A book that brings together the work of 165 extraordinary photographers, most of their images heralded, most of their names unknown; photographs that capture the essence of athletes’ mastery of mind/body/soul against the odds, doing the impossible, seeming to defy the laws of gravity, the laws of physics, and showing what human will, discipline, drive, and desire look like when suspended in time. The first book to show the range, cultural importance, and aesthetics of sports photography, much of it legendary, all of it powerful.
Here, in more than 280 spectacular images—more than 130 in full colour—are great action photographs; portraits of athletes, famous and unknown; athletes off the field and behind the scenes; athletes practicing, working out, the daily relentless effort of training and achieving physical perfection.
Buckland writes that sports photographers have always been central to the technical advancement of photography, that they have designed longer lenses, faster shutters, motor drives, underwater casings, and remote controls, allowing us to see what we could never see—and hold on to—with the naked eye.
Here are photographs by such masters as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Danny Lyon, Walker Evans, Annie Leibovitz, and 160 more, names not necessarily known to the public but whose photographic work is considered iconic . . . Here are photographs of Willie Mays . . . Carl Lewis . . . Ian Botham . . . Kobe Bryant . . . Magic Johnson . . . Muhammad Ali . . . Serena Williams . . . Bobby Orr . . . Stirling Moss . . . Jesse Owens . . . Mark Spitz . . . Roger Federer . . . Jackie Robinson.
Here is the work of the great sports photographers Neil Leifer, Walter Iooss Jr., Bob Martin, Al Bello, and Heinz Kleutmeier of Sports Illustrated, who was the first to put a camera at the bottom of an Olympic swimming pool and photograph swimmers from below . . . Here are pictures by Charles Hoff, the New York Daily News photographer of the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, whose images of the 1936 Berlin Olympics still inspire shock and awe . . . and those of Ernst Haas, whose innovative colour pictures of bullfighting of the 1950s remain poetic evocations of a bloody sport . . .
To make the selections for Who Shot Sports, Buckland, a former curator of the Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain and Benjamin Menschel Distinguished Visiting Professor at Cooper Union, has drawn upon the work of more than fifty archives, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, to Sports Illustrated, Condé Nast, Getty Images, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, L’Équipe, The New York Times, and the archives of the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne.