Sports Illustrated’s Slide Show Book

- - Working

Sports Illustrated has a new book out on May 5th called Slide Show that examines the actual physical slides from the images that made it into the magazine. They pulled their most famous and iconic shots from their archive of more than 750,000 original slides and photographed the mount with all the writing, marks and then the x-acto cut where the image was removed for scanning. Beyond the obvious rehashing of the SI photo archive for cash I felt a twinge of nostalgia for the transparency on the light table. Don’t get me wrong I couldn’t wait for the day when I wouldn’t have to handle slides anymore (which if you think about it has barely arrived, because I remember lots of slides kicking around the office 3 or 4 years ago), but I remember searching through piles and piles of slide sheets for cover shots or openers and it was just so awesome when you hit the jackpot. Also, it’s amazing to see them turning all these horizontals into vertical covers. They must have had some kick ass film scanners at SI because I remember it being so difficult to get a decent cover that way. I think any hardcore sports photographer or photo editor will find this book interesting.










SLIDE SHOW, which retails for $29.95 U.S./$32.95 Canada (Hardcover), will be available online at bookstores nationwide beginning May 5, 2009 (Amazon link).

There Are 28 Comments On This Article.

  1. “They must have had some kick ass film scanners at SI because I remember it being so difficult to get a decent cover that way”

    It was 1982. they made a print and went to press “old-school”

    • Dave Prelosky

      @ericF., In 1982 there were plenty of quality photo scanners – just not consumer units. Ask anyone who has worked in the printing trade about a Crossfield for more info. Really Old School was making prints to shoot separations, but by the 80’s high quality scanners were The Way to Go

  2. What a cool idea for SI. One the few magazines that has enough slide content to really make this kind of book happen. I use to bring some of those rolls of slides to the SI film lab back in the day for Walter Iooss. I still love Velvia.

  3. Dang, I really do miss film, from an PE/AD/EIC point of view. And I was still working with hand-built mechanicals up through ’93, so it just wasn’t too long ago that the glory days of film were still rolling.

    The tactile experience of editing film and everything that goes along with it is something that just doesn’t have anything to do, generally, with the business anymore. I think PEs, ADs and designers who don’t get any years under their belts with the crafts of film, hand-built mechanicals, setting type, etc. are really missing an important part of the artform of print and they’ll never really understand why. Too bad, really…

  4. Wow! That’s way cool. I’ve always admired that SI Editors for their vision as opposed to other editors who are afraid to pull out pieces of a shot for a cover. There is a thin line between the front of the pack leading and the rest of the pack following (or trying to). I see a new book to be added to my collection.

  5. Love that first cover shot. No auto focus. No auto white balance. No 10-frames-per-second motor drive. No LCD review screen. No second chances. No mistakes.

  6. Good stuff made under a high level of difficulty.

    I can’t figure out why the images, although not as technically good as what can be done today, seem to be more “vital”, or less disposable then what we’re doing now.

    I wonder if the forty year rule, the time it takes for a good picture to become “classic” will hold true for the images made today.

  7. That uncropped shot of Jordan is so much better than the cover shot.

    I may have to pick this up, it looks very interesting.

    • @Silver, Correct me if i am wrong, but that shoot is in Walters book Rare Air.

  8. That shot of Jordan is amazing, I agree with Silver that the uncropped version is so much more remarkable. If that photo was taken today on blue someone would’ve dropped in a stupid plate.

  9. That’s cool stuff reminds me of the avedon madein France book with his prints with all the notes and matboard showing.

  10. Agreed. Jordan’s shadow in the horizontal slide is wonderful. I love the highlight detail in his shoes and socks. Even if its a marketing move to cash in on the archives, I’m looking forward to seeing them all together in one book.

  11. I am a child of the digital age, but I worked professionally in the newspaper world when we still used digital. Heck I did prepress work with a process camera and halftone screens!!

    I can not wait to see this book. I love to see and learn how these great images are made. I agree the photos that were done in the past seem to hold up more, and have a certain something that current ctures and current processes isn’t capturing. The historian/acrhivist in me loves and leans towards film. In 50 years, what will people do… pull out a cd/dvd from current times, and say “we took the original pictures off of this CD that may or may not have been used to make the originals…”- who knows if the computers then will be able to READ those cds… A slide or negative, it is still there.

    I LOVE knowing that each negative, or slide was THERE at that moment. That exact photographer loaded that exact roll or sheet of film into their camera at that EVENT and took that picture. That does something for me. I love picking out old negatives I shot and know that they were there in the camera in front of my face at that moment in time.

    Anyway, can’t wait to see the book!

  12. Looks like the shots were better before they were cropped for the covers.

    Thats life eh!

    Nice to see such great shots shown full frame.

  13. Looking at the full frame image of those shots make me despise the editing process and the cropping that occurs even more than I once did.

    Given sports shots don’t always have a wonderful composition due to there snapshot nature. I still think those selected are beautiful.

  14. I am so glad to see that its not only me that crop, a lot of people says ” i never crop” and pretend they are ……But what count is good picture in the end and those shown here are indeed. Agree on Jordan images, better uncropped , but as a huge fine art print….

  15. That was a trip down memory lane. I used to work in the Sports Illustrated Picture Library and handled those slides on a daily basis. It was a great experience.

  16. That was a trip down memory lane. I used to work at Sports Illustrated’s Picture Collection and handled those slides everyday. It was great fun to meet the photographers who came into the photo library.