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Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Country: France
Birth: 1908 | Death: 2004

Born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne, Henri Cartier-Bresson developed a strong fascination with painting early on, and particularly with Surrealism. In 1932, after spending a year in the Ivory Coast, he discovered the Leica - his camera of choice thereafter - and began a life-long passion for photography. In 1933 he had his first exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York. He later made films with Jean Renoir. Taken prisoner of war in 1940, he escaped on his third attempt in 1943 and subsequently joined an underground organization to assist prisoners and escapees. In 1945 he photographed the liberation of Paris with a group of professional journalists and then filmed the documentary Le Retour (The Return). In 1947, with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David 'Chim' Seymour and William Vandivert, he founded Magnum Photos.

After three years spent travelling in the East, in 1952 he returned to Europe, where he published his first book, Images à la Sauvette (published in English as The Decisive Moment). He explained his approach to photography in these terms, "For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression." From 1968 he began to curtail his photographic activities, preferring to concentrate on drawing and painting. In 2003, with his wife and daughter, he created the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris for the preservation of his work. Cartier-Bresson received an extraordinary number of prizes, awards and honorary doctorates. He died at his home in Provence on 3 August 2004, a few weeks short of his 96th birthday.

Source: Magnum Photos



His technique: Henri Cartier-Bresson almost exclusively used Leica 35 mm rangefinder cameras equipped with normal 50 mm lenses or occasionally a wide-angle for landscapes. He often wrapped black tape around the camera's chrome body to make it less conspicuous. With fast black and white films and sharp lenses, he was able to photograph almost by stealth to capture the events. No longer bound by a huge 4×5 press camera or an awkward medium format twin-lens reflex camera, miniature-format cameras gave Cartier-Bresson what he called "the velvet hand [and] the hawk's eye." He never photographed with flash, a practice he saw as "Impolite...like coming to a concert with a pistol in your hand." He believed in composing his photographs in the viewfinder, not in the darkroom. He showcased this belief by having nearly all his photographs printed only at full-frame and completely free of any cropping or other darkroom manipulation. Indeed, he emphasized that his prints were not cropped by insisting they include the first millimetre or so of the unexposed clear negative around the image area resulting, after printing, in a black border around the positive image.

Henri Cartier-Bresson worked exclusively in black and white, other than a few unsuccessful attempts in color. He disliked developing or making his own prints and showed a considerable lack of interest in the process of photography in general, likening photography with the small camera to an "instant drawing". Technical aspects of photography were valid for him only where they allowed him to express what he saw: "Constant new discoveries in chemistry and optics are widening considerably our field of action. It is up to us to apply them to our technique, to improve ourselves, but there is a whole group of fetishes which have developed on the subject of technique. Technique is important only insofar as you must master it in order to communicate what you see... The camera for us is a tool, not a pretty mechanical toy. In the precise functioning of the mechanical object perhaps there is an unconscious compensation for the anxieties and uncertainties of daily endeavor. In any case, people think far too much about techniques and not enough about seeing."

He started a tradition of testing new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published the images but referred to them as "my only superstition" as he considered it a 'baptism' of the lens. Henri Cartier-Bresson is regarded as one of the art world's most unassuming personalities. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness since his days in hiding from the Nazis during World War II. Although he took many famous portraits, his own face was little known to the world at large (which presumably had the advantage of allowing him to work on the street in peace). He dismissed others' applications of the term "art" to his photographs, which he thought were merely his gut reactions to moments in time that he had happened upon. "In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little human detail can become a leitmotiv."

Source: Wikipedia


Henri Cartier-Bresson has intuitively chronicled decisive moments of human life around the world with poetic documentary style. His photographs impart spontaneous instances with meaning, mystery, and humor in terms of precise visual organization, and his work, although tremendously difficult to imitate, has influenced many other photographers. His photographs may be summed up through a phrase of his own: "the decisive moment," the magical instant when the world falls into apparent order and meaning, and may be apprehended by a gifted photographer.

