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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Robert Capa

Names:
Born: André Friedman 
Born: Andrej Friedmann 
Dates:  1913, 22 October - 1954, 25 May
Born:  Hungary, Budapest
Died:  Vietnam, Thai-Binh
Active:  Global
 
  
Photojournalist and war correspondent.

Preparing biographies


Biography provided by Focal Press 
  
Perceptive photographer who inspired humanist photojournalism later championed and known as "Concerned Photography." Photographed the Spanish Civil War, the Japanese invasion of China, World War II, Israeli independence, and the Indochina (Vietnam) War where he was killed by a landmine. Key co-founder with Cartier-Bresson of Magnum Photos (1947). Stated, "If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough." A self-declared "gambler," Capa went in on the first wave of the 1944 D-Day invasion, only to have all but eight of his exposures ruined by a London darkroom assistant. Capa was so animated he often made exposures more rapidly than his camera’s fastest shutter speed. These blurry and grainy images, such as the Death of the Loyalist Soldier (1936), give the sense that Capa could see events that occurred even too quickly for a camera to record. 
  
(Author: Robert Hirsch - Independent scholar and writer) 
  
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 
  

Further research

 
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Thumbnail
Robert Capa
Robert Capa Shooting Film During the Spanish Civil War 
1938
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
 
  

Exhibitions on this website

Theme: Photojournalism
ThumbnailMagnum Founders, In Celebration of Sixty Years 
PhVTitle | Lightbox | Checklist
 
  

Visual indexes

 
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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
Show on this siteGo to website
The International Photographers Hall of Fame has provided a biography.Show on this siteGo to website
 

Internet resources

Terms and Conditions

 
Magnum Photos 
http://www.magnumphotos.com ... 
Probably the world‘s most famous photo agency for photojournalists. Use this site to access the portfolios, biographies of the many notable Magnum photographers. Where there are books by the photographers the website frequently includes the photographs used. 
  
Robert Capa 
http://www.pbs.org ... 
Based on research by and written by his biographer Richard Whelan it is a part of the excellent American Masters series of television programs broadcast by PBS in the USA. 
  
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
  
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.174 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
  
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.95-96 
  
• Fernandez, Horacio (ed.) 2000 Fotografía Pública: Photography in Print 1919-1939 (Aldeasa) p.76 [This Spanish exhibition catalogue is one of the best sources for illustrations of photomontage and book design for the period between the two World Wars.] 
  
• International Center of Photography 1999 Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection (New York: A Bulfinch Press Book) p.211 [Includes a well written short biography on Robert Capa with example plate(s) earlier in book.] 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Robert Capa.] 
  
• Weaver, Mike (ed.) 1989 The Art of Photography 1839-1989 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press) p.453-454 [This exhibition catalogue is for the travelling exhibition that went to Houston, Canberra and London in 1989.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Gruber, Renate and L. Fritz Gruber 1982 The Imaginary Photo Museum (New York: Harmony Books) p.243 
  
• Koetzle, Hans-Michael 2002 Photo Icons: The Story Behind the Pictures - Volume 2 (Koln: Taschen) [This book discusses one photograph "Spanish Loyalist (1936)" by Robert Capa in considerable detail. An excellent source for a detailed analysis.] 
  
• Szarkowski, John 1973 Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (New York: The Museum of Modern Art) p.146 [Analyzes a single photograph by Robert Capa.] 
  

Collections

Photographic collections are a useful means of examining large numbers of photographs by a single photographer on-line. 
  

 
Library of Congress, Washington, USA 
  
Approximate number of records: ? 
Note: A single record may contain more than one photograph.
Click here
 

Quotations

The wit and wisdom.

 
"I hope to stay unemployed as a war photographer till the end of my life."
"If your pictures aren‘t good enough, you aren‘t close enough."
"It‘s not always easy to stand aside and be unable to do anything except record the sufferings around one."
 
  
 
  
 
  
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