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'Annie Leibovitz At Work'

Cover, "Annie Leibovitz At Work"

Annie Leibovitz At Work, by Annie Leibovitz, hardcover, 240 pages, 9.5 x 7.5 x 1.1 inches, 2.4 pounds, Random House, list price: $40.00

It shouldn't come as a surprise that a peerless aesthete like Annie Leibovitz would demonstrate extraordinary good taste in putting together this exploration of her working process. But it does.

Picture books, traditionally, are big. This one passes up the opportunity to grandstand and instead goes small and texty and smart.

Leibovitz uses her crisp intelligence to tell the stories behind not necessarily her most enduring images (though some of them — of John and Yoko, Demi Moore — are here) but the ones that inform her experience as an artist. She talks philosophy and strategy about shooting (among other things) fashion, nudes, advertising and Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this case, a thousand words are worth a picture. (Hear an interview with Leibovitz and see more pictures.)

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