In his wryly revealing introduction to this collection of both famous and previously unpublished photographs, Elliott Erwitt recalls a checkered life that swept him as the son of Russian émigrés from Mussolini's Italy to southern California adolescence, from U.S. Army service in Western Europe to overnight success on assignment for the most important news magazines. He has balanced commercial work with more personal observations, and it is his deceptively casual technique that captures life's most poignant ironies without effort.

Seeing what few others see, and capturing it for us all, is the essence of "Personal Exposures". Whether it is the amusing solemnity of nudists or the carefree playfulness of children, the physical spirituality of Pope John Paul II or the tears of Jacqueline Kennedy at her husband's funeral, these images move us deeply, whether in humor or in tragedy. Characteristically self-deprecating, Erwitt insists that it is the viewer alone who can be the true judge of what a photograph actually means. The best photos happen, he says, only when one knows how to see.

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 256
Size: 11 1/2 x 10"
Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company (New York/London, 1988)