Angela Stapleford

Magnum Contact Sheets Thames and Hudson

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One of the starting points for this publication of the Magnum photo-collective's impressive collection of contact sheets and the accompanying exhibition is that this once intrinsic part of photographic work has now been "rendered obsolete by digital photography". However, the book shows examples of contact sheets produced as recently as 2010.

From Buffy to Bella - has vampire fiction lost its teeth?

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From teenage romances to adult drama, vampires are currently popular in film, television and books. Recent news that a new Buffy the Vampire Slayer film is in the pipeline should have overjoyed fans, but it was revealed that the show's creator, Joss Whedon, would not be involved.

In the original, Whedon set out to change the constant representation of women in the horror genre as victims being attacked in dark alleys. He posed the possibility of them being strong and fighting back, and created a show that dealt with real life topics, including school shootings, bullying, low paid work and date rape.

The move to "reboot" Buffy looks like an attempt to cash in on the popularity of recent books and films like Twilight, which generate huge revenues.

Political Landscapes

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Magnum Print Room, London

Landscape photography is rarely just a celebration of stunning views and nature's beauty. The genre has often been ideologically loaded.

For example, early images of the US landscape were a celebration of the supposedly empty land being opened up to colonialism. The genre can also be used effectively to highlight the impact of war, development and capitalism on the landscape. Landscape photography has developed along two routes: artistic and documentary. There is often a crossover between the two.

The Sum of the Squares

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Review of 'Trafalgar Square Through the Camera', Roger Hargreaves, National Portrait Gallery £16.99

This interesting book provides a history of London's Trafalgar Square through photography. The square was built in the 1840s, as a monument to Britain's victory over the French. But it became a focus of public unrest and protest as early as 1848 when working class protests took place. This collection of photographs shows us the square as a focus for tourism, fashion, art and public congregation.

Caught in a Trap: A Tribute to Henri Cartier-Bresson

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Before the age of television, the work of photographers was often the only source of visual information to a public hungry for news. Henri Cartier-Bresson, who died recently at the age of 96, was part of the first generation of photojournalists.

Cartier-Bresson came from a wealthy French family, but he was always a radical left winger and rebel. This informed his photography and the emphasis that he placed on recording aspects of ordinary people's lives, setting the standards for, and being hugely influential on, future photojournalists.

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