All about photo: photo contests, photography exhibitions, galleries, schools, books and venues.
Gilles Peress
Gilles Peress

Gilles Peress

Country: France
Birth: 1946

Gilles Peress (born December 29, 1946) is a French photographer and a member of Magnum Photos. Peress began working with photography in 1970, having previously studied political science and philosophy in Paris. One of Peress’ first projects examined immigration in Europe, and he has since documented events in Northern Ireland, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, the Balkans, Rwanda, the U.S., Afghanistan, and Iraq. His project, Hate Thy Brother, a cycle of documentary narratives, looks at intolerance and the re-emergence of nationalism throughout the world and its consequences.

Peress’ books include Telex Iran; The Silence: Rwanda; Farewell to Bosnia; The Graves: Srebrenica and Vukovar; A Village Destroyed; and Haines. Portfolios of his work have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine, Du magazine, Life, Stern, Geo, Paris Match, Parkett, Aperture and The New Yorker.

Gilles Peress’ work has been exhibited and is collected by the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and MoMA PS1, all in New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles; Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Victoria and Albert Museum in London; Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Musée Picasso, Parc de la Villette and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; Museum Folkwang, Essen; and Sprengel Museum in Hannover.

Awards and fellowships Peress has received include a Guggenheim Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts grants, Pollock-Krasner and New York State Council on the Arts fellowships, the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography and the International Center of Photography Infinity Award.

Peress is Professor of Human Rights and Photography at Bard College in New York and Senior Research Fellow at the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley. Peress joined Magnum Photos in 1971 and served three times as vice president and twice as president of the co-operative. He and his wife, Alison Cornyn, live in Brooklyn with their three children.

Source: Wikipedia


Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Gilles Peress made his first photographic series in 1970 after attending the Institut d'Études Politiques (1966-68) and the Université de Vincennes (1968-71). By 1971, he had established himself as a freelance photographer, publishing work in Du, the London Sunday Times, The New York Times Magazine, Photo, and other periodicals. In 1972 he joined Magnum, the international cooperative photography agency founded in 1947 by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, George Rodger, and Chim (David Seymour); he has served twice as the organization's president. A National Endowment for the Arts grant in 1979 allowed him to travel to Iran, where he made the photographs published as Telex: Iran--In the Name of Revolution (1984), his first book. Other major projects include his documentation of the Irish civil war from 1971 to 1979, published as An Eye for an Eye: Northern Ireland (1986), and Hate Thy Brother, an ongoing cycle of photographs documenting the resurgence of extreme nationalism around the world. Peress's work has been included in group exhibitions at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, ICP, and elsewhere. He has received, among other honors, a W. Eugene Smith Award, the Ernst Haas Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and ICP's Infinity Awards for Journalism in 1995 and for his publication The Silence in 1996.

Gilles Peress's photography demonstrates his uncommon ability to navigate and communicate the atmosphere and urgency of volatile political environments. While his early work identified him as a "concerned photographer," his more recent work suggests an increasing concern with form and a more obvious sense of subjectivity. In this respect, Peress's photographs echo the photojournalism of Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose conflation of aesthetics and reportage set the precedent for artistic photojournalism earlier in the century.

Source: International Center of Photography


 

Gilles Peress's Video

Selected Books

Inspiring Portfolios

Call for Entries
All About Photo Awards 2022
Win $10,000 cash prizes and international exposure
 
Stay up-to-date  with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events.

