POTD: For André

For André
Budapest, Hungary
2011

I suggested the other day that Brassaï was the most famous Hungarian fine art photographer. I could be wrong about that; he’s actually one of three very famous Hungarian photographers I know of, the other two being André Kertész and Robert Capa. Capa was more of a photo-journalist than a fine art photographer so maybe the battle is between Brassaï and Kertész for the best Hungarian fine art photographer. In fact it doesn’t matter, I like them both and Brassaï actually studied under Kertész for a time in Paris so there is a lot of similarity between the two.

We were fortunate that there is an extensive Kertész retrospective currently on display at the Hungarian National Museum, just a few blocks from the apartment where we are staying here in Budapest. I’m not sure I’ve seen any of Kertész’s work outside of books before so the exhibition was a real treat for me. One thing I learned was how much adding a small human element or the suggestion of a human presence to an otherwise abstract or structurally formal scene really makes a composition come alive. That was a timely lesson for me as my intent on this trip was to do more with human subjects; of course without denying my continued interest in scenes with strong geometric components. Purposely combining the two themes had not really come to mind before, but what a perfect idea.

4 thoughts on “POTD: For André”

  1. This is nice Larry. I think I’m starting to come to the same conclusion. Take out the top and this image does not work nearly as well. Of course there are many types of images to make, but living near a some what large city I’m missing a lot by never including a human element in my photographs. I’ve been struggling to find out why my images don’t always work for me. Sounds like you’re having a great time. Say hi to Skippy for me.

    1. Thanks Bruce. I had originally intended to crop the people out of this image but then saw the difference in impact. That’s when I realized the lesson of Kertesz’s work. The human element is not a cure-all for every composition but in cases such as this, it really makes a difference.

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