100 top photographers

Elliott Erwitt


PhotoUtopia Intro: A playful master, Erwitt is the king of composition, whether he is using light to create silhouettes, obscure angles to play on scale, forcing relationship or creating juxtapositions, his work always draws the viewer in to look a little closer. A world class documentary photographer and part of the esteemed Magnum agency, he is not ashamed to lay on his belly and take one of hundreds of pictures of dogs. I always admire photographers that never loose their appetite for investigating the medium and how it can show us the world a new, and Erwitt along with Lartigue are the photographers I admire the most in this respect.


Elliott Erwitt (b. 26 July 1928 Paris, France), is an advertising and documentary photographer known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings -- the master of the "decisive moment".
Born in Paris of Jewish-Russian immigrant parents, Erwitt served as a photographer's assistant in the 1950's in the United States Army while stationed in France and Germany. Erwitt was influenced by his meeting the famous photographers, Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Stryker, the former Director of the Farm Security Administration's photography department, hired Erwitt to work on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company. Erwitt then began a freelance photographer career and produced work for Collier's, Look, Life and Holiday magazines. Joining the Magnum Photos agency in 1953 allowed Erwitt to shoot photography projects around the world.

Official Site: http://www.elliotterwitt.com/
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