Andre Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson VS. Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado (MODULE 11: GROUP PROJECT)

Module 11 Group Members: 
Ka Hang Fan-100773588
Samantha Joyce– 100824261
Christopher Kelloway-100820600
Nastasha Masangkay-100846887
Kat Vanderkruk-100823206

Andre Kertesz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, and Sebastio Salgado were all photojournalist but with different approaches. Photojournalism is all about Shooting The Truth, so did these four photojournalist stand by that statement? Before elaborating on this matter and dictating who has the best journalistic approach; we must go back to the beginning of their individual story. By doing so, we can have a better understanding to their style and principles of photography

Andre Kertesz 

   Biography

  •      Hungarian photographer
  •  Andre got his name famous by pursuing in photography independently because his family wanted him to become a stockbroker, which then Andre started to show his photography style in magazines and publishing it.
  •  In 1914, Andre was sent off to World War I at the age of 20, where he then took his first camera that he received in 1912 and shared the scenes of the daily battle life. After Andre briefly served in World War I for a short time, he then tried photography as his career in Paris (1925), which became a successful photojournalist because of his iconic images during the time.

 Photography Career

   Working as a clerk at the Budapest stock exchange, Andre raised enough resources for his first camera in 1914. While joining the Hungarian army in 1914, Andre found an opportunity in capturing moments during the lives of the soldiers; this was the foundation of him as a photographer. Between 1914 and 1918, Andre shared his pictures to magazines and was then processed into postcards. After moving to Paris in 1925, Andre chose to be a freelance photographer in Paris, while working with many other great artists living in Paris such as, Piet Mondrian, Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, Constantin Brancusi, Sergei Eisenstein, and Tristan Tzara. Freelance photographers are people who take photographs frequently while roaming in places.

Photography Style

  •  Andre’s photography style was much more different than other photographers because of his camera angles which helped him gain a bigger interest in people. His camera angles were mainly height with depth; for example, Andre likes taking pictures from a high spot and shooting down, which makes the people in the photos look like flies.
  •   Andre found his style in photography by using small cameras like the 35mm Leica in 1925; his pictures showed patterns and depth.
  • Andre’s style was mostly modern urban in the twentieth century, his photos are combined with abstract concepts.
  • Andre Kertesz used to construct composition in his images by changing camera angles. Later then Andre also tried using symbols to represent his ideas from natural objects and live facts during the time in his photographs, but did not gain any interests. After those attempts, Andre is now known for his original photos in his photography style and is now influencing many modern photographers.

 Andre Kertesz Photography

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Paris- André Kertész (1928)

    André Kertész took this picture; it’s a black/white photo. In the background you can see a train, on the right there is an old building from World War I, in the middle it shows depth and distance.

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 Paris- André Kertész

   In this picture, it shows a zoomed in on the people of Paris after World War I, it also shows patterns through the peoples shadows created by the sun. 

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Biography

  • Born Aug 22 1908 in Chanteloup, France.
  • Was a pioneer in photojournalism and he wandered around the world and got totally immersed in his current environment.
  • He was considered a major artist of the 20th century and it started when he went to school and had a love for literature and the arts.
  • In 1927 he began a two year stint studying painting under the noted Cubist ‘Andre Lhote’ and then he traveled to Africa to hunt antelope, but instead fueled his interest in photography.

Photography Career

   He was considered a major artist of the 20th century and it started when he went to school and had a love for literature and the arts.  In 1927 he began a two year stint studying painting under the noted Cubist ‘Andre Lhote’ and then he traveled to Africa to hunt antelope, but instead fueled his interest in photography.  He sparked an interest in photography in 1931 when he travelled to Africa to hunt antelope but ended up stirring up his interest in photography.  His first camera was a 35mm Leica with a 50mm Lens.  He stated “It’s like being a hunter.  But some hunters are vegetarians –which is my relationship to photography”. For the rest of his life he based it toward photography and he made clear his disdain to using artificial light, dark room effects and cropping.  He believed that all edits should be done when the image is made.  By the 1930s his work had been shown in major exhibits including Mexico, New York and Madrid and the images revealed early raw possibilities of street photography and photojournalism.  In 1935 Cartier had befriended Paul Strand who experimented with film and then he abandoned photography and returned to France where he took work assisting a French filmmaker Jean Renoir.  That experience had drawn him to showing real stories of real life.  1940 he joined the army and then he was caught and forced into a prison-of-war camp for 3 years.  With two failed attempts he escaped and traveled east to India where he met Mahatma Gandhi and photographed him before and after his assassination.  His photos of Gandhi became one of Life Magazines most prized photo essays.  Hi interest in the world led him on a 3 year odyssey through Asia and in 1952 he published his first book ‘The Decisive Moment’.  Throughout his long career he saw and photographed the Spanish-Civil War, the Chinese Revolution, George VI’s coronation, and Khrushchev’s Russia.  In 1966 he quit Magnum and turned his focus where it began; painting and drawing.  By 2003 he and his and daughter created the Foundation Henri Cartier- Bressen in Paris to preserve his work.  He passed away Aug 3, 2004 a few weeks shy of his 96th Birthday.  He is best known for his photos which were humane, spontaneous and helped established photojournalism as an art form.

