Thursday, 11 November 2010

Marc Riboud: Magnificent Traveler

Afghanistan 1955 Photo © Marc Riboud- All Rights Reserved
Annick Cojean, journalist at Monde, says it well about Marc Riboud:

"This man is free. This man is passionate. He's a magnificent traveler which the world continues to amaze. He loves life and intensely photographs it", which underscores what Riboud says of himself: "Rather than a profession, photography has always been a passion for me, a passion closer to obsession."

Born in Lyon, Riboud takes his first photographs in 1937 at the Paris Exposition Universelle with a Vest-Pocket (I never heard of this camera?)**. Having fought in 1944, he studies engineering during the late 40s and works in a factory, but decides to take up photography full time in 1948. He's later on invited to Magnum by Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Capa.

In 1955, he travels by road to the Middle East, Afghanistan and finally India where he stays for a year, then on to China. He travels to the Soviet Union, covers the war of independence in Algeria and between 1968-1969 worked in North and South Vietnam.

Marc Riboud published a large number of books, and was awarded many prizes and recognitions from the Overseas Press Club, a Time-Life Achievement award, a Lucie Award and the ICP Infinity Award.

They certainly don't make them like Marc Riboud anymore.

** Gerald Beetham graciously emailed saying that the Kodak Vest-Camera was an older bellows roll film camera smaller than most contemporary cameras (hence the Vest Pocket name). Beginning around 1915, they were manufactured under many different models reaching popularity in the 30's and 40's.