Master Photographer : Yousuf Karsh

Karsh is the greatest portrait photographer who has shot all most all famous persons from arena of politics , Science , sport to movie of his time. With his unique style of lighting at the time of non digital photography with some basic equipment has made him the Master photographer of light and shadow. I find the most interesting part of Karsh he captured the mood and characteristics of the person.
Couldn’t help to share some of his great works.

Saud A Faisal/ 18th June’13

Master Photographer : Yousuf Karsh
Source: Photo Blog

Yousuf Karsh, (1908 – 2002) was a Canadian photographer of Armenian heritage,[ and one of the most famous and accomplished portrait photographers of all time.

Karsh grew up in Turkish Armenia in a modest environment and in difficult political conditions. He immigrated to Canada in 1924 at the age of sixteen, where he lived with his uncle, a photographer in Sherbrooke, Quebec. He went to school there and worked for his uncle who in return trained him in photography. At his uncle’s recommendation, in 1928 he apprenticed in the Boston studio of photographer John Garo, who taught him to see his subject in terms of light, shadow, and form. These three elements would become key in Karsh’s practice. His entire career he favoured dramatic lighting in which light is the photographer’s favourite device. In 1932 he settled in Ottawa where he opened his photography studio. He became friends with certain Canadian politicians who allowed him to meet and photograph several political personalities of the time.

At age thirty-three he immortalized Sir Winston Churchill on film. This portrait is surely Karsh’s best-known photograph and the one most reproduced in history. The back lighting that shapes the face accentuates the famous politician’s expression while conferring upon him strength, power and intelligence.
Throughout his prolific career, Karsh published more than ten books combining photographs and personal annotations. In 1989, the National Gallery of Canada organized a large retrospective of his work. A two-time recipient of the Order of Canada for lifetime achievement, he is also the only Canadian to appear on the list of one hundred names in the International Who’s Who. His works are found in several collections throughout the world.

Self Portrait

Winston Churchill


Mohammed Ali

All Photos (c) Yousuf Karsh and National Gallery


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