Another in a great line of historic photo books published by Taschen, 50 Photo Icons: The Story Behind the Pictures is a big coffee-table hardcover book covering the history of photography. From Nicephore Niepceâ€™s â€œView from the Study Window,â€ generally considered the first photograph, up through the famous pieces for Life magazine that Alfred Eisentaedt managed and his iconic 1945 V-Day picture (the one where the sailor is bending the nurse back in Times Square and kissing her hard over the fact that the war had ended) up through Sebastiao Salgadoâ€™s terrifying Kuwait study and to the tragic pictures of the World Trade Center in its death throes, we certainly do get to see and read the story behind a half century of truly iconic shots.
As is usual with Taschen, there is a goodly amount of text here. Hans-Michael Koetzle provides the well researched history to the pictures and the photographers and his information is every much as revealing as the images.
Known for erotic fare (some of which we have featured here in The Book Report) Taschen does just as good a job presenting singular photographer retrospectives, books on specific films and directors, design hardcovers and books like 50 Photo Icons: The Story Behind the Pictures, a masterful tome of history seen through pictures and told in informative text.