More Great Photographers To Discover

Laurent Delhourme
Laurent Delhourme was born in Bordeaux (France) in 1968. After studying visual media, he became a self-taught photographer. He spent five years as an assistant at ELLE and Daylight studios, as well as for various fashion photographers, before embarking on a career as a portrait photographer in 1998. His work has since appeared in various magazines, corporate projects and advertising campaigns. At the same time, he moved into film in 2001 and made numerous documentaries for France TV / Canal+. He has covered various topics, including the Moudawana law in Morocco for the protection of women, the Madrid train bombings, abandoned street children in Budapest, the Women on Waves pro-choice organisation in Portugal, Carlos Ghosn in Japan and cotton farming in South Africa... He has also worked with the press agency CAPA on reports and corporate videos for Aigle, Total, Renault, Orange, Alcatel and EDF. For almost 20 years, Laurent has roamed the streets of Paris, Leica in hand. He tries to capture the emotions and poetic dimension of people who cross his path. All of his photos are linked to a story, a narrative, a unique moment. Laurent draws inspiration from the work of Elliott Erwitt, Garry Winogrand and Henri Cartier-Bresson, taking his place in a long line of humanist photographers. He photographs people in the street and observes them without bias or judgement. Laurent seeks to capture what is invisible in their daily activities. Far from using a journalistic approach, he aims to document his times. In the press Observer and chronicler of modern life, Laurent Delhourme's approach is part of the lineage of 20th century humanist photography. Lovers of images of Erwitt, Frank, Davidson, Weiss, Franck, Cartier-Bresson, Mark, Ronis, Freed, Evans, Maltête, Winogrand, Meyerowitz ... His universe is inspired by the heritage of all those photographers who knew how to document their time. He photographs the daily life of his contemporaries, of these anonymous people whom he meets over time in the working-class districts of Paris, on the sidewalks of Fifth Avenue or among the effervescence of Piccadilly Circus, the emotion remains always intact, lively. by this tireless and visceral desire to freeze unique moments. Born in Bordeaux (France), he has lived in Paris for over 25 years. At the age of 18, he discovered photography through a friend and it was at the age of 21 that he understood that his passion would make it his profession. People are the key word in his work, recognized for his portraits, he is the author of numerous advertising campaigns, his photos have been published in various French and international magazines. When he's not in the studio he continues to develop his art on the streets. He seeks to capture the invisible in the daily lives of the people he meets. Each of his photos is connected to a story, a story, a unique moment. These photographs concentrate humor, burlesque situations and everyday incongruities. If the photographer takes care of his framing, by choice, he never conceives a staging. He is sure that the behaviors of passers-by are interesting enough to let them express themselves in their entirety. He captures his images on the fly. Immediacy is his motto. In his early days, a book changed his view of the world in a book by Elliott Erwitt (Photographs 1946/1988), I was young and had never seen anything like it. For me it was a revelation! I discovered through Erwitt's work a true philosophy of life that has always fascinated me Laurent confides. This book, which he consults regularly, is still his bible today. Unlike his work as a portrait painter which requires mastering all the parameters of the shooting, for Laurent street photography is a moment of freedom, he lets himself be carried away by the people he meets and the emotions he meets. He feels. He walks instinctively, feels, he likes to be surprised, he captures the mundane in his daily life as discreetly as possible with his Leica M or his Leica Q. Working mainly at 28 and 50 mm he makes sure never to disturb the scene he photographs "I try to make myself transparent so as not to interfere with my environment". Laurent Delhourme has exhibited on numerous occasions, notably at the Paris photo fair (Grand Palais in Paris) and at the art photography festival in Arles (France). He released his first book Macadam Paname in October 2020 at Editions Hemeria, a black and white book on Paris. He is currently in preparation for a second book.
Zaharia Cusnir
Moldova
1912 | † 1993
