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Famous Photographers / Z

Patrick Zachmann
Patrick Zachmann, born on November 21, 1955, is a renowned French photographer and filmmaker acclaimed for his insightful documentation of cultural and social issues. With a career spanning decades, he has become synonymous with the Magnum Photos agency, a prestigious cooperative of photographers. Zachmann's journey into photography began in the 1970s. He initially pursued studies in cinema at the University of Paris, but it was during a trip to New York in 1976 that he discovered his passion for still imagery. Captivated by the bustling streets and diverse communities, he decided to shift his focus to photography. In 1982, Patrick Zachmann joined Magnum Photos, a cooperative founded by legendary photographers like Robert Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson. This association marked a turning point in his career, providing a platform for his distinctive visual storytelling. I became a photographer because I have no memory. Photography allows me to reconstruct the family albums I never had, the missing images becoming the engine of my research. My contact sheets are my personal diary. – Patrick Zachmann A significant chapter in Zachmann's portfolio is his work on the Chinese diaspora. In the 1980s, he embarked on an extensive project documenting the lives of the Chinese community in various countries, exploring themes of identity, migration, and cultural adaptation. His empathetic lens captured the struggles and triumphs of individuals within this global diaspora, resulting in a powerful body of work. One of Zachmann's notable projects is Wén, a documentary that delves into the life of a Chinese family living in France. This intimate portrayal earned him widespread acclaim for his ability to navigate complex narratives with sensitivity and depth. The project exemplifies Zachmann's commitment to shedding light on marginalized stories and fostering cross-cultural understanding. Throughout his career, Zachmann has covered significant historical events. He documented the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, capturing the emotions and reactions of individuals on both sides of this momentous divide. His work during the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989 further solidified his reputation as a photojournalist with an acute sense of social responsibility. Beyond his photojournalistic endeavors, Patrick Zachmann has explored personal and introspective themes. His project My Father's Testimony is a poignant reflection on his own family history, incorporating photographs, letters, and personal artifacts to create a visual narrative that transcends individual experiences to resonate on a universal level. In addition to his photographic pursuits, Zachmann has ventured into filmmaking. His documentary China, the Empire of Art? offers a nuanced exploration of China's contemporary art scene, reflecting his multifaceted approach to storytelling. Patrick Zachmann's contributions to photography have earned him numerous accolades, including the prestigious Nadar Award in 1993 and the World Press Photo Award in 1994. His work has been exhibited in major galleries and museums worldwide, solidifying his place as a respected documentarian and storyteller. As he continues to explore new facets of visual storytelling, Patrick Zachmann's enduring commitment to capturing the human experience with authenticity and empathy underscores the timeless relevance of his work in the realm of documentary photography and filmmaking.
Georgi Zelma
Russia
1906 | † 1984
Georgi Zelma (1906-1984) is best known for his photographs of Central Asia in the 1920s, of major industrial projects in the early days of the Soviet Union, and of World War II (especially the Battle of Stalingrad). Zelma was a major contributor to the Constructivist photography movement through the 1920s and 30s, working alongside such masters as Aleksandr Rodchenko, El Lissitzky and Boris Ignatovich.Source: Nailya Alexander Gallery Georgi Zelma was born in Tashkent in 1906. The family moved to Moscow in 1921 and Zelma eventually found work at the Proletkino film studios. Later he joined the Russfoto Agency and from 1924 to 1927 was their correspondent in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia. A large number of his photographs appeared in Pravda. Zelma served in the Red Army (1927-29) before working briefly in Tashkent. In 1930 Zelma joined Souizfoto Agency and his assignments included taking photographs of collective farms and military exercises. His pictures often appeared in the propaganda magazine, USSR in Construction. During the Second World War Zelma worked for Izvestia and took photographs in Moldova, Odessa and the Ukraine. He also covered the battle of Stalingrad. Source: Spartacus Educational Born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in 1906, Georgii Anatolevich Zelma moved to Moscow with his family in 1921, where he began taking pictures with an old 9 x 12 Kodak camera. His first experiences as a photographer took place at the Proletkino film studios and during theater repetitions for the magazine Teatr. He soon joined the Russfoto agency. From 1924 to 1927, he returned to his homeland as a correspondent for Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia in order to document Islamic culture being reformed by Soviet socialist reconstruction. This