine layouts, these figures played critical but often overlooked roles in the construction of visual news, even as they crafted unique styles for their publications. Charting changes in technology and reportage, as well as broader social and political histories, The Making of Visual News offers new insight into the history of photojournalism, making this an essential resource for students and scholars of photojournalism and the history of photography, media and culture.
Table of Contents
The invention of the magazine (1843-1918)
From a photograph
The halftone age
The role of the art director
Reflections of the war
General news magazines: European know-how (1919-1936)
Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung before the war
The postwar German press: a competitive market
Propagandist visual strategies
A style for news magazines
An aesthetics of transparency
VU: a photographic workshop
Narrating the news
The Life model and the standardization of news magazines (1936-1976)
From idea to actuality: the beginnings of Life
Dramatizing the news
From the photographic essay to the pictorial essay
Challenges to authority
Thierry Gervais is Assistant Professor at Ryerson University and Head of Research at the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), Toronto, Canada. He is the co-author of La photographie. Histoire, technique, presse, art and Photographies et magazines d'actualite (both with Gaelle Morel), and fomer editor in chief of Etudes photographiques. Gaelle Morel is an art historian and the Exhibitions Curator at the Ryerson Image Centre, Toronto, Canada. She has edited Les Derniers Tableaux. Photojournalisme et art contemporain and co-authored several books with Thierry Gervais. She is a former member of the board of the Societe francaise de photographie, and a member of the editorial committee of the bilingual journal Etudes photographiques.
"Richly illustrated and clearly written, this book firmly and definitively anchors such well-known mid-century photo weekly magazines as LIFE in a much longer history. Photojournalism is meticulously and meaningfully given its vital role in shaping information and communication since the nineteenth century in this excellent survey."
- Co-Editor of Getting the Picture and The Visual Culture of the News - Vanessa R. Schwartz
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