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Picture Taker, Picture Taker, 0817314784, 0-8173-1478-4, 978-0-8173-1478-1, 9780817314781,

Picture Taker
Photographs by Ken Elkins
by Ken Elkins

Trade Cloth
2005. 120 pp.
100 duotone photographs
978-0-8173-1478-1
Price:  $34.95 t

This collection of 100 haunting, sometimes humorous, but always deeply honest black-and-white photographs reveals the 42-year career of a master photographer and photojournalist.

Ken Elkins retired as chief photographer of the Anniston Star in 2000, and this selection of his work demonstrates his brilliant eye for finding and capturing images of rural southern lives and landscapes in all their difficulty, candor, and humor. These are unadorned images of a timeless landscape and proud resourceful people, who know well their neighbors, honor their past, and face the tests of daily life with wit and a stoic sense of endurance.

“The old scenes are gone, or going . . . and the people are different, less likely to be in overalls and print dresses, less likely to a sliver of tobacco off a sweet-smelling plug of Brown Mule. So we try to remember, imperfectly. But not Elkins. . . . He and his camera have found value in their lives that so many others--a world full--were unable to see. I have worked beside the very, very best. But I only know one picture taker. When he turns his lens on the mostly rural, mostly poor pockets of his native Alabama, something beautiful happens. He draws out the dignity and loveliness that is in these people, and spreads it out for the rest of the world to see.” --Rick Bragg, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of All over but the Shoutin', Somebody Told Me, Ava's Man, and The Most They Ever Had, in his foreword to Picture Taker

Ken Elkins retired as chief photographer of the Anniston Star in 2000 after a 42-year career in photojournalism that included work at the Huntsville Times and numerous awards from the Associated Press, the Alabama Press Association, and the Press Photographers Association.

Rick Bragg is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of All over but the Shoutin', Somebody Told Me, Ava's Man, and The Most They Ever Had. He is a professor of writing in The University of Alabama's Department of Journalism.

Basil Penny is a retired Associate Editor of the Anniston Star, where he continues to write feature stories.


“Ken Elkins sees picture stories where others see nothing at all and he captures them in a way few can compare.”--George J. Tanber, Toledo Blade reporter, former Anniston Star foreign correspondent and syndicated columnist

"Such visions become engraved in one's memory instantaneously, ineradicably."--Booklist (starred review)

"Ken is a master journalist with a camera, reporting on the people of the countryside as great photographers always have--with images that rise to the level of art. He and his work are alike--humane in a quietly heroic way." --Chris Waddle, Vice President fo News at the Anniston Star.


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