Zaharia Cuşnir (1912-1993) was an amateur photographer born in Rosietici village, Floresti region, Moldova. He was photographing people within 1955-1973, and left a collection of negative films 6x6 cm, from which 3751 were discovered in his abandoned house in 2016. The photographs portray groups, landscapes, scenes from everyday life: work in the kolkhoz, weddings, funerals, national celebrations. Life Zaharia Cuşnir was born as the last child in the family of 16 children in Rosietici village, Soroca district. His father was a Moldovan businessman (born 1870), and his mother was of German origins (born in approx. 1870). Zaharia was born in Bessarabia, at that time part of the Russian Empire, educated in Romania (Iasi city), and after WW-II, became a USSR citizen. He went to school to the neighbouring Rogojeni village and later attended the pedagogical lyceum in Iasi, Romania. He began teaching in Rogojeni, then though he worked in kolhoz, performing works as carrying stones, digging the frozen ground, carrying loam, destroying fences, herding cows. Villagers also remember him as a blacksmith. He also built a family of 4 children with his wife, Daria. Zaharia learned photography from his nephew, who returned from the army. The nephew was living in another village, so they decided to split the territory for the photographic activities. So, Zaharia stayed responsible for the surrounding villages: Caşunca, Rogojeni, Țâra, Ghindeşti, Roşietici, and Cenuşa. The first pictures were taken in 1955. Zaharia was photographing mainly portraits of neighbours and then he was selling the photos. He had a bicycle, which he was usually lending to people for a photograph, as well he had a black blanket, which he was using as a background when he was taking portraits. Up to 1973, he had taken around 4000 pictures of the medium format 6x6 cm. In 1993, after he died, the house was abandoned and the pictures were stocked in a suitcase and placed in the attic. Discovery In spring 2016, Victor Galuşca, being a student at the Academy of Arts in Chisinau, Moldova, arrived in Rosietici village to film his documentary film for the bachelor's degree exam. He entered the abandoned house and found several negative films scattered through the trash all around the floor. Victor inquired from the villagers whose house was it and found the daughter of Zaharia Cusnir, living in the neighbourhood. With her permission, within several days, he picked all of them, and together with his photography professor, Nicolae Pojoga started the cleaning and indexing process of the archive. Among all, there were found old documents, among which was an edited request for admission to the school, adjusted to a stilted language used at the time. There was also found a table of exercises written in Russian Cyrillic script, as well as elementary calculus tests designed for primary school. Other documents and archival remnants reveal a struggle between life and death for the majority of the population; these include bread allowances and checks listing debts. Further Development The archive has a high resonance and was appreciated within several exhibitions: at the Museum of Art of Moldova (curated by Cervinscaia Nadejda) and the Romanian Peasant Museum in Romania in 2018, and at the Ethnographic Museum of Transilvania, the Subway Gallery of the House of Arts in Timisoara, Romania and at the Museum of Ethnography and Folklore MARAMUREş from Baia Mare, Romania in 2019. In 2017 a Moldovan Publishing house Cartier published a photo album "Lumea lui Zaharia" ("Zaharia's World"). At the beginning of 2020, was launched the website and facebook page, aiming to give open access to the usage of the Zaharia Cusnir archive. The team is working on few coming exhibitions in Europe in 2020.
Todd Hido
United States
1968
Todd Hido (American, b.1968) is a prolific photographer whose works of suburban and urban homes have been shown in galleries and businesses throughout the nation. He was born in Kent, OH, and is now based in San Francisco, CA. He received a BFA in 1991 from Tufts University in Massachusetts, and an MFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts. He is currently an adjunct professor at the California College of Art in San Francisco. TODD HIDO (b. 1968 in Kent, OH) is a San Francisco Bay Area-based artist who received his M.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts and his B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. His photographs have been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, and are included in numerous museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as in many other public and private collections. His work has been featured in Artforum, The New York Times Magazine, Eyemazing, Metropolis, The Face, I-D, and Vanity Fair. In 2001 an award-winning monograph of his work titled House Hunting was published by Nazraeli Press and a companion monograph, Outskirts, was published in 2002. His third book, Roaming, was published in 2004. Between the Two, focusing on portraits and nudes, was published in 2007. His latest book of landscapes, A Road Divided, was published in 2010. In May of 2013 Excerpts from Silver Meadows was published by Nazraeli Press. He is an adjunct professor at the California College of Art, San Francisco, California. Source: Rose Gallery Drawing from childhood memories as a creative wellspring, Hido wanders endlessly, taking