Mary Ellen Mark: "I am holding my photograph of Ram Prakash Singh and his beloved elephant Shyama — taken in 1990. Ram Prakash Singh was the ringmaster of "The Great Golden Circus." The photograph was done in Ahmedabad India. This was part of my Indian Circus Project.
I love India and I love the circus so photographing eighteen circuses all around India was an incredible experience. Unfortunately, Shyama died a few months after this photograph was taken. Supposedly he succumbed to a poisoned chapatti. Ram Prakash Singh was heartbroken. Me also."
Elliot Erwitt: "The picture I am holding was snapped in 1974 just across the street from my apartment in New York's Central Park. It has been 38 years since that event and sadly I have lost track of the participants."
Mark Seliger: "Originally an inside opener for Rolling Stone cover story of Nirvana in conjunction with the release of In Utero, my first Polaroid (with Negative) was by far the most emotional and revealing of his spirit. Two months later Kurt died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head. This photograph became the memorial RS cover."
Brent Stirton: "This is Virunga, the first National Park in Africa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Silverback Mountain Gorilla, along with 6 females, had been killed by a group trying to intimidate conservation rangers into being less proactive in their efforts against poaching & illegal charcoal making.
There are only about 40 of these Silverbacks in the world, so the Rangers were devastated at the assassination. This procession went on for about 5 kms, moving the 600 pound body over hills & through the forest. Over 120 of these rangers have died in the last 10 years doing this job; most make less than $10 a month. They're heroes, there's just no other word that seems appropriate to describe these incredible African men."
Karen Kuehn: "From the 1993 Cats Story shot for National Geographic. The director Thomas Kennedy asked me to shoot an entire story about 'cats.' He did not want it to be typical! So problem solving this assignment was good fun. The Russian Blue Cat and Ballerina legs was inspired by George Balanchine — he used the idea of cats landing always on their toes to teach his dancers."
Lyle Owerko: "No one knew such a beautiful warm day would serve as the backdrop to one of the most painful and confusing events to the heart of mankind. This picture is one small part of such a huge event that ties the threads of thousands of stories and millions of people together.
Written words will never convey the whole scope of the event, nor even summarize the sounds, the smells or even the voices that are frozen in my memory bank from that day. I did the best job I could in photographing 9/11 so that future generations would have an idea of the scope of what happened, to have the evidence of how innocence can so easily be snatched away in a razor's edged moment of time.
My hope is that in time the wounds and pain will heal and that wisdom and peace will prevail among the darkness of this event, so that humanity can move forward into a time of grace and understanding."
Ron Galella : “Oct 4, 1971. NYC ” Windblown Jackie” This was my lucky day! I followed Jackie leaving her 5th Ave Apt on 85th St. She turned the corner going up Madison Ave. Instead of running up to her, i hopped a taxi to catch up to her at 91st and the cab driver blew his horn, Jackie turned for the third, lucky shot-exclusive, off guard, spontaneous, unrehearsed-the only game-hide to capture the natural qualities. Da Vinci had his Mona Lisa, I got it in my Mona Lisa smile.”
Bob Gruen: “John Lennon asked me to come to his penthouse apt on the east side of New York to take pictures for the cover of his ‘Walls and Bridges’ album. After we took a series of portraits for the record cover, we took some informal shots to use for publicity. i asked him if he still had the New York City t-shirt I had given him a year earlier and he went and put it on and we made this photo.”
David Doubilet: “Circle of Barracude, New Ireland, Papua New Guinea…The school of barracudas circle the diver three times amd pow they were gone into a dark afternoon sea. The oceans of the world have no straight lines; geometry like a perfect circle is a rare thing, but these barracudas do this as a defense. .. 70% of our planet is an ocean. It is a place of infinite beauty. It is a place where light behaves in a very different manner..A world without corners that may be gone by the end of this century…”
"The Kiss," shows Elvis Presley and Barbara Gray in an intimate clinch in 1956. For more than five decades, no one knew who Gray was. "People were looking for a tall woman," she says today. "But, actually, I was standing on a step above him."
The Original Image For years she was the mystery lady of rock 'n' roll.
Johnny Cash (Jim Marshall, 1969} San Quentin, California: Marshall accompanied Cash to this concert for prison inmates. While performed on a stage in the mess hall, the show was recorded for Johnny Cash at San Quentin. During soundcheck, Marshall remembers shouting to Cash, "Let's do a shot for the warden!" and getting this picture. Cash recalls that his gesture was aimed at a television crew who'd been following him around for three days.
Charles Moore : ” One day in Montgomery Alabama there were some demonstrations for Civil Rights led by Martin Luther King- I went into the downtown area where Dr. King was speaking when two policemen came up and placed Dr. King under arrest. I immmediately started and photographed the police pushing Dr.King on the street leading to the Montgomery Jail. After the photo of him being pushed down the street to the jail, I followed the police with Dr. King into the jail where he was booked- I went behind the counter where i could see the police and Dr. King with his wife in the photo. I also wanted to see the jailor as he gave the police jail keys.” – 1958
Michael Halsband: ” Originally made for a poster to advertise a show of collaborative paintings. I am happy and proud of this photograph. It sums up everything I love about photography and my work. Photographed in my studio, New York City July 10, 1985. “ – Andy Warhol and Jean Michel Basquiat
Herman Leonard: “It was early 1948 at the Royal Roost in New York. An afternoon rehearsal gave me a unique opportunity to photograph many giants of jazz with my trusty 4×5 Speed Graphic. What a great career! To do what you love and be entertained at the same time!”