Study the Masters: Ernst Haas
Born in 1921 in Austria, Ernst Haas (1921-1986), like Saul Leiter born two years later, became known for his early work with Kodachrome. His photography was strongly graphic, emphasizing colour as a compositional elements and often using motion and reflections. Haas was a member of Magnum and a colleague of contemporaries Robert Capa and Henri Cartier Bresson.
You can see his work and find out more on the website of the Ernst Haas Estate. Take some time to look through his work. Study the composition. Then poke around the website, Philosophy By Haas is a particularly good read, as are the Reflections on Haas.
If you can find them, Haas wrote 4 books, all of them now out of print: The Creation (1971), In America (1975), In Germany (1976), and Himalayan Pilgrimage (1978). Posthumously, his work is in Ernst Haas, Color Photography (1989), Ernst Haas in Black and White (1992), and Color Correction (2011).
“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”
“I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new.”
“You don’t take pictures; the good ones happen to you.”
Mongolia series. 2012. Hasselblad and some old film. There’s a lot of talk among photographers about personal projects. I assume, by this, we mean projects that are not for clients, though I’ve tried very hard to never do a project that is not in some way also personal. Life’s too short. For me the key […]
Composition & Questions
We often talk about composition as though its something that can be done right or done wrong. When you look at it in those terms photography is not about expression, but about following the rules. The best thing I ever learned on the photographic journey was this: there are no rules. None. Nope, not even […]
Study The Masters: Saul Leiter
I’m starting a new series called Study the Masters. Short and sweet, it’s my chance to put you on to photographers from the past that have made our art what it is. Hands down, the best photographic education, once you know how to use a camera, is to study the work of others. This is […]
The Visual Imagination
A couple years ago I sat in a wheelchair in front of a painting, a piece from one of Canada’s Group of Seven, a landscape from the northern shore of Lake Superior. I could feel the temperature of the wind on my skin, I could recall the acidic smell of soil rich with pine needles, […]