French photographer and cinematographer of Romanian origin, Eli Lotar (Eliazar Lotar Teodorescu, Paris, 1905 – 1969) arrived in France in 1924 and rapidly became one of the first avant-garde photographers in Paris. Close to Germaine Krull —Lotar worked as her apprentice for a time —and later to the Surrealists, his work was published in many of the avant-garde publications of the day, and featured in several major international photography exhibitions, including Fotographie der Gegenwart, Film und Foto, Documents de la vie sociale, etc.
Eli Lotar’s social and political interests and his penchant for collective projects can be revealed in his numerous collaborations with avant-garde writers (Jacques Prévert, Georges Bataille, and the magazine, Documents), as well as figures from the world of theatre (Antonin Artaud and Roger Vitrac), and well-known film directors (Joris Ivens, Alberto Cavalcanti and Luis Buñuel), all of whom were affected by the troubled socio-political climate of the 1930s.
In the northwestern corner of China lies the huge province of Xinjiang (literally: “new frontier”), more rarely called East Turkestan. Until recently, this region was predominantly populated by Uyghurs, a Turkish-speaking and Muslim Sunni people; but also by Kazakhs, Hui, Kyrgyz, Mongolians, Tajiks and other minorities from Central Asia. The Hans (majority of Chinese ethnic group), who have arrived by millions in recent decades, now represent more than 40% of the local population. China’s efforts to quell a separatist movement and sinicize its border regions have turned Xinjiang into a vast social control and domestic surveillance laboratory. It is almost impossible to move around the region without feeling the relentless gaze of the authorities.
In search of new frontiers in the oases that punctuate the ancient Silk Road, beyond empty and solitary spaces, I filled my memory from these horizons with their faces uncovered. In the old alleys of Kashgar, during a game of Buzkashi (game of “catch goat”) or at a traditional Tajik wedding, I let myself be carried by different expressions in search of harmony… leaving at the edge of deserts, steppes and snow-capped peaks of Central Asia, some intimate footprints of peoples in decline facing a new cultural revolution in motion.
Dani Olivier is a French photographer. He lives and works in Paris. This website features his experimental photographic work from 2014 to 2015.
Dani Olivier creates his effects at the time of the shoots, by projecting complex images and intricate light patterns on his models. He never touches up the originals.
The models are nude. They do not wear enhancing accessories. Their make up is minimal.
The pictures are taken with a black background. There are no artifacts: just the models and the light projection. The projections are either abstract or figurative.
The final composition is always surreal.
Dani Olivier’s abstract and psychedelic nudes are his exclusive creations. They confer a new dimension and innovative approach to the art of nude photography.
You can also discover his new projects photos on his facebook page: Dani Olivier
Réhahn is a photographer from Normandy, France, based in Hoi An, central Vietnam, since 2011. Led by his love of travelling and meeting people, he has visited more than 35 countries prior to making his home in the ancient town of Hoi An.
He is particularly renowned for his portraits of Vietnam, Cuba and India. The media regularly cites him as the Photographer who captures the souls of his models. Indeed, Réhahn spends time with the people he meets and builds a relationship with them before taking their photographs. Specialising in the ethnic groups of Vietnam, he travels the far reaches of this country on his motorbike in order to capture the latest images of these dying cultures.
Lisa Lesourd is a freelance Parisian Photographer.
She graduated from the CE3P school in Paris, where she studied the arf of photography.
She has a taste for portraits and impromptu snapshots of every day life.
Roger Corbeau, born November 20, 1908, in Haguenau, Alsace, was drawn to the cinema from a very young age. He moved to Paris in 1932 and began helping with props on film sets, first for Roger Richebé, then for Marcel Pagnol.
Who hired Corbeau as a movie stills photographer in 1933. They worked together for six years. With his demanding work ethic and talent, Corbeau quickly became a force in the French cinema. His photographs serve as a fervent tribute to the actors who left their mark on the medium from the 1930s to the 1980s. Corbeau took pictures on the sets of 160 films.
Corbeau is not a stills photographer in the usual sense of the term. He quickly decided to break out of the promotional limits of his role, imposing his own vision on the actors and the film, going so far as to arrange the performers himself. Fascinated by the human face, Corbeau developed an art combining a keen dramatic sense with a search for an ideal beauty. Mostly shot with a Rolleiflex on 6 x 6 cm film, the photographs were cropped by Corbeau himself.