Photography Style

  • For the rest of his life he based it toward photography and he made clear his disdain to using artificial light, dark room effects and cropping.  He believed that all edits should be done when the image is made.
  • He is best known for his photos, which were humane, spontaneous, and helped established photojournalism as an art form.
  •  Henri Cartier- Bresson photo style included more of street and was merely black and white.  He used a 35mm Leica and a 50mm Lens.
  •    He has three rules: he never contrived a picture, never used artificial light and never retouched the results.

Henri Cartier Bresson Photography

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 Nehru announces Gandhi’s Death- Henri Cartier-Bresson (1947 )

   This photo was taken right after Gandhi was assassinated.  The picture carries the cries and wails of the entire subcontinent.  Bresson states how he vividly came to possess this iconic image and states “There was an anguished mob outside the Brila House, he recounted and took the picture at 1/45 at 1.5 by holding his breath.”  It seems Cartier-Bresson’s Leica had captured the great gothic moment our limited human mind cannot fathom.

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 Behind the Gare St. Lazare- Henri Cartier-Bresson (1932) 

   Bresson’s take on the station has been totally different from other artists such as Monet, Manet, and Et All.  This photo is not noted for its historicity, but represents Bresson’s entire life works.  Cartier- Bresson has been stated as a champion of the Decisive Moment and a seeker of the unexplored- this photo represents both.  He describes the moment he found this photo that he poked through a plank on a fence just enough for his eye hole and proved he was the right man at the right moment.

Eugene Smith

Biography

  • William Eugene Smith was born in 1918 in Wichita, Kansas.
  • 1936 Smith entered Notre Dame University in Wichita, left the university after a year and went to New York City.
  • 1937 he began working for News-Week (later Newsweek). He was fired for refusing to use medium-format.
  • Smith worked as a war correspondent for Flying magazine (1943-44), and a year later for Life.
  • He followed the American offensive against Japan during world war 2, and suffered severe injuries while simulating battle conditions for Parade, which required him to undergo surgery for the next two years.
  •  Once recuperated, Eugene Smith worked for Life again between 1947 and 1955, before resigning in order to join Magnum as an associate.
  • 1957 he became a full member of Magnum. Smith was fanatically dedicated to his mission as a photographer.
  • Later in life Eugene moved to Tucson to teach Photography at the University of Arizona.
  • The year after moving to Tucson, Smith died of a stroke.

Photography Career

   Smith learned about photography from his mother. By the age of thirteen he was committed to the craft, and by twenty-one he had been published in dozens of magazines. After finishing one year of university Eugene then moved to New York and worked for Newsweek, and Life magazine.

Photography Style

·           Humanistic photography, Eugene’s photos give a very clear message of wrong and right.

·      Smith was not afraid to push boundaries and make people feel uncomfortable looking at his photos.

·      Writing for life magazine Eugene would spend weeks with his subject to help him capture their true essence. This was an unusual practice for photographers at the time.

Eugene Smith Photography

 Image

  The Walk to Paradise Garden- Eugene Smith (1946) 

This is a photo of Smith’s children walking towards a clearing in the woods. His children remembered how their father asked them to walk the path many times just to get the right photo Smith wanted.

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 Eugene Smith, Uemura in Her Bath (1971)

  The centerpiece photograph in Minamata, a long-term photo essay on the effects of mercury poisoning in the fishing village of Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. The photograph depicts a mother cradling her severely deformed daughter in a traditional Japanese bathing chamber.

Sebastiao Salgado

Biography

  •  Sebastiao Ribeiro Salgado was born February 8, 1944 in Aimores, Brazil.
  • When Sebastiao was young, the education in his area was minimal, leading to him travelling to Vitoria, almost 200 kilometers away.
  • With his secondary education completed in 1962, Sebastiao attended the University of Sao Paolo, and obtained his Master’s Degree in Economy in 1967.
  • That same year, he married Lelia Wanick, later producing two children.

