In the series, Contact High: Contact High: The Stories Behind Hip Hop’s Most Iconic Photographs, writer Vikki Tobak talks with the photographers who have played a critical role in shaping hip hop imagery. These interviews offer a rare glimpse of the creative process that went into the making of each photo.

Getting access to the original, unedited contact sheets, we see the “big picture” being created and look directly through the shooter’s lens. Photographers typically don’t show their contact sheets. They’re a highly personal visual diary. Negatives on a roll of analog film allow these photographers (and now us) to see the full range of images in order to catch the “money shot.”

We caught up with legendary photographer Jamel Shabazz to take us through one of his rarely seen color contact sheets in celebration of street portraiture and the very essence of the everyday people….

Jamel Shabazz, African American Art, Black Art, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Jamel Shabazz

Jamel Shabazz, African American Art, Black Art, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Jamel Shabazz

Jamel Shabazz, African American Art, Black Art, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Jamel Shabazz

Jamel Shabazz, African American Art, Black Art, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Jamel Shabazz

Jamel Shabazz, African American Art, Black Art, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Jamel Shabazz

Jamel Shabazz, African American Art, Black Art, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Jamel Shabazz


Brooklyn is the most populous borough of New York City, with a Census-estimated 2,636,735 residents in 2015. It borders the borough of Queens at the southwestern end of Long Island. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, the most populous county in the U.S. state of New York, and the second-most densely populated county in the United States, after the county of New York (which is coextensive with the borough of Manhattan).

With a land area of 71 square miles (180 km2) and water area of 26 square miles (67 km2), Kings County is New York’s fourth-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area, though it is the second-largest among the city’s five boroughs. Today, if New York City dissolved, Brooklyn would rank as the third-most populous city in the U.S., behind Los Angeles and Chicago.

Brooklyn was an independent incorporated city (and previously an authorized village and town within the provisions of the New York State Constitution) until January 1, 1898, when, after a long political campaign and public relations battle during the 1890s, according to the new Municipal Charter of “Greater New York”, Brooklyn was consolidated with the other cities, boroughs, and counties to form the modern “City of New York,” surrounding the Upper New York Bay with five constituent boroughs. The borough continues, however, to maintain a distinct culture. Many Brooklyn neighborhoods are ethnic enclaves. Brooklyn’s official motto, displayed on the Borough seal and flag, is Eendraght Maeckt Maght which translates from early modern Dutch as “Unity makes strength”. (Wikipedia)


Posted by:Editor

KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.