He attached enormous importance to the printing process. His prints were often dense, and he would create a blurred effect by placing a silk stocking under the enlarger lens. These characteristics are what make Corbeau’s visual universe unique and immediately recognizable.
Corbeau died in Paris in September 1995, followed a major retrospective of his work, organized by the French Ministry of Culture at the Hôtel de Sully, Paris.
Born on May 1, 1968 in Bordeaux, France, Alain Laboile is a photographer and father of six.
In 2004, as he needed to put together a portfolio of his work as a sculptor, he acquired a camera, and thus developped a taste for macrophotography, spurred by his passion for entomology.
Later on, he pointed his lens towards his growing family which became his major subject : a life on the edge of the world, where intemporality and the universality of childhood meet.
The fashion photography of Raymond Voinquel is little known compared to his work as the finest still-photographer and portraitist to the stars of a golden age of French cinema. For over 40 years, he collaborated with the greatest directors in France: Marcel l’Herbier, Jean Cocteau, Abel Gance, Max Ophuls, Marcel Carné, and Sacha Guitry; the latter called on Voinquel for every one of his films.
It was at the beginning of Voinquel’s career, around 1935, that he first tried his hand at fashion photography, using it as a means for experimentation, drawing directly on his negatives, or being the first photographer in France to take his models out of the studio and into the streets. He went back and forth between his work in fashion and cinema, his goal always being to transform the given into dream-like images. And even though cinema and fashion may seem very close, a photographer split between these two worlds is a rarity. It didn’t take long for Voinquel to abandon fashion and dedicate himself entirely to his first love: the cinema. He threw himself completely into projects as soon as they were thought of by writers or directors, and was at times responsible for the meetings between them and the stars; he was thus the catalyst for the advent of certain films. Had he desired, he could have gone much further in fashion, imposing his talent and his ideas so modern for the time, but he was undoubtedly not stimulated enough by the prospects of the milieu, too often worried about preserving a conventional image, with room for innovation allowed only to the couturiers.
His obsession with the cinema permeates all his work; his landscapes at night look like sets in a studio and his train stations might be confused with film stills. It is artifice, the seemingly real which fascinates Voinquel.
Albert Kahn (3 March 1860 – 14 November 1940) was a French banker and philanthropist, known for initiating The Archives of the Planet, a vast photographical project. Spanning 22 years, it resulted in a collection of 72,000 colour photographs and 183,000 meters of film.
In 1909, Kahn travelled with his chauffeur and photographer, Alfred Dutertre, to Japan on business and returned with many photographs of the journey. This prompted him to begin a project collecting a photographic record of the entire Earth. He appointed Jean Brunhes as the project director, and sent photographers to every continent to record images of the planet using the first practical medium for colour photography, Autochrome plates, and early cinematography. Between 1909 and 1931 they collected 72,000 colour photographs and 183,000 meters of film. These form a unique historical record of 50 countries, known as The Archives of the Planet.
Kahn’s photographers began documenting France in 1914, just days before the outbreak of World War I, and by liaising with the military managed to record both the devastation of war and the struggle to continue everyday life and agricultural work.
Pierre Edouard Leopold Verger (1902-1996) was a French photographer, ethnologist, anthropologist and researcher who lived most of his life in the city of Salvador, capital of the state of Bahia, in Brazil. Verger developed a photographic work of great importance, based on everyday life and the popular culture of five continents. Verger also wrote several reference texts on the Afro-Bahian culture and the Diaspora, focusing his research work on the study of the religious aspects of Candomblé, an issue that becomes his main interest point.
Verger is born in Paris on November 4 th 1902. From a middle-class upbringing, until his thirties Pierre Verger leads a rather conventional lifestyle, corresponding to his social condition, even if he intimately disagrees with those class values. The year 1932 marks a turning point: he learns photography from his friend Pierre Boucher and discovers his passion for travel. Verger buys his first Rolleiflex camera, and after the death of his mother decides to realise his deepest desire: to become a lonesome traveller. Since the death of his father and two brothers, Verger’s mother had been his sole remaining parent, who he did not want to hurt in choosing an anticonformism and roving lifestyle.
