Sometimes the boundaries between street photography and photojournalism can appear to be very fine and even indistinguishable. Today’s Monday master is Abbas, a photographer who has walked this line for a long time. While he may not be a definitive street photographer like Cartier-Bresson, he is a master who’s work must be viewed.
Who is Abbas
Abbas was born in Iran but now belongs to Paris. His work started as focusing on conflicts around the world but in the ends of the 90s his work shifted focus to faith in the world. This timely change in focus drew a lot of attention after the 9/11 attacks particularly with his work on the rise of Islam, Christianity, Buddishism, Hinduism and now Judaism.
However, Abbas’s work isn’t limited to conflicts and religion. His works also include capturing the Muhammad Ali and George Foreman fight.
Abbas became a member of Magnum in 1985
Quotes from Abbas
There's some photographers that claim that the more we know about a given situation, the better the pictures will be. I think that's a myth.Click To Tweet
See it’s not only about working hard. One must have an eye for this genre of photography, and an extensive study on how a photographer at Magnum functions is a must.I think you should be invisible, but as you cannot be invisible you should be annonymous - AbbasClick To Tweet
My Photo Pick for Abbas
Like all our masters, it is near impossible to pick a single image that sums up their work. I easily could have chosen about ten images that would reflect a different aspect of Abbas’s photographic range, skills and series. However, we can only pick one so I choose one that isn’t part of his more famous series and images.
Perhaps it is partially because I find boxing to be really interesting as a sport. Although it appears to be very primitive, it actually involves a lot of tactics and shows grit and determination. Plus at the time of writing it is not that long since Muhammad Ali passed, so that must have reflected in my choice.
The use of light in this image is well composed but I think my favourite part is the way the boxer in the foreground and background almost look like they are sparing against each other with one moving to avoid the others punches.
The light and shadows on the ground also fall brilliantly and lead your eyes to the two main figures. Plus the setting adds a taste of the exotic to the image with the tropical trees and the wooden frame supporting the punching bag.
Join in with #MondayMasters for Abbas
If you want to join in with #mondaymasters head over to Twitter and check out what other people are sharing. Then choose an image yourself and share it using the hashtag.