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In Focus: National Geographic Greatest Photographs

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  504 ratings  ·  23 reviews
National Geographic Greatest Portraits tells the story of portrait photography through the eyes - and words - of five accomplished National Geographic photographers. The book showcases images never-before-seen alongside award-winning favorites. New and fascinating text reveals photographers' individual experiences photographing people and their evaluation of NG portraits p ...more
Hardcover, 504 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by National Geographic (first published January 1st 2004)
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4th out of 372 books — 111 voters
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67th out of 314 books — 91 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,118)
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Sarai
The photos in this book are marvelous. I did read some, but not all, of the commentary. Mostly, I just enjoyed the pictures. They really tell a story and it was so interesting just to pore over them and examine them at leisure. Wonderful.


Product Description
National Geographic Greatest Portraits tells the story of portrait photography through the eyes-and words-of five accomplished National Geographic photographers. The book showcases images never-before-seen alongside award-winning favorites. Ne
...more
Bryce Holt
Pick this up immediately. It's phenomenal. A true gift of patience and persistence from some of the very best photographers our world has had.

Each image will (or should) startle, awe or grip you. The reaction is immediate every time you turn the page. One of the best collections you're bound to see (though I do like "Life" magazine's photography almost as much), and a true testament to the human condition over the last 100 years.

I've seen a lot of comments here (and elsewhere) about "Afghan Gi
...more
Ron
Though many of the photographs are memorable and striking, I was most impressed by a few of the written articles. One described the dramatic effect that changes in the portability of cameras and speed of film have made in the general format and subject matter of content and visual material in Nat Geo over the years. Another piece reflected on the rather distanced stance that the magazine seemed to take over the yrs toward such earth shaking events as the Depression and WWII. At points there was ...more
Magila
how do you rate a book of pictures? i don't know how you do it, but i'll tell you how i did.

it has some really iconic nat geo photos and is a great coffee table book. it has a handful of essays on photography/portraits from today's nat geo all-stars. those were interesting. it's certainly a quick and relaxing 'read.' so that's alot of good.

that said, i object to some of the photographs being called portraits. they're not. i totally embrace a wider application of the term, and being more-encomp
...more
Cherylyn Ebertz
I enjoyed all 502 pages of this fabulous book thoroughly! A glorious glimpse into the history of National Geographic, what makes a portrait great, insight from some of the best National Geographic photographers, and the photos are simply marvelous. <3
Roxanne
Beautiful and interesting to learning about the history of NGEO portrait photography from possed to candid and the fact that magazine acutually increased in subscriptions during the depression.
Russ
A grand collection of fascinating photographs from around the globe. Text is limited in order to allow each image, captured through a camera lens, to be interpreted by the viewer.
Marvin
Photographs are great, but start to look the same after awhile
Amanda
Jan 11, 2009 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
My favorite was the Afghan Girl with piercing green eyes.
Jana
One of the reasons why I bought my Canon.
GlenK
This large (and heavy!) volume showcases decades of National Geographic portrait photographs. As with all photos collected for a printed book, those here are a mixed bag. There are a number of technically first-rate photos plus a few that are iconic but many are not that interesting when divorced from the articles they were originally published with. I did find the essays excellent though with their ruminations on photography and portraits and especially on the history of and philosophy behind p ...more
Tom Hannis
Awesome. A real, enduring pleasure.
Jennifer
Wonderful photographs...
Singgih Noegroho
so natural...I love it
 Barb Bailey
Love this photography book.
Richard Duerden
A big book full of big, magnificent photos. It's almost too big and heavy to sit on your knee and is best looked at whilst sitting at a table. The tone is set by the beautiful and haunting image seen here on the front cover and it's the 'ordinary' folk who are the most striking.

As a photography book it's not exactly a book to read but to flick through at times and enjoy all those faces and wonderful (often sad) faces.
Ray Dunsmore
Portraits are truly what National Geographic does better than any other magazine on the market, and this book is the solid proof. Though it doesn't really get truly impressive until the chapter on the '70s and '80s, it's still a fantastic statement of artistic achievement on behalf of what has become the magazine most sensitively attuned to the human condition.
Xenia
This still is one of my favorite birthday presents ever. Exceptional work.
Yellowoasis
Astonishing photographs. The text is also worth reading, as it puts the photographs - and the politics of photography - into context. One gripe - i wish the titles were on the page with the photograph, as I dislike having to flip back and forth between pages.
Tracy Canuck
Surprised myself. Really didn't like this book. Maybe I expected too much, it being a NatGeo and all....
Lisa
Absolutely WOW!! Amazing artistry and people picture inspiration my Nat Geo masters. Just enough information/ literature to bring back stories to each section of photography.
Jack Hansen
A beautiful display of the world's best photographers in one delightful coffee-table book. Each page is another journey down the visually literate path.
Nadia
Excellent portraits in these pages. This is a great book for photographers at any level & it's a must-have in one's library for constant revisiting.
Pinky
Pinky marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2015
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Jul 30, 2015
Catlover109
Catlover109 marked it as to-read
Jul 29, 2015
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Michael marked it as to-read
Jul 28, 2015
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Nicole marked it as to-read
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