work was published in Pravda Vostoka. In 1927, Zelma was enlisted in the ranks of the Red Army, serving in Moscow. After the demobilization in 1929, he returned to Tashkent and worked briefly for the Uzbek cinema chronicles. In Moscow, he entered the team of Soiuzfoto and received a Leica. Through the 1930s, he was sent on assignment to the mines and factories in the Donbass region, to Collective Farms in Tula province and to the Soviet Military maneuvers in the Black Sea region. He worked with Roman Karmen on the stories The USSR from the Air and Ten Years of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Iakutia, which were published in the propaganda magazine “USSR in Construction”. For this magazine he also collaborated with Max Alpert and Aleksandr Rodchenko. During World War II, he was a correspondent for Isvestiia stationed at the front-line campaigns in Moldova, Odessa, and Ukraine. His most memorable photographs are of the Battle of Stalingrad, where he spent the severe winter of 1942-43. After the war, Zelma worked for the magazine Ogonek and from 1962 for the Novosti press agency. He died in 1984. Source: Lumiere Gallery
George Zimbel
United States / Canada
1929
George S. Zimbel (born July 15, 1929) is an American-Canadian documentary photographer. He has worked professionally since the late 1940s, mainly as a freelancer. He was part of the Photo League and is one of its last surviving members. Born in Massachusetts, he settled in Canada about 1971. His works have been shown with increasing frequency since 2000, and examples of his work are part of several permanent collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. George Zimbel has been described as a humanist. He has published several books of his photographs and in 2016 was the subject of a documentary retrospective film co-directed by his son Matt Zimbel and distributed by the National Film Board of Canada. Born George Sydney Zimbel in Woburn, Massachusetts, son of a dry goods store owner, he attended Woburn High School and was the school's yearbook photographer. He later studied at the Photo League under John Ebstel. George Zimbel then enrolled in Columbia University in New York where he became the school's news photographer. There he met art student Garry Winogrand and introduced Winogrand to photography. They used the school's darkroom late at night to avoid crowding at other times of the day, and they called themselves the "Midnight to Dawn Club". Both Zimbel and Winogrand later both studied under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School for Social Research on scholarships in 1951. He next met Edward Steichen, the then curator of the Museum of Modern Art who showed Zimbel original prints by early masters of photography, and this sealed his decision to take up photography as a career. On Steichen's advice, he had a stint as a photographer with the US Army and spent 2 years in Europe during the restoration period following World War II. On his return to America, he became a freelance photographer. One of his early opportunities was the famous Marilyn Monroe shoot on Lexington Avenue in 1954 to promote her film The Seven Year Itch, at which Monroe wore her famous white dress. Zimbel never sold any of these images and packed them away until 1976, whereupon he printed them and began to show them in solo exhibitions. He was married to Elaine Sernovitz in 1955. A professional writer, she has collaborated with George Zimbel on travelogues and other works. George and Elaine Zimbel had four children including jazz musician Matt Zimbel, founder of Manteca. Matt Zimbel co-produced and co-directed (with Jean-Francois Gratton) a documentary film about his father called Zimbelism, released in 2016. In 1971, Zimbel and his family moved to the small community of Argyle Shore, Queens County, Prince Edward Island where they raised animals for the next 10 years at a farm they called "Bona Fide Farm". After their children moved away, he and his wife relocated to Montreal, where they still reside. Though he was widely published in publications such as the New York Times, Look, Redbook and Architectural Digest in the 1950s and 60s, he did not become widely recognized until a retrospective exhibition of his work was mounted at the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern in Spain in 2000. Since then he has had several major shows around the world.Source: Wikipedia The American-Canadian humanist photographer George S. Zimbel is one of the last elders of photography faithful to the legacy of the Photo League, who in the fifties imbued their pictures with a personal commitment towards the people and the social landscapes they documented. Zimbel’s work is collected by major museums internationally, he has published numerous books and in 2016 he was the subject of an award winning feature documentary on his work called Zimbelism. George’s collection is now managed by his children. The collection consisting of prints printed by George, negatives and colour slides is in the process of being cataloged. Cataloging of the prints has been completed. The thousands of colour slides, and hundred of thousand negatives will be an on going project. In an era of increased manipulation of the photographic image by computer technology, Zimbel’s commitment to the “straight” photograph has become stronger. He sees the early 21st century as a period in which classic photography will have it’s last flowering. "My work begins with recording an image, but it is not finished until I have made a fine print. That is my photograph. A lot goes into a finished documentary photograph: a very personal view of life, a knowledge of technique, and of course, information. It is the information that grabs the viewer, but it is the photographer’s art that holds them." – George S. ZimbelSource: georgezimbel.com