Source: International Center of Photography


 

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Anders Petersen was born 1944 in Stockholm, Sweden. 14 years old his family moved to Karlstad in Värmland, where he met the artists ?Karin Bodland and Lars Sjögren.In 1961 he stayed for some time in Hamburg in order to learn German and trying to write and paint. He didn’t take any pictures. Five years later he met Christer Strömholm and became a student at his School of Photography in Stockholm. Strömholm was not just his teacher but also a close friend. Their friendship influenced him for life. In 1967 he starts photographing a bar called Café Lehmitz in Hamburg, close to Zeughausmarkt. He was photographing there for a period of almost three years and in 1970 he had his first soloexhibition over the bar in Café Lehmitz with 350 photographs nailed to the wall. In 1973 he published his first book ”Gröna Lund”, about people in an amusementpark in Stockholm. In 1974 he graduated from the Swedish Filmschool,Dramatiska Institutet, in Stockholm. In 1978 he published ”Café Lehmitz ” in Germany. In 1984 the first book in a trilogy about locked instituations was published. The three books were about people in a prison, a nursing house, and a mental hospital. After photographing the mental hospital for three years he oriented himself towards a more free approach in a kind of diarylike photography. During 2003 and 2004 Anders Petersen was appointed Professor of Photography in the School of Photography and Film at the University of Göteborg, Sweden. He regularly has workshops and exhibitions throughout Europe, Asia and in the USA. He has received numerous grants and rewards since the seventies. In 2003 Anders Petersen was elected the ”Photographer of the Year” by the International Photofestival in Arles.In 2006 he was shortlisted as one of four for the ”Deutsche Börse Photography Prize”. In 2007 he received the ”Special Prize of the Jury” for his exhibition ”Exaltation of Humanity” by the third International Photofestival in Lianzhou, China. In 2008 he received the ”Dr. Erich Salomon Award” by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie, Germany. ”The Arles Contemporary Book Award for 2009? went to JH Engström and ?Anders Petersen’s collaborative book ”From Back Home” by Max Ström.?The book was nominated to ”The Best Photographic Book in Sweden, ?year 2009? and also Winner of Design Bronze Lion in Cannes. In 2010, he was in the jury for the BMW Prize at Paris Photo. In 2012, nominated to the Swedish Photo Book Prize in Stockholm for ”SOHO”, and PhotoBook of the Year award for "City Diary" Paris Photo and the Aperture Foundation. Anders Petersen has his darkroom in Stockholm, Sweden. Source: www.anderspetersen.se Anders Petersen, one of Sweden’s most influential auteur photographers, sensitively blurs the boundaries between madness and normality in his artwork “Mental Hospital”. Petersen, who won international renown with his Hamburg Café Lehmitz series (1967-1970), spent several years photographing patients at a psychiatric hospital just south of Stockholm. His gaze is one of raw tenderness, conveying naked emotions with insightful poetry. Carried by a deep integrity, he takes the viewer to the limits of normality. "It is the naked encounter, the raw, piercing confrontation with the Other and therefore with myself," Petersen said, describing his intention. "I photograph people with whom I can identify and I feel attracted by people who live outside society. In all my photographs, I try, essentially, to create self-portraits." He is neither sentimental nor sensational. Instead, his images show a great respect for that which is enigmatic in people, for that which is hidden under the surface. Petersen’s works have marked the history of photography. In 2003, he won the award “Photographer of the Year” at the festival "Rencontres de la Photographie" in Arles, and he was honored with the German Photography Society’s Dr.-Erich-Salomon prize in 2008 for his life’s work. Source: Grundemark Nilsson Gallery
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Ellen Cantor
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Eli Reed
United States
1946
Eli Reed was born in the US and studied pictorial illustration at the Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts, graduating in 1969. In 1982 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. At Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, he studied political science, urban affairs, and the prospects for peace in Central America. Reed began photographing as a freelancer in 1970. His work from El Salvador, Guatemala and other Central American countries attracted the attention of Magnum in 1982. He was nominated to the agency the following summer, and became a full member in 1988. In the same year Reed photographed the effects of poverty on America's children for a film documentary called Poorest in the Land of Plenty, narrated by Maya Angelou. He went on to work as a stills and specials photographer for major motion pictures. His video documentary Getting Out was shown at the New York Film Festival in 1993 and honored by the 1996 Black Film-makers Hall of Fame International Film and Video Competition in the documentary category. Reed's special reports include a long-term study on Beirut (1983-87), which became his first, highly acclaimed book Beirut, City of Regrets, the ousting of Baby Doc Duvalier in Haiti (1986), US military action in Panama (1989), the Walled City in Hong Kong and, perhaps most notably, his documentation of African-American experience over more than twenty years. Spanning the 1970s through the end of the 1990s, his book Black in America includes images from the Crown Heights riots and the Million Man March. Reed has lectured and taught at the International Center of Photography, Columbia University, New York University, and Harvard University. He currently works as Clinical Professor of Photojournalism at the University of Texas in Austin.(Source: en.wikipedia.org)
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