The 144-page book, 10 inches by 12 inches, features 98 choice images from Mr. Sherman’s vast inventory of photographs, some of them quite famous. Most of the photos were taken in Atlanta.
ATLANTA, Ga. – A new book by the acclaimed Atlanta photographer Ron Sherman – titled Witness – A Photographic Essay of Humor and Heart – is nearing completion, with a target publication date of December 2023. The handsome, 144-page coffee table book – 10 inches by 12 inches, with a cloth-wrapped hard cover – features 98 images from Mr. Sherman’s vast inventory of thousands of photographs, some of which are quite famous.
“Witness – A Photographic Essay of Humor and Heart is a testament to my sixty years as a professional photographer documenting the people of Atlanta, of Georgia and much of the rest of the country,” said Mr. Sherman, who grew up in Cleveland but has made Atlanta his home for the past five-plus decades. “I had the privilege of meeting political figures, sports stars, musicians, school children, college students and corporate executives, who allowed me into their lives.”
Most of the subjects in the book were available for a very short time, but enough time to allow him to finish his assignments. They included such luminaries as Jimmy Carter, Coretta Scott King, Hank Aaron, Muhammad Ali, Maynard Jackson and Andrew Young, among many others.
“But,” Sherman pointed out, “fireman Buzzard Sewell, Atlanta policeman Chester Head, singer Arlo Guthrie or activist Huey Newton are people some may have never heard of, but they will see them in my book,” adding, “Of the thousan
Witness will be Mr. Sherman’s fifth book effort. Three of the previous four were corporate sponsored, while the fourth, published in 2013, had a Canadian publisher. All were photographic retrospectives, with an emphasis on Atlanta. “The book I’m about to release is self-published,” he said, “because I wanted complete control over its production. I consider it my finest work.”
“If Ron Sherman’s photographic career had been limited to images published in national magazines, it would be a remarkable achievement, but Witness: A Photographic Essay of Humor and Hope is nothing short of a pictorial love affair with his adopted hometown of Atlanta,” said David Snell, a longtime friend of Mr. Sherman’s and a former correspondent for ABC News.
Snell said, “In the book’s pages you will experience the evolution of Atlanta, meet some of the city’s most notable public figures from Jimmy Carter to Coretta Scott King to Ted Turner, and witness the celebration as Henry Aaron rounded the bases after breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium in 1974.”
The 4 foot by 5 foot enlargement of that iconic Hank Aaron photograph is perhaps the book’s most recognizable image, showing the legendary slugger being congratulated by two exuberant fans as he jogs from second to third base on his way to baseball immortality in 1974. It’s now on display at Major League Baseball’s Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Paul Crater, the Vice President of Collections and Research Services at the Atlanta History Center, said, “When a photojournalist as talented and resourceful as Ron Sherman plies his trade in a vibrant and diverse metropolitan center like Atlanta, Georgia, the resulting images reveal powerful narratives of a great city.”
Crater added, “In his new book, Mr. Sherman takes you on a reflective journey of his illustrious career. Ron’s spectacular photo essay guides you through his teenage years documenting his hometown of Cleveland to his five decades as a professional photographer in Atlanta, and places in between. It represents the culmination of Sherman’s brilliant career and is a gift to us all.”
But his photography encompasses much more than Atlanta. As the book reveals, the Vietnam War played a pivotal role in Ron’s life. In 1968, at the height of the war, he volunteered for service in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Aerial Reconnaissance Battalion in the Signal Corps. His deep understanding of photography played a key role in assisting Army Intelligence.
After his service, Ron came back to the states to resume his photography career, which took him to Washington D.C., where he captured hundreds of compelling images of the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam on November 15, 1969.
A member of the Atlanta Vietnam Veterans Business Association, Mr. Sherman has amassed thousands of photographs of their events, honoring the service veterans gave to their country. The Atlanta History Center is a partner of the AVVBA in telling the stories of veterans through oral history and exhibitions. “We are proud to serve as the archival repository of these wonderful photographs,” Mr. Crater said.
Ron fell in love with Atlanta even before he moved there for good in 1971. A brief stint working for United Press International gave him a sense of the place as a booming city on the move in the mid-1960s, and provided valuable business contacts for the future. His fascination with Atlanta and its people, coupled with his great skill in capturing its dazzling skylines and cityscapes, as well as the natural beauty of its rural surroundings, form the essence of his life’s work.
Ron’s photography has been published in the pages of Time, Newsweek, Forbes, Sports Illustrated, Life, and Business Week, as well as in newspapers throughout the country. In addition, his work as a corporate photographer produced spectacular portraitures and event photography in the annual reports and multi-media presentations of IBM and Eastman Kodak, as well as Coca-Cola Company, Georgia Power, and other Atlanta-based Fortune 500 companies.
For more information about Ron Sherman’s soon-to-be-published book, Witness – A Photographic Essay of Humor and Heart, visit witness.ronsherman.com. You can reach Mr. Sherman by phone at 770-355-8700; or via email, at [email protected]