r FEATURE MAGNUM PHOTOS
New York 1973
he importance and prestige of Magnum. a collective of
photographers formed in 1947 cannot be overestimated. The
giants of modern photojournalism Henri Cartier-Bresson. George Rodger. Robert Capa and David Seymour. Their studio was the world and Magnum photographers soon gained a special cachet and a reputation for being where the action was. irrespective of the dangers involved. Two of the founders. Capa and Seymour. were killed on location within ten years of the collective‘s founding.
Before television stole photojournalism‘s
thunder. Magnum’s photographs of world
101 he List 26July—8 Aug-Ust 19‘)!-
initial founders included four ofthe
events appeared in magazines like Life. Picture Post and Vu (a forerunner to Paris Match). In America especially. photojournalism was prized. When John Steinbeck travelled with Robert Capa behind the Iron Curtain in 1947 for a feature for Ladies" Home Journal Capa was paid $2().()()() for the work. After ten years. Magnum boasted the 25 best professional photographers in the world. Magnum names have included: Elliott Erwitt. Cornell Capa (Robert's brother). Mary Ellen Mark. W. Eugene Smith. Dennis Stock. Eve Arnold. Sebastiao Sagado and Chris Steele-Perkins.
Once described as ‘the most prestigious camera club in the world‘. Magnum remains a closed organisation with a limited
membership that has to be voted in. Currently there are 4-1 members. The agency was established with the express purpose of allowing photographers to maintain copyright and total control over how their work would appear. Magnum circumvented the demands ofpicture editors who preferred to crop pictures to fit a space on the page. select the size for reproduction and thus distort the photographer‘s original intention.
Magnum stated that ‘pictures will be sold on the understanding that they cannot be reslanted or miscaptioned‘. Often Magnum photographers insist that only the captions they provide should be used in the publication. Magnum photographers do not