Tom Zimberoff
United States
1951
A classically-trained clarinetist, Zimberoff studied music at the University of Southern California before pivoting to photography. As a photojournalist, he has covered hundreds of historical and breaking news stories published worldwide, from the renegotiation of the Panama Canal Treaties; to NATO war games, a trip to Beijing with Secretary of State Alexander Haig opening trade talks with China; the eruption of Mount St. Helens; Super Bowl XIV; to documenting East LA gangs. One plum assignment from Esquire had him photographing "The Most Eligible Women in America." He's shot many hundreds of portraits, including magazine covers from John Lennon to Steve Jobs plus two sitting American presidents (Carter and Reagan) for the covers of Time Magazine and Fortune, as well as advertising campaigns for Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood movie studios, and the US Navy. Zimberoff was nineteen when he shot his first photo assignment for Time magazine: the farewell public recital of violin virtuoso Jascha Heifetz - a personal hero. By the time he turned twenty-one, Zimberoff had toured with the Jackson-5, the Rolling Stones, and Stevie Wonder, spent a day photographing John Lennon, and shot the first cover of People magazine. (It was the 1973 proof-of-concept issue featuring Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz.) Zimberoff has fun describing his pursuit as a predatory sport: hunting big game. "We don't 'load' cameras much anymore," he says, "but we still 'aim' them and 'shoot' pictures." He doesn't stalk his prey but gets close enough for a good clean shot (close enough for rapport as much as proximity), to avoid inflicting gratuitous wounds. He bags his quarry with a lens instead of looking down the barrel of a gun but, he also says, "I hang their heads on a wall to admire like trophies." His hunting license was a press pass. His portraits can be found in private collections and museums, including the National Portrait Gallery in London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the San Francisco Museum of Performance and Design. Recently, his entire career archive - literally a ton of film - was acquired by the Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. His first two formal portraits were Marx and Lennon - Groucho and John. Tom's expertise with the business side of photography is evidenced by the articles he's had published in leading industry journals. He is also the author of Photography: Focus on Profit (Allworth Press, 2002), which has been used as a textbook at colleges throughout the country. He also taught briefly at several San Francisco Bay Area colleges. He taught himself to write code and developed PhotoByte®, the pioneering business-management software for commercial photographers. It has been used to teach at colleges across the country. After a ten-year hiatus from shooting pictures to pursue his software business and writing, Tom picked up his cameras once again to illustrate another book, Art of the Chopper (Bulfinch Press, 2003), his tribute to a decades-long affinity for custom motorcycles. It became a best-seller, followed by a second volume (Hachette, 2006), with forewords by Sonny Barger of the Hells Angels and James Hetfield of the band Metallica, respectively. As an encore to the Art of the Chopper books, Zimberoff was invited to curate an exhibition at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in 2008, where thirty of the actual motorcycles illustrated in print were displayed on pedestals as works of sculpture. They were juxtaposed with Zimberoff's photographs large-format black-and-white portraits plus documentary (candid) photos of the moteuriers who built each chopper. The "Art of the Chopper" exhibition traveled to the Appleton Art Museum in Ocala, Florida and to Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri. Tom's most recent venture is a startup dedicated to creating the first data-driven marketplace for commercial and editorial photography. Zimberoff was born in Los Angeles in 1951 to a family with three grown siblings already a generation older - "like growing up with five parents," he says. His mother owned a boutique in Las Vegas, during the 50s and 60s; and his father was a musician who played the Vegas hotel orchestras that backed up Sinatra, Nat King Cole, and Bobby Darrin et al. Young "Tommy" grew up in Las Vegas, returning to California, on and off, to live with his older sister and two years in military school), finally leaving Las Vegas for his senior year at Beverly Hills High School when his parents retired. Then he received his music scholarship to USC. Zimberoff now lives in San Francisco, where he says he is ready to throw his lens cap back in the ring, as soon as the Covid-19 pandemic ends. In the meantime he is writing a memoir, an anthology of stories about his career. The title is A Photographic Memory. Each chapter juxtaposes one portrait with equally compelling prose about the events surrounding its creation.