lengthy road trips in search of imagery that connects with his own recollections. For his landscapes the artist chooses to photograph during overcast days and often frames his images through the vantage point of his car, using the windshield as an additional lens. Through this unique process and signature color palette, he alludes to the quiet and mysterious side of suburban America, where uniform communities provide for a stable façade, while concealing the instability that lies within its walls. While Hido is notorious for photographing suburbia from the outside as his pictures of well-worn dwellings evidence, he has also entered the interiors of these houses and integrated the human form into his work. His ability to capture the inherent tensions of both the human body and landscapes marks his work as a starting point of a broader discussion. Any narrative inferred form his work is entirely a construct of the viewer’s imagination heightened by Hido’s power of sequencing photographs and his fascination with a cinematic style of image making. Hido was born in 1968 in Kent, Ohio. He received his B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and Tufts University. In 1996 he earned his M.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts where he was mentored by Larry Sultan. He is now an adjunct professor at the California College of Art, San Francisco. Hido has been the recipient of the Eureka Fellowship, Fleishhacker Foundation, Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Visual Arts Award, and the Barclay Simpson Award. His latest show with Bruce Silverstein Gallery, Bright Black World is the artist's fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. His photographs have been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City. Other major institutions that have previously exhibited Hido’s work include the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washignton D.C.; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; Miami Art Museum, Florida; Netherland Architecture Institute, Rotterdam; Palazzo Ducale, Genova, Italy; Samsung Museum of Modern Art in Korea; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Work by Hido is held in public and private collections including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of Art. In 2001 an award-winning monograph of his work titled House Hunting was published by Nazraeli Press, followed by a companion monograph, Outskirts, published in 2002. His third book, Roaming, was published in 2004. Between the Two, focusing on portraits and nudes, and A Road Divided were respectively published in 2007 and 2010. A full volume of Silver Meadows, mined from Hido’s own experience growing up in Kent, was launched at Paris Photo 2012. Intimate Distance, published in 2016, is the first comprehensive monograph charting the career of the artist. Hido’s most recent publication, Bright Black World, will be released in late autumn 2018. This newest publication highlights the artist’s first significant foray extensively photographing territory outside of the United States, chronicling a decidedly new psychological geography. The artist lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area. Source: Bruce Silverstein
Laurent Kronental
Self-taught photographer, he discovers photography in China during a stay of several months in Beijing. He is captivated by the big metropolises there and by the variety of their architectures, their inhabitants, the way they tame the space and their personal stories. He has developed during 4 years an artistic series, Souvenir d'un Futur, on the elderly living in the large estates of the Paris region. The photographer intends to question us on the condition of seniors in these places in highlighting a sometimes neglected generation and in reestablishing the intergenerational links so important for the transmission of human values. He pushes forward another look on often underestimated suburban areas whose walls seem slowly get older and carry with them the memory of a modernist utopia. EXHIBITIONS & ART FAIRS Solo Exhibitions September / October 2016 - Solo show, Galerie du Carré d'Art, Rennes, France Group Exhibitions November / December 2016 - Group show, Galerie Robert Doisneau, Nancy, France July 2016 / September 2016 - Group show, Galerie Praz Delavallade, Paris, France June 2016 / July 2016 - Athens Photo Festival, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece June 2016 / July 2016 - Raster Beton Festival, D21 Kunstraum, Leipzig May 2016 - Photo London with LensCulture, Somerset House, United Kingdom March / June 2016 - Circulation(s) Festival, emerging European photography February / March 2016 - Exhibition at villa Noailles, commissioned work, la villa Reine Jeanne, Hyères, France December 2015 / February 2016 - Bourse du Talent, Bibliothèque Nationale Francois-Mitterrand, Paris, France AWARDS & HONORS 2016 - Audience Award, Festival Circulations, winner 2016 - Athens Photo Festival, selected 