What is in a photographer’s mind? William Klein explains his contact sheets

When looking at the pictures of another photographer, it is not always obvious to understand why he has chosen to capture a particular scene or why has decided not to show the picture he has taken one second before or one second after this particular moment. In such situation, and unless the photographer is around me when I look at the picture, I often end up confused and I cannot decide whether I am looking at a great picture or just a piece of crap. The difference between both lies sometimes in the context surrounding the picture and the intentions of the photographer. For instance, the pictures taken by Robert Capa during D-Day landings might not be perfect from an artistic/aesthetic point of view, but the context in which they have been taken and the will of Capa to document this incredible moment of history transform these fuzzy images in rare, powerful documents. If they had been taken during a simple training for instance, without danger or fear, such pictures would have probably end up in a trash can.

It is always interesting to hear a photographer tell the story behind his pictures. It is even more interesting to hear him explain how he selected a particular picture to display at an exhibition or in a book, and why he rejected many other pictures that have been taken shortly before or after. It is what famous photographer William Klein does in this short video found on PetaPixel. It is a rare document that illustrates the creative process and the story-telling talent of one of the best contemporary photographers.

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  1. I love this website it was amazing thank you so much

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  1. By “Out of necessity” – William Klein takes an amused look at his work 2 Sep ’11 at 4:41 pm

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