Between December 1932 and August 1946, Pierre Verger travels around the world, making a living exclusively from his photographic art. Negot iating his negatives with newspapers, photo agencies and research institutions, Verger takes pictures for various companies and even exchanges his services for travel tickets. Paris becomes his base, where he receives his friends – including Jacques Prévert’s party and the ethnologists from the Ethnographic Museum in Trocadero square – while making contacts for new trips. He has his work published in the best magazines of the time, but as stardom is not his aim, Verger is always on the brink of a new departure: “The sensation that there was a wide world out there didn’t leave me, and the longing to see it took me towards new horizons”.
The name René Maltête is meaningless to most of us, since we don’t often look behind the camera, but he literally altered the way photography was handled, changing the game for good and all. He grew up in the 30’s and 40’s, when most pictures were taken of staid men in severe suits looking sorely unhappy as they stared into the lens of these photographic contraptions, trying not to blur the resultant images. Photos of the era were commonly staged, with little humanity. They were largely glamour shots or grim photos taken for utility. There wasn’t much personality to them, and they certainly weren’t funny. Then came the work of René.
As time progressed and more people could get access to cameras, the technology also became more mobile and less difficult to take out into the world, where life could be more aptly captured outside of staged shoots. Candid photography began to take off, and Maltête decided he wanted to show the hilarity of the human condition, so he made street photos that were odd, quirky, and often gut-busting. Meme-makers of today and those who devise “When You See It…” lists have nothing on the masterwork of this light-bending genius.
Raymond Depardon, born in France in 1942, began taking photographs on his family farm in Garet at the age of 12. Apprenticed to a photographer-optician in Villefranche-sur-Saône, he left for Paris in 1958.
He joined the Dalmas agency in Paris in 1960 as a reporter, and in 1966 he co-founded the Gamma agency, reporting from all over the world. From 1974 to 1977, as a photographer and film-maker, he covered the kidnap of a French ethnologist, François Claustre, in northern Chad. Alongside his photographic career, he began to make documentary films: 1974, Une Partie de Campagne and San Clemente.
In 1978 Depardon joined Magnum and continued his reportage work until the publication of Notes in 1979 and Correspondance New Yorkaise in 1981. In that same year, Reporters came out and stayed on the programme of a cinema in the Latin Quarter for seven months. In 1984 he took part in the DATAR project on the French countryside.
While still pursuing his film-making career, he received the Grand Prix National de la Photographie in 1991, but his films also won recognition: in 1995 his film Délits Flagrants, on the French justice system, received a César Award for best documentary, and in 1998 he undertook the first in a series of three films devoted to the French rural world. The Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris mounted an important exhibition of his work in 2000. The sequel to his work on French justice was shown as part of the official selection at the Cannes Film Festival in 2004.
As part of an initiative by the Fondation Cartier for contemporary art, Depardon made an installation of films on twelve large cities, shown in Paris, Tokyo and Berlin between 2004 and 2007. In 2006 he was invited to be artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales d’Arles. He is working on a photographic project on French territory which is due to be completed in 2010. He has made eighteen feature-length films and published forty-seven books.
Julien Legrand is a photographer. Born in 1979 in the North of France, he graduated in webdesign and graphic design. He is the founder of the international collective VIVO and member of the French collective FRAGMENT. In 2012, he has the opportunity to present his work at the Miami Street Photography Festival and in 2016 he is among the finalists of the International Street Photography Awards in San Francisco.
Julien Legrand’s interest in street photography comes from his passion for skateboarding which gave him the opportunity to move freely through the streets of his city, linger and become a privileged observer of the many strange or amazing events taking place there. Skateboarding is also a pretext for appropriating the urban landscape for the skateboarders own purposes. The skateboards themselves, with their decorations, helped to inspire Julien Legrand’s taste for graphic compositions of street art. A violent fall, however, forced him to put a brake on this activity, he now pursues his urban exploration through photography.
Julien Legrand is never without his camera. “Photography is an obsession for me, it accompanies me every day like a faithful old friend, it is a kind of therapy that allows me to put aside my anxiety.” His everyday and candid photos mainly feature passers-by. Inspired by photographers such as Gueorgui Pinkhassov, Harry Gruyaert, Alex Webb, Ernst Haas or Garry Winogrand, Julien Legrand explores the boundary between urbanization and nature and questions the relationship of the individual to his environment.