2016 - LensCulture Exposure Awards, finalist 2015 - Circulation(s) Festival, selected 2015 - Bourse du Talent #64 landscape / space / architecture, winner 2015 - Arles 2015 Photo Folio Reviews, finalist 2015 - European Photography Magazine #98, theme urbanics, selected SELECTED PUBLICATIONS, REVIEWS, INTERVIEWS Video interviews CNN International LensCulture Arte Metropolis Festival Circulations & Louis-Lumière Published British Journal of Photography, Washington Post, The Guardian, CNN, European Photography, Aesthetica Magazine, Wired, Business Insider, Vice Creators Project, PBS News Hour, Slate, Wallpaper, Port Magazine, Suddeutsche Zeitung, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, L'Obs, L'Oeil de la Photographie, Zoom Magazine, D'Architectures, Lufthansa magazine, Huffington Post world, D-La Repubblica, Style Magazine-Corriere della Sera, Neon Magazine, France Culture Radio, Pagina 99, M&C Saatchi Little Stories, Feature Shoot, Wyborcza, Duzy Format, De Morgen , Divisare, Ignant, Konbini, Ilpost, Gestalten, Fisheye Magazine, Style Park, Artnet News, La Vanguardia, Archdaily, Fubiz, Radio Nova, GUP Magazine, Dazed & Confused , Esquire, Urbanautica and many more websites/blogs.
Philip Metcalf
United States
Philip Metcalf was born in the Finger Lakes area of central New York State. He is a photographer who focuses mainly on the landscape, shooting in black & white infrared. The “Fire Ghosts” portfolio explores the devastation and unexpected beauty caused by the 2011 Las Conchas forest fire in New Mexico. In 2013, a photo from this portfolio was selected for the Art of Photography show, curated by Julia Dolan, the Curator of Photography at the Portland Art Museum and hung in the San Diego Art Institute. Also in 2013, he was a Nominee in the Black & White Spider Awards. In 2014, another photo from the portfolio was selected for the cover of Black & White Magazine (issue # 104). A graduate of Princeton University, Philip and his wife, photographer Patricia Galagan, live in Santa Fe, New Mexico.All about Philip Metcalf:AAP: Where did you study photography? With Whom? Two most important teachers were Charles Harbutt and Kate Carter back in the 1970’s. Harbutt’s class at The Maine Photo Workshops was ostensibly about the camera, but the real message was the difference between how your eye sees the world vs how a camera sees the world. Like many young photographers, I started with a couple of camera bodies and several lens. Accordingly, much of one’s time and attention was spent on thinking about equipment combinations. In Ireland with Kate, I was bemoaning the lack of great results. Kate said something was elegantly simple and utterly true: “Remember, it’s all about the light.” That afternoon I went shooting with one body and one lens, a practice that I have followed ever since.AAP: What or who inspires you? Nature, especially the wide open spaces of the Western United States. When I lived on the East Coast, I asked a friend visiting from the West what he thought of the Eastern part of the US. He said it was fine except that he couldn’t see anything. I never really understood what he meant until moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The vast expanses of the West with their unobstructed views for miles and miles are a very different experience than the more circumscribed views of the East. AAP: How could you describe your style? Based on nature and the real world, but slightly abstracted.AAP: Do you have a favorite photograph or series? My “Fire Ghosts” portfolio
Matt Wilson
United Kingdom
1969
Matt Wilson’s current body of work is part of an ongoing project, based upon a collection of transient observations, the landscapes of every day life and the people that call those landscapes home. It delves into the artist’s own history, his formative and current years within his home landscape and in the city he now resides and also, those of distant landscapes both literally and metaphorically he has traveled. A subtle, visually rich character study of what makes us who we are and the places we all inhabit and journey to, a chance to observe those looking outward whilst reflectively an opportunity to gaze inward.Source: Susan Inglett Gallery Matt Wilson photographed everywhere in Europe, starting with his native England, but also in France, with which it has its affinities, without omitting the Eastern countries where he still returns frequently between two stays Cuba. More recently, he ended his desire browse new territory: the United States where he lived for ten years. He could be afraid to touch this history, both American photographers are already loaded beautifully. But again, it gives us an amazing vision that reveals by snapshots of landscapes and men burnt by the sun that eventually, anyway, by lying down on this vast landscape to create ineffable moments that we may be fooling yourself and see it in watercolor. Then we could call this work “pictorial metaphor” even if the drift purely pictorial characters Matt Wilson were not so rooted in their time and in their daily lives, although sometimes needy. Because somewhere, if Matt Wilson gives us what he sees through a poetic prism, it is also a reporter and reflects our contemporary society by its subjects but often raw deals at tragic nor misery. His watchful eye is rather benevolent view borrowing a tragicomic light behind the full extent of a deeply humanistic thought.Source: mattwilsonphotography.com
