With the rise of digital photography, the contact sheet has, in many ways, been relegated an anachronism—a vestigial relic of the medium’s past. But while the utility value of the contact sheet has faded with changing technologies, the insight it can provide into a photographer’s process is something timeless, something relevant to the medium of seeing and decision-making no matter the tools du jour.
Magnum Contact Sheet Prints tell as much of a story in their own right as the images they birth. It’s no surprise that Magnum co-founder Henri Cartier-Bresson expressed his romantic interest to future wife Martine Franck by saying, “I want to come and see your contact sheets” — to the photographer, there are few things more revealing than the pictures behind the picture.
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