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Magnum force

07/06/2007 - par Mark Tungate

Welcome back to the English off-line blog. (I guess that makes it... a log ?) Last week you may have noticed me rambling on about the magazine of my dreams, which was an internet-based project featuring lots of video reports from a team of mega-talented, globetrotting journalists. What I didn't realise at the time was that my dream magazine already exists - almost. I discovered it when I visited the offices of Magnum.

Yes, that Magnum : the legendary photographic agency founded exactly 60 years ago by Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson and other lens luminaries. It's based in a bustling, slightly cluttered building in the 18 th arrondissement, not far from where I live. You may be surprised to learn that these days the bureau chief is a former adman called Julien Frydman, who once worked at BDDP Interactive. That last fact is important, because Magnum in 2007 is a tho­roughly modern affair with a full grasp of the digital era.

This becomes clear when (and here we're getting to my point) you visit their website, magnumphotos.com. If you click on the In Motion section, you gain access to a treasure trove : a selection of photo essays commented on, podcast-style, by the photographers. I loved Personal Best, a collection of shots by the legendary Elliott Erwitt. « The magazines that had to do with the human condition aren't here any more. Now it's these boring models with their pained expressions, » he says. Thank goodness for Magnum's life-affirming webzine.

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Magnum force

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