Ian Berry
United Kingdom
1934
Ian Berry made his reputation as a photojournalist reporting from South Africa, where he worked for the Sunday Times and Drum magazine. He was the only photographer to document the massacre at Sharpeville. While based in Paris he was invited to join Magnum by Henri Cartier-Bresson. He moved to London to become the first contract photographer for the Observer Magazine. He has covered, conflict in Israel, Ireland, Vietnam, Czechoslovakia and Congo, famine in Ethiopia and apartheid in South Africa. He has also reported on the political and social transformations in China and the former USSR. Awards include Nikon Photographer of the Year (twice), Picture of the Year award from the National Press Photographers of America, and British Press Magazine Photographer of the Year (twice). Arts Council Award, Art Directors' Club of New York Award. His books include The English, two books on South Africa, Sold into slavery and Sea. Exhibitions in London, Paris, Hamburg, Brussels, Bradford, Perpignan, Aix en Provence Shanghai, Lowry Gallery, Walker Art Gallery Liverpool, Edinburgh, SCOP Shanghai, Hastings, Bruges. Ian Berry: Street Photography Photojournalism, documentary, reportage, call it what you will, shooting on the street is not easy. It needs a level of dedication and commitment as well as preparation, both mentally and with your shooting equipment. I'm aware of the differences of opinion over whether a photographer should ask a potential subject's permission before taking a picture. My take on the matter is that if you want a self-conscious stare into the camera, by all means ask, but if you want a potential subject in their natural environment and make a picture that reflects the situation, then shoot first and, if needs be, talk later. If observed, a smile nearly always puts your subject at ease. Often I find that if I walk out of a hotel in a strange city and go unnoticed when shooting the first picture, I'm high all day and can photograph non-stop without being seen or rebuffed, but a bad reaction from the first subject and I might as well go back to bed. A good way to hone your skills is to attend local events, street fairs and even pet shows, places where people are more amenable and accustomed to being photographed. It goes without saying that whether planning to shoot abroad or in Britain one should respect local customs and dress codes. It's no good wandering around a city in shorts and colourful T-shirts if you wish to move unobserved. This selective process also applies to equipment; whether you compromise between the Christmas tree approach and the sneaky ‘one camera in the hand behind the back' system, and between carrying enough gear to cope with whatever might arise, but not so much that you're exhausted after a few hours. I'm always amazed at colleagues who walk up to people with a 28mm lens and a flashgun banging away in their faces. It certainly creates a style but adds artificiality that I find unpleasant, both visually and in terms of aggression towards the subject. I think a style on the street should be created by a vision rather than a technique. Also the benefit of today's digital cameras to boost the ISO has enabled me at least to ditch a flashgun altogether during the day. Once in a while a new photographer joins Magnum with a totally different vision, like Russian Gueorgui Pinkhassov, who really excites me and makes me want to go out and shoot, not to recreate his style but rather to reinvent myself. I love to shoot with two fixed focal length lenses on two quiet Olympus cameras hanging around my neck, partially concealed under a vest or jacket. Only partially concealed because I don't want it to appear as if I were trying to hide the fact I am a photographer. The lenses I use are a 28mm and a 50mm, which are small, light and fast. I prefer fixed focal length lenses because I like to know exactly what is going to be in the frame, and it's far easier to take half a step forward or backward than fiddling with a zoom. In Magnum the jury is out among the street shooters over whether a DSLR or a range finder is the better choice, but nearly all use single focal length lenses. The other plus of a small camera is that you are often perceived as an amateur photographer and therefore less of a threat to the people you're photographing. Shooting with a long zoom on the street is a definite no-no, as you will be viewed as a voyeur. Curiously, I find I can be 3ft or 4ft from someone, shoot with a 28mm lens and pass by