Photography Career

    In 1971, Sebastiao and his wife were in London, England, where he worked as an economist for the International Coffee Organization, and often worked in affiliation with the World Bank. It was on a work trip to Africa where Sebastiao started to photograph. In 1973, he abandoned his career as an economist, and he and his wife returned to Paris, where they had been five years prior. Having viewed the world as a non-photographer first, Sebastiao had acquired a unique perspective of things, and perhaps is what allows his projects to connect with people. In 1974, Sebastiao worked as a freelancer for the Sygma photographic agency. During his time there he photographed stories in Portugal, Angola and Mozambique. A year after Sygma, he joined the Gamma Photographic Agency and did work in Africa, Europe and Latin America. In 1977 he began a long photographic project on the Indians and peasants of Latin America. In 1979, Sebastiao left Gamma and joined Magnum Photos for the next fifteen years. His work was featured in magazines in many countries across the Americas and Europe. In 1984 he finished his work on the Indians and peasants of Latin America, and was published as his first book, Other Americas. 18 months afterward, Sebastiao worked with the agency Doctors Without Borders, documenting African famine. Sebastiao’s second book Workers: An Archeology of the Industrial Era was the result of travel to over twenty countries and nine years of photographs. Many of Sebastiao’s eight published book, and numerous exhibits were designed and put together by Lelia.

Photography Style    

  •  Sebastiao’s work is largely comprised of large-scale journalistic photographs, which accumulated over many continents, over many years.
  •  While most widely known for landscape images, the most popular ones often depict people.
  •  Sebastiao made sure his subjects were comfortable around him, getting to know their lives prior to photographing them.
  • Prefers the black and white style, because it forces the viewers to focus on the subject, rather than the colours.
  •    Until 2009, he worked exclusively with film, to the point of his assistants carrying heavy bags of film for him, but switched to digital to keep up with technology.
  • His projects often revolve around raising awareness of human nature in perhaps unwelcoming settings.

  Sebastiao Salgado Photography

 Image

Sebastiao Salgado (2007)

  The Mursi and the Surma women in Ethiopia are the last women in the world to wear lip plates, it is a mark of women of high birth.

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Sebastiao Salgado, Argentina (2004)

  The vast tail of a Southern right whale.

 Photography Style Comparison

   Now having the knowledge of these photographers’ life and photography background, we can now examine the photography styles they are accustomed to. Even though these four photographers are photojournalists; Andre Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson have a different journalist approach oppose to Eugene Smith and Sabastiao Salgado.

Comparing the two photographers of Andre Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson both has their own photography style. Starting off with Andre Kertesz, his main photography style is carried by his camera angles, height, and depth. While Andre kept changing camera angles, he constructed composition by using symbols in his photographs to represent his ideas from current objects. In most Andre Kertesz’s photographs, they mostly consisted of height because of the top view it was shot from. The transition that made Andre Kertesz a photographer was that he was sent off to World War I in 1914 when he was age 20, where Andre received his first 35mm Leica camera. Similar to Andre Kertesz, Henri Cartier-Bresson received his first 35mm Leica camera with 50mm lens in 1931 because he wanted to hunt antelopes in Africa but ended up having an interest in photography. While Henri was sent to prison in 1940, he escaped and traveled to India where he met Mahatma Gandhi. Comparing both photographers, Andre Kertesz became a famous photographer by his use of his camera angles during the time, whereas Henri Cartier-Bresson became a famous photographer because of his iconic image when Gandhi was assassinated.

The styling of Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado are similar in many ways. Both being in the field of journalistic photograph share the use of black and white photography. The use of black and white photograph is effective in the field of journalistic photograph, because it helps to illustrate the message the artist is trying to convey. In their photos it is better not to have colour because it is less distracting to the eye and helps the viewers focus on the main points. Another reason they use black and white photos in this way is because it helps set a different tone. Eugene’s photos give a very clear message of wrong and right. He is not afraid to push boundaries and make people feel uncomfortable looking at his photos. Sebastiao’s photographic style is very much the same, where human nature, lifestyle, and passion are the main focus. With both photography styles, the images are meant to invoke emotion when they are viewed, because often it is a side many viewers do not see. Smith and Salgado’s main difference is that Salgado is more well known for his landscape photos while Smith is better known for his photos of people.  They both also like to manipulate their photos pre and post production of their photos. By adjusting the lighting, positioning their subjects at the right angle, and changing characteristic n the dark room. Both Smith and Salgado. Smith and Salgado likes to interact with their subjects and they feel by doing so, it will compose a better photo outcome.

