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.
All Photos (c) Yousuf Karsh and National Gallery
Iconic Portrait of Winston Churchill by Yousef Karsh
It was one of the most famous portraits ever made. Some say it is the most reproduced image in history. It was on the cover of LIFE magazine when WWII ended. The photo was taken by one of the most famous portrait photographers, Yousef Karsh–known as Karsh of Ottawa–on 30 December, 1941, after Churchill gave a speech to Canadian House of Commons in Ottawa. [On the 60th anniversary of that famous speech, Canada honored Karsh and Churchill with a commemorative stamp featuring above photo.]
Karsh was hired by the Canadian government to do this portrait and knew he would have very little time to make the picture. He began by researching Churchill, taking notes on all of the prime minister’s habits, quirks, attitudes and tendencies. When he finally got Churchill seated in the chair, with lights blazing, Churchill snapped “You have two minutes. And that’s it, two minutes.” The truth was that Churchill was angry that he had not been told he was to be photographed; he lit a fresh cigar and puffed mischievously.
Karsh asked Churchill to remove the cigar in his mouth, but Churchill refused. Karsh walked up to Churchill supposedly to get a light level and casually pulled the signature cigar from the lips of Churchill and walked back toward his camera. As he walked he clicked his camera remote, capturing the ‘determined’ look on Churchill’s face, which was in fact a reflection of his indignantcy. Karsh recounted: “I stepped toward him and without premeditation, but ever so respectfully, I said, ‘Forgive me, Sir’ and plucked the cigar out of his mouth. By the time I got back to my camera, he looked so belligerent he could have devoured me. It was at that instant I took the photograph. The silence was deafening. Then Mr Churchill, smiling benignly, said, ‘You may take another one.’ He walked toward me, shook my hand and said, ‘You can even make a roaring lion stand still to be photographed.’”
Source : Iconic Image Blog
Iconic Photo: Vulture Stalking a Child
In March 1993, photographer Kevin Carter made a trip to southern Sudan, where he took now iconic photo of a vulture preying upon an emaciated Sudanese toddler near the village of Ayod. Carter said he waited about 20 minutes, hoping that the vulture would spread its wings. It didn’t. Carter snapped the haunting photograph and chased the vulture away. (The parents of the girl were busy taking food from the same UN plane Carter took to Ayod).
The photograph was sold to The New York Times where it appeared for the first time on March 26, 1993 as ‘metaphor for Africa’s despair’. Practically overnight hundreds of people contacted the newspaper to ask whether the child had survived, leading the newspaper to run an unusual special editor’s note saying the girl had enough strength to walk away from the vulture, but that her ultimate fate was unknown. Journalists in the Sudan were told not to touch the famine victims, because of the risk of transmitting disease, but Carter came under criticism for not helping the girl. ”The man adjusting his lens to take just the right frame of her suffering might just as well be a predator, another vulture on the scene,” read one editorial.
Carter eventually won the Pulitzer Prize for this photo, but he couldn’t enjoy it. “I’m really, really sorry I didn’t pick the child up,” he confided in a friend. Consumed with the violence he’d witnessed, and haunted by the questions as to the little girl’s fate, he committed suicide three months later.
Source : Iconic Photo Blog