unnoticed and yet be obvious at 15ft. A recent fashion trend I don't think works is trying to carry equipment in a rucksack. It's great for the countryside or getting to or from a location but on the street every second counts and by the time you get a camera or lens out of this sort of bag, night has fallen and everyone has gone home. I find that a soft bag of the Domke variety will hold a body with longer lens inconspicuously but within quick reach. Whatever your kit set-up, however, the same creative needs apply. The ability to recognise a potential situation and produce an elegant composition in a fraction of a second on the street is what separates the great photojournalists such as Eugene Smith, Sebastião Salgado and Alex Webb from the rest of us. I've noticed that with that ability comes the physical stamina and professionalism to pound the streets for 12 hours on the trot. The basic elements are either to grab the decisive moment on the hoof, to see a potential situation and hover unseen until it develops, or spot a potentially great background and be prepared to hang around for an hour or more until the right juxtaposition of people slot into place in front of you. This is something I frequently do, especially in a foreign environment; simply wait until you become part of the fixtures and fittings so that when you raise the camera slowly and smoothly to the eye, no one's attention is drawn by an unusual movement. One of the great things about growing up photographically in Magnum was the words of wisdom dropped casually on occasion by Henri Cartier-Bresson. For example, "A great photograph is not an intellectual result, the only intellectual involvement is being there in the first place. The actual moment is purely intuitive, like squeezing the trigger of a gun when your subject is in exactly the right place in the frame." On another occasion as we were wandering around in Paris, "Walk softly and slowly. If you are moving quickly and stop suddenly, the people you are about to photograph will react to the change of pace in their peripheral vision and become aware of you." Street photography in Britain has become another issue. Years ago when travelling from Istanbul to Beijing by train, I'd passed from Iran into Turkmenistan and was shooting in the capital, Ashgabat. Most of the main buildings had 15ft-high portraits of the President in true personality cult style and after wandering around I chose what I thought was the most interesting building architecturally. I then stood for quite a while waiting for interesting people to pass by to make up the shape. After a short time a couple of guys came out of the building and watched me, then came over and ‘invited' me into the building. It transpired I was photographing the equivalent of the FSBheadquarters. One of the men spoke excellent English and after quizzing me in a not unpleasant way, asked that if he were to come to London would he be allowed to photograph Scotland Yard? In response I invited him to call me when he was next in London so we could photograph it together. Sadly I could not do that any more, we are no longer that relaxed a society. So what to do when you're in front of the Bank of England trying to shoot an essay on the City and an officious PCSO or a jobsworth from the nearest sock shop arrives to tell you to desist, or worse, delete your images? The advice of lawyer Rupert Grey, who knows a thing or two about photographers' rights, is to keep your cool, be polite and explain that you are perfectly entitled to take photographs in a public place without being hassled. The public are more sensible on the whole, although it's still best to avoid photographing children. Years ago when shooting for my book, The English, I was able to go into school playgrounds with the teachers' approval and thought nothing of it; and it was the same in shopping centres, even hospitals, but no longer. Having said that, not too long ago I was passing an African-Caribbean church and stopped outside to take a few pictures of people milling around, only to be invited in to photograph the service – a pleasurable experience in this age, which tells me that one should not give up on recording life in Britain. Ian's words of wisdom "Know your camera inside out. Walk with your finger on the release. Have your lens pre-focused (Josef Koudelka had bits of matchsticks glued to Olympus lenses at different points to focus by feel). A single focal lens is best. I shoot on aperture, only adjusting as light conditions change. Don't be intimidated, most people are happy to be photographed. If nervous walk with a friend, although they are always distracting and get in the way. Buy a waistcoat or jacket a size too big to keep your camera concealed inside. Look around you constantly. Be discreet; looking beyond the subject after shooting often helps. If confronted, good-humoured banter and a smile always work."
Advertisement
All About Photo Awards 2022
Visura
Solo Exhibition February 2022

