In this Episode
“Each time Andre Kertész’s shutter clicks, I feel his heart beating.” Henri Cartier-Bresson
In this week episode, we take a quick look at the influence of André Kertész and his work on my own. I was aware of André Kertész’s work early on in my photographic studies, but it was a trip to the LA MOMA that really introduced me to his amazing sense of seeing, composition and feeling. Over the years, I have returned to his work over and over again trying to find ways to better connect to my own simple, emotionally filled work.
Born in Hungary in 1894, his career spanned seven decades. From his earliest work as a kid in the streets of Budapest to Paris to New York, there was always something pulling at the experiences of life that could be seen in Andre’s images. As you spend time looking at his work, you can see not only his sense of design, form, and geometry, but you can also see how he overlayered his own emotion subtext to the work. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from Andre that I feel summarize why his approach is worth studying.
“I do what I feel, that’s all, I am an ordinary photographer working for his own pleasure. That’s all I’ve ever done.”
“Seeing is not enough; you have to feel what you photograph.”
“I do not document anything, I give an interpretation.”
A photograph draws its beauty from the truth with which it is marked. For this very reason, I refuse all the tricks of the trade and professional virtuosity which could make me betray my canon. As soon as I find a subject which interests me, I leave it to the lens to record truthfully.”
“Technique isn’t important. Technique is in the blood. Events and mood are more important than good light and the happening is what is important.”
I encourage you to go out and spend time with your own influences and see how their lives, photographs, and words have impacted you and your work. You might find even more inspiration when you get to know more about the person who created the photographs you admire the most. As you create more and more work, you might be surprised at how the technical influences fall to the side and the content and emtioanl influences creep into your images.
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