Contact High spotlights the photographers who have played critical roles in bringing hip hop and music culture imagery onto the global stage. Photographers share their era-defining stories of a single iconic image -- what legendary street photographer Henri Cartier Bresson called ‘The Decisive Moment’ -- A rare glimpse into the creative process and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the imagery that shaped hip hop and music culture overall.
Getting access to the original and unedited contact sheets, we see the ‘big picture’ visual legacy being created. Contact sheets let you look directly through the photographer's lens and observe all of the other shots taken during these legendary moments. Hip hop and rebel cultures have always been about self-definition especially when it comes to visuals and style. For artists, that one iconic pose or press shot or album cover would play a major role in shaping them into icons by any means necessary -- skills, style, swagger, bravado and visuals. Today, the way we digest and create cultural imagery has radically changed. Today's visual landscape is haphazardly shaped from every direction. The contact sheets reveal how photographers’ shaped the evolution of a visual cultural phenomenon.
Let’s get analogue for a minute. Contrary to the iPhone’s dominance, film is not dead. In fact, there's a whole movement of analogue film photographers hashtag bragging #FilmIsNotDead #35mm #ishootfilm #analogphotography #analogvibes... the list goes on. In this digital age of Instagram and Photshop, it's easy to hide imperfections. Analog film reveals beauty and individuality by exposing imperfection and process. Individualism and eccentricity in every shot… like the dust and grooves of vinyl records. Photographers typically don’t show their contact sheets. It’s their visual diary. Not every shot worked, in fact most didn’t. Back when every photo was methodically shot on analog film, the negatives on a roll of film would be contact printed on photographic paper allowing you to see the full range of images that would eventually develop into the ‘money shot.’
CONTACT HIGH: THE STORY
A rare glimpse into the creative process that went into the making of each photo.
CONTACT HIGH GALLERY