Latest Interviews

Exclusive Interview with  James Hayman
James Hayman is a photographer as well as a film / television director, producer, and cinematographer based in Los Angeles. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with John Simmons
John Simmons is a multi-talented artist whose work has spanned across decades. Born in Chicago and coming of age during the Civil Rights Era, Simmons' photography started at the peak of political and racial tension of the 1960s, mentored by a well known Chicago Civil Rights photographer, Bobby Sengstacke.
Exclusive Interview with Nick Brandt About The Day May Break
Photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020, The Day May Break is the first part of a global series portraying people and animals impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. An ambitious and poetic project picturing people who have all been badly affected by climate change - some displaced by cyclones that destroyed their homes, others such as farmers displaced and impoverished by years-long severe droughts. We asked Nick Brandt a few questions about the project.
Exclusive Interview with Barbara Cole
For the last forty-five years, artist Barbara Cole has been recapturing the otherworldly mysteries of early photography in a body of work that flows in and out of time.
Exclusive Interview with Daniel Sackheim
Daniel Sackheim is an American Film & Television director and producer best known for his work on such highly acclaimed series as HBO's True Detective Season 3, Game of Thrones, and Amazon’s Jack Ryan. But he is also a talented photographer. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exlusive Interview with Tom Price Winner of All About Photo Awards 2021
Tom Price is the Photographer of the Year, winner of All About Photo Awards 2021 - The Mind's Eye. My co-jurors Keith Cullen, Denis Dailleux, Stefano De Luigi, Monica Denevan, Claudine Doury, Ann Jastrab, Stephan Vanfleteren, Hiroshi Watanabe, Alison Wright and myself were impressed by his work 'Porter' taken from a series of surreal portraits, featuring 'relocated' porters from Kolkata, as a reflection on the experience of migrant workers.
Interview: Jill Enfield by Jon Wollenhaupt
Alternative photography pioneer Jill Enfield comes from a long line of photographers dating back to 1875-the date when her ancestors opened up gift stores in Germany where they sold cameras and other technical equipment. In 1939, after fleeing Nazi Germany, her family opened the first camera store in Miami Beach, where as a child, Jill roamed the aisles. It is easy to imagine that she grew up always having a camera in her hands. With photography imprinted in her DNA, her career path seemed inevitable.
Exclusive Interview with Michael Nguyen
Michael Nguyen is a street and documentary photographer living near Munich, Germany. He is also the co-founder of Tagree Magazine. We asked him a few questions about his life and work.
Exclusive Interview with Jon Enoch
Jon Enoch is a London-based photographer who focuses on portrait and lifestyle photography for advertising and media publications, as well as large organisations. He has won numerous awards for his Vietnamese photography portrait series called cBikes of Hanoi', including the Smithsonian Grand Prize; the Lens Culture Portrait Award and the Portraits of Humanity Award in 2020. The images were also shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Award and they won the gold Prix de la Photographie Paris (Px3) award in 2019. The set of portrait images were featured on the BBC, the Guardian, the Telegraph and went viral on websites across the world.
Call for Entries
All About Photo Awards 2022
Win $10,000 cash prizes and international exposure