I came across this book: Contact High: A visual story of Hip-Hop. It was the design of the cover that interested me right away, being a film photographer and noticing a collection of contact sheets on the front made me pick it up. Obviously heavily inspired by Magnum Contacts, Vikki Tobak, has collected and created a huge series using contact sheets of Hip-Hop photoshoots which go all the way back to the start of this era during the late 1970's in America, consisting of various photographers of the times, such as Mike Miller, Lisa Leone and DuBose. Before getting into the content right away, the design of the book is very well put together. There is an obvious colour scheme running though out the book, Black, Gold, White and Red, the black pages really work with the contact sheets because it makes the negatives appear to float on the page especially with black and white contacts, this is a very engaging way to allow the viewer to analyse these physical documents in a few ways. Avid photographers will recognise film stock and even camera marks to be able to recognise exactly what camera was used etc, but this is secondary information. The writing in the book is presented very neatly also, the use of handwriting and graffiti-style font is used throughout, to pick up on the 'graff' image that goes hand-in-hand with Hip-Hop music. The text on the pages is placed in coloured blocks that match the colours of the pens and pencils used to mark the edit process on the sheets. For example; Red is used to select the frames on the contact sheets so the writing on the page next to it will float on top of a red box in white or black writing. Even the page numbers are stylised in a certain font.
So the book is a Chronological edit of documentary images of Hip-Hop artists, presented as contact sheets this allows for the viewer to look deeper into these images that are so heavily imprinted onto the public conciseness, by seeing more than that one album image or that one image of Biggie on a t-shirt. The contact reveal the whole run-up to those shots, revealing the photographers inner workings and being able to see what takes their attention and ultimately how they think and frame the world. Revealing all the secrets, the viewer can piece together the images in their head for them self and be able to see the bigger picture as such.