CHART: Similarities & differences between the four photographers  

Similarities

 

Differences

      ·   All four are all are photojournalists.

·    Black and white photographs.

·   Used film photography.

·   They all want their work to tell a story.

       ·   Kertesz & Bresson like to take pictures of their subjects unnoticed.

·   Smith & Salgado liked their subjects to be higbly involved, so their subjects are aware of their presences while taking the photos.

·   Smith & Salgado tend to tell/show their subjects how to pose so this helps bridge the gap of professionalism from the artist to the audience.

·   Kertesz & Bresson dislike cropping and manipulating their photos in the dark room.

·   Smith & Salgado like to manipulate their photographs during the process and in the dark room to achieve their desired outcome.

·   Kertesz believed that a meaningful photograph creates it self and naturally will fall into place.

·   Kertesz & Bresson’s photograph’s are unscripted.

·   Smith & Salgado are more scripted when it comes to their photographic style.

As a group, even after comparing the similarities and differences between Andre Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson versus Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado; we did not want to dictate the ultimate question of this project just based on research, so we took matter into our own hands. We wanted to see these four photographers’ perspective when capturing their photos and what better way to better understand their principles than putting ourselves into their shoes, metaphorically speaking. Our group members Samantha and Nastasha went on a photography escapade with having two photojournalist techniques in mind. Samantha focused on techniques used by Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado. While, Nastasha tried to replicate Andre Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson techniques.  This will assist us in making the decision on who has the better journalistic approach. Below are the photos captured by our very own group members.

Eugene Smith & Sebastiao Salgado (Samantha Joyce Photography)

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Sleeping Mouse- Samantha Joyce (2013)

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Sleeping Mouse- Samantha Joyce (2013)

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Sleeping Mouse- Samantha Joyce (2013)

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Sleeping Mouse- Samantha Joyce (2013)

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Sleeping Mouse- Samantha Joyce (2013)

Andre Kertesz & Henri Cartier-Bresson (Nastasha Masangkay Photography)

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Notre Dame Lamps- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Tourists- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Long Steel- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Street performers- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Acrobatics- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Unamused- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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White in Black- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Birds Eye View- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Couple- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Shadows- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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4 Wheels and a Horseshoe- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Old Montréal- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Coffee with Strangers- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

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Speed of Life- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

 DSC_0199

Rush Hour Mahem- Nastasha Masangkay (Montréal, 2013)

 Better Journalistic Approach?

After all the research, interesting facts, comparisons, and capturing photos using these four artists’ techniques we have come to a conclusion.  Although we found all photojournalists very creative and inspiring we believe that Andre Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s methods were a more suitable approach on photojournalism. Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado both like enhancing their photographs from beginning to end which makes their work questionable of producing the truth. In the other hand, Kertesz and Bresson’s style of raw and unedited photographs does not come across scripted unlike Smith and Salgado.  Kertesz and Bresson’s images are realistic by focusing on the types of camera angles before taking the image, therefore not needing to alter the image to show more modern abstract. Both photographers believe in being ‘invincible’ to their subjects. By doing so, they can capture real emotions, real movements, and real moments.  Taking photos in a naturalistic way was Kertesz’s method while Bresson’s method includes taking spontaneous photographs. Taking genuine photographs is another way of “shooting the truth”. Andre Kertesz and Henri Cartier-Bresson’s style and method proves that they possess a better journalistic approach versus Eugene Smith and Sebastiao Salgado. All four photojournalist had distinctive techniques but they all had one goal in common. They want their master pieces to tell a story through the texture, depth, and focal point of their photographs, they wanted their audience to be able to connect.

 

 

References:

http://www.atgetphotography.com/The-Photographers/Andre-Kertesz.html

http://www.icp.org/museum/exhibitions/andre-kertesz

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9_Kert%C3%A9sz

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/25/arts/design/25john.html?_r=0

www.photofocus.com/2012/04/01/photogrpahers-that-you-should-know-henri-cartier-bresson/

www.iconicphotos.wordpress/tag/henri-cartier-bresson/

www.qi.com/infocloud/henri-cartier-bresson

www.biography.com/people/henri-cartier-bresson-9240139

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/salgado/salgado_articles2.html

http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2004/sep/11/sebastiaosalgado.photography2

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/02/07/this-week-in-photography-history-the-birth-of-sebastiao-salgado/

http://blog.ted.com/2013/05/01/sebastiao-salgado-a-gallery-of-spectacular-photographs/

 

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/w-eugene-smith/about-w-eugene-smith/707/

http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult_VPage&VBID=2K1HZOQ7K4XLF1

http://smithfund.org

 

 

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