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“My photography is a reflection, which comes to life in action and leads to meditation. Spontaneity
- the suspended moment – intervenes during action, in the viewfinder.”
Iranian, b. 1944
An Iranian transplanted to Paris, Abbas has dedicated himself to documenting the political and social
life of societies in conflict.In his major work since 1970 he has covered wars and revolutions in Biafra,
Bangladesh, Northern Ireland, Vietnam, the Middle East, Chile, Cuba, and South Africa during apartheid.
From 1978 to 1980, Abbas photographed the revolution in Iran, to which he returned in 1997 after
seventeen years of voluntary exile.
His book Iran Diary 1971-2002 is a critical interpretation of Iranian history, photographed and written as a private journal.
During his years of exile Abbas traveled constantly. Between 1983 and 1986 he journeyed through Mexico,
attempting to photograph a country as a novelist might write about it.
The resulting exhibition and book, Return to Mexico: Journeys Beyond the Mask, helped define his photographic aesthetic.
From 1987 to 1994, he focused on the resurgence of Islam throughout the world.
Allah O Akbar: A Journey Through Militant Islam,
the subsequent book and exhibition, spanning twenty-nine countries and four continents,
attracted special attention after the 9/11 attacks by Islamic jihadists.
A later book, Faces of Christianity: A Photographic Journey (2000), and touring show
explored Christianity as a political, ritual and spiritual phenomenon
Abbas’s concern with religion led him in 2000 to begin a project on animism, in which
he sought to discover why non-rational ritual has re-emerged
in a world increasingly defined by science and technology. He abandoned this undertaking
in 2002, on the first anniversary of 9/11, to start a new
long-term project about the clash of religions, defined as culture rather than faith, which he
believes are replacing political ideologies in the strategic
struggles of the contemporary world.
From 2008 to 2010 Abbas travelled the world of Buddhism, photographing with the same sceptical eye.
In 2011 he started a similar long term project on Hinduism.
A member of Sipa from 1971 to 1973, then of Gamma from 1974 to 1980, Abbas joined Magnum
Photos in 1981 and became a member in 1985.
Haas attended medical school in Austria, but, in 1947, left to become a staff photographer for the magazine Heute.
His photo essay for the magazine on prisoners of war coming home to Vienna won him acclaim and
and Bill Vandivert.
Haas moved to New York City and in 1953 produced a 24-page, color photo essay on the city for Life, which then commissioned similar photo spreads on Paris and Venice. In 1962, the Museum of Modern Art mounted a one-man show of Haas’ color photos. Haas’ first photo book, Elements, was published the next year.
Some of Haas’ most famous pictures were deliberately out-of-focus and blurred, creating strong visual effects. He used the dye transfer process to make many of his original prints, yielding richly saturated colours.
In 1964, film director John Huston hired Haas to direct the creation sequence for Huston’s 1964 film, The Bible. Haas continued working on the theme, producing the photo book, The Creation in 1971. Other
photography books by Haas included In America in 1975, a tribute to his adopted country for its bicentennial year;
Deutschland in 1977; and Himalayan Pilgrimage in 1978. Other films that Haas worked on included The Misfits in 1961,
campaigns for Marlboro cigarettes.
Art Wolfe is an American photographer, television host, conservationist, photography teacher and artist. He is most notably known for his color photographs of wildlife, nature and cultures.
Wolfe’s parents were both commercial artists in Seattle, Washington. Wolfe graduated with a
Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Washington. Within four years of graduation,
Wolfe had done assignments for National Geographic magazine and produced his first photo
book documenting Northwest Indian baskets.
Wolfe’s approach to nature photography combines elements of photojournalism
and art photography. Wolfe lists his major influences as Ernst Haas and Eliot Porter.
Wolfe has released more than 65 photo books and instructional videos of photographic
techniques. The U.S. Postal Service has used Wolfe’s photographs on two stamps.
He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and serves on the
advisory boards for the Wildlife Conservation Society, Nature’s Best Foundation,
Bridges to Understanding, and is a Fellow of the International League of
Conservation Photographers (ILCP).
Wolfe’s latest endeavor is the public television series “Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge”.
In the series Art shares his knowledge about the world around him and explores
different places and cultures. “Travels to the Edge” is distributed by American Public
Television. Art’s influences were his parents because the both where photographers
|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. In order to “give a meaning” to the world, one has to feel involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry. It is by economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.
To take a photograph is to hold one’s breath when all faculties converge in a face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.
To take a photograph means to recognize – simultaneously and within a fraction of a second– both the fact itself and the rigorous organisation of visually perceived forms that give it meaning.
It is putting one’s head, one’s eye, and one’s heart on the same axis.