Francesco Zizola
Since the 1980's Francesco Zizola (Italy, 1962) has documented the world's major conflicts and their hidden crisis, focusing on the social and humanitarian issues that define life in the developing world as well as in western countries. A strong ethical commitment and a distinctive aesthetic eye are specific features of his pictures. His assignments and personal projects have taken him around the world, giving him the opportunity to carefully portray forgotten crises and relevant issues often disregarded by the mainstream media. He received several awards over the years, including ten awards in World Press Photo contests and six Picture of the Year International awards (POYi). Francesco published seven books, among which Uno Sguardo Inadeguato (Collana Grandi Autori, FIAF, 2013), Iraq (Ega/Amnesty International, 2007) and Born Somewhere (Delpire/Fusi Orari, 2004), extensive work on the living conditions of children from 27 different countries. In 2003 Henri Cartier Bresson included one of Francesco's pictures among his 100 favorites. This collection was made into an exhibition - Les Choix d'Henri Cartier Bresson - and a book. In 2007 Francesco founded with a group of colleagues Noor photo agency, based in Amsterdam. In 2008 he founded 10b Photography (Rome, Italy), a multipurpose centre for digital photography promoting photography culture through exhibitions, workshops, and lectures. In 2014 he was a jury member of the World Press Photo Contest. In 2016 Francesco has been awarded 2nd prize in the Contemporary Issues category of World Press Photo for his series In the Same Boat. Francesco lives in Rome, Italy. About Hybris Hybris, the last great work by Francesco, is a project that aims to tell, through a complex and articulate photographic language, how much man has exceeded the limits concerning the four elements of nature. Everyday Water, Fire, Earth and Air, are attacked and depleted of their organic and inorganic richness and diversity, of their vital energy so essential even for human life. At the time of writing this text, the chapter Hybris Water is in its final stage. The section of Hybrs Water wants to be a testimony of what is fast disappearing into the sea. The millennial balance that regulated the relationship between the need for human livelihood and the ability of the sea to bestow it, is suffering a crisis. Thanks to advanced technology and hunger for profit, contemporary man has forgotten the limit inherent to nature. Ignoring the cycles of reproduction and destroying the environment where biological diversity should always abound, the great fishing industry is drastically eliminating life in the sea. Those who still practice sustainable fishing today should be considered as the last witnesses of a possible symbiotic relationship with the sea and its life. The last witnesses with a knowledge that, once forgotten, can no longer be passed down to future generations. The fishermen live together with the fish from which their life depends, portrayed with the same dignity of the fishermen who have captured them, they are exposed among them, at the same height of their eyes, of their faces. The fishing scenes are taken with a careful look to make justice of that old relationship of respect towards the sea shown by those who practice a traditional way of fishing year after year, a sustainable fishing indeed. Francesco tries to give voice to different points of view. That of men, but also that of the nature that surrounds us and on which we depend.
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