The Fein Story Behind the Pictures
A Revealing Look at the Famous Images of Pulitzer Prize Photographer Nat Fein

ISBN: 978-0-9820943-0-3

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David Nieves, Curator and Administrator of the Nat Fein Estate as published a book about the life and pictures of one of America's finest photojournalists. David Nieves has written a compilation of behind the scene stories which add a unique insight to the famous pictures of Pulitzer Prize photographer Nat Fein. This photo essay includes 113 photographs of old New York, as well as famous personalities of a bygone era. Biographical elements help illustrate the extraordinary life of Fein. From Fein's boyhood brush with death when gangster Legs Diamond attempted to murder him, to the fateful day he photographed the dying Babe Ruth, The Fein Story Behind the Pictures offers a humorous and entertaining look at this master of the lens. This book will be a delight to fine art photo collectors, photography enthusiasts and those interested in New York City nostalgia.

“This book is well done” says Hal Buell, longtime Chief Photo Editor of the
Associated Press. Buell is also a well known authority on picture journalism in the years before and after World War II and has published several successful books on the subject of news photography. Buell goes on to say, “More than most of his generation, Nat Fein had an eye for the offbeat, the odd and the insightful and his pictures offer a remarkable and telling glimpse of the time and place”.

Nat Fein has been featured in two HBO television specials and has been the subject of articles in numerous publications, including Smithsonian Magazine and the New York Times. The life and pictures of Nat Fein will be the subject of an upcoming television documentary, A Talent for Living.

Fein had an unconventional knack for communicating through pictures. Albert Einstein, Queen Elizabeth, Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy were among the many icons photographed by Nat Fein. His work is continually exhibited at the finest art galleries. Although his images are admired around the world, behind every Nat Fein picture there can be a more telling story.

More About the Author

David Nieves is a native New Yorker and former New York City Police Detective. He made his transition from sleuth to writer when publishing his first magazine article The Ghost of Babe Ruth. He has a feature article in the March / April 2009 issue of LensWork Magazine titled Stepping Away From the Obvious. Nieves also exhibits his own photography at galleries in the New York metropolitan area.

Nieves' love of photography stems from a long and endearing relationship with Nat Fein who had become a second father to him. Upon Fein's death in 2000, Nieves was left to manage Fein's interests along with what is described by many, as some of the greatest journalistic photography of the twentieth century. After listening to countless narrations of Nat Fein’s newspaper exploits over the years and researching thousands of his images, David Nieves decided to share these remarkable stories. 

 

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In the Works
A Talent for Living
The Nat Fein Story Television Documentary
by
Sojourner Production

“A truly great New York photographer”, Cyma Rubin, Emmy Award Winning producer/director of Moment of Impact: Stories of the Pulitzer Prize Photographs.  “If he were a painter, he would have been Degas”, Richard Wald, Professor of Journalism, Columbia University.  “His picture caught the whole essence of what Babe Ruth was... and it allows the reader to take his own imagination and experience into the story”, Hal Buell, former head of AP Photo and author of Moments: Pulitzer Prize Winning Photographs.

These are just some of the things that the experts in the field of Photojournalism say about Pulitzer Prize winning photographer, Nat Fein, in the documentary Nat Fein: A Talent for Living.  This one hour, commercial free, PBS style documentary about the life and times of Mr. Fein is being produced by the husband and wife team of Catherine and Frank LoBuono of Sojourner Productions, Inc

Nat Fein worked as a staff photographer for three decades at the legendary newspaper, The New York Herald-Tribune.  His is a classic depression era success story of a man who rose from the depths of poverty to the pinnacle of success in the world of photojournalism, culminating in his 1949 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of Babe Ruth.  To this day, it remains the only sports themed photograph to win the Pulitzer.  Through the use of file footage, interviews with family, friends, contemporaries, and experts, plus the use of Nat’s own, incredible photography, the documentary tells the story of a man whose work captured the essence of both a city and an era.

Included are actual interviews conducted with Nat in the early and mid-1990’s. It is a great privilege to be able to hear this master craftsman talk about his incredible experiences on the streets of New York.  And Nat was known as a master storyteller – in his pictures and his words.  In addition, there is exclusive footage, also shot in the 90’s, of Nat at Yankee Stadium as he recreated his steps leading up to the famous photograph of Ruth.  He had not been back there in the nearly 50 years since he made the shot.  It was an emotional day.

Nat Fein: A Talent for Living tells how, when Nat first began at “The Trib” as a copy boy, he would break into the paper’s dark room after hours to learn more about photography; photographers earned a few more dollars a week than copy boys!  After being caught by a sympathetic editor, he was given a key.  Now, all he needed was a camera.  In a move that would change his life and color his work, his mother gave him $90 to purchase a Graflex Speed Graphic camera.  And the rest, as they say, is history!  With that camera, Nat took some of New York’s and the worlds’ greatest images, chronicling daily life in the city: from the great to the small.


Nat’s photos always speak to our emotions.  They are never “flat” depictions.  They were creations.  In fact, Nat never said he “took” a picture.  Rather, he would say he “made” a picture.  That’s because each photo is a piece of Nat.  Our experts tell how Nat was one of the first of a group of photographers to change the face of photojournalism by breathing life into their subjects. 

 

Nat Fein: A Talent for Living shows how the intense competition between papers and photographers in the 40’s drove each man to make his picture the best.  Nat and a handful of others hit the streets everyday in search of the “perfect” picture.  This intensity gave birth to a creative bonanza that many experts call the golden age of photojournalism.

Not only was Nat highly respected in his field, he was well loved by his family and friends.  Interviews show a man that gave so much of himself - in his work, and in his life.  When he was not making award -winning photographs, he was singing cabaret songs at a local restaurant.  Or, he was sketching a cartoon to give to a friend.  Nat Fein was all about giving.  It was the key to his work.

In a career that spanned over five decades, Nat left a incredible body of work consisting of thousands of photographs depicting the lives and events that make New York the center of the world.  His photos capture an era that once was and can never be again.  Therefore, they have taken on a sense of history.  In addition to that historic significance, his work also contains a sense of emotion and a feel for humanity that make them uniquely Nat Fein’s.

A Talent for Living
Produced by
Sojourner Productions
Executive Producers Catherine and Frank LoBuono
PO Box 67
Nyack